When faced with an Auction theme "An Evening in Paris" to benefit a local church/school, I thought, "What if my friend Chef Dave Cruz came down from Napa (California) to cook dinner?" Called up another friend, who has a great house for entertaining, and asked if she'd like to co-host a dinner with me. Neither of us knew the full extent of what we were getting ourselves into. It was a lot of work, but worth it.
|Photo: François Mori/AP Photo|
Part of the fun, and issue, was the theme for the dinner: Marie Antoinette's Petit Trianon. My wedding china is based on the Loire Valley, which is considered France's valley of kings, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Palace of Versailles isn't too far away, so Marie's Petit Trianon was an ideal theme for the dinner in mind. Queen casual.
The co-host and I mixed and mingled our china, silverware and glass sets. Each of six courses had their own setting. This caused hundreds of pieces that needed washing, so I wouldn't necessarily recommend going this route again. Instead, rent the place settings, go with fewer courses or hire help.
|Our entree for the evening was Rib Eye beef, with potatoes, asparagus and mushrooms. Coupled with a Cabernet Franc from the Loire Valley: Domaine Grosbois Chinon 2011 Gabare. The beef melted in one's mouth, the chef was magic.|
|I made a lemon basil palate cleanser from lemons and basil from the co-host's garden.|
Napkins that matched the wedding china were made on a sewing machine
especially for the occasion. Wrapped soap became place cards.