Wednesday, January 9, 2013

New Year's Eve Black Tie Gala at the Whist Club

 Our second annual New Year's Eve Black Tie Gala was held last week at the University and Whist Club.  It was a very festive and convivial evening with everyone in formal attire!  All the stops were pulled out for this 12 course food and wine event.

at the
University and Whist Club
Of Wilmington
December 31, 2012
A velvety blend of chardonnay and pinot noir in magnums, 
this grower Champagne was an elegant beginning to the meal
Creamy and rich Fanny Bay oysters from the Puget Sound in Washington State had a lovely melon and cucumber finish to them; they were topped with a sliver of serrano chili.  
Fanny Bay Oysters
Ponzu-Wasabi and Serrano
Serge Mathieu Cuvée Prestige, Brut, NV

In a salute to a dish in the gorgeous "Eleven Madison Park", we prepared this exotic ice cream made from potato with red sea salt, creme fraiche, chive and American caviar.
 Amuse Bouche
Kentucky Paddlefish Caviar
Potato Ice Cream, Chive

My favorite course of the evening, this foie terrine is layered between a tuile cookie of almond and pretzel, dusted with dark cocoa and drizzled with pomegranate molasses.  The Pineau des Charentes Blanc was provided by Moore Bros. of Delaware.  Thank you to the great tasting team there for an exquisite pairing.
First Course
Foie Gras Terrine
Pomegranate, chocolate, almond tuile
Vieux Pineau des Charentes Blanc, Jean Fillioux, NV

Winter Striped Bass from Maryland; a pool of English pea nage is jumped up in flavor with fine herbs and braised salsify.  Confetti of winter flowers jump off the plate.
Second Course
Maryland Striped Bass
English pea nage, winter flowers
J.M. Boillot Meursault, 2008

As much a comfort dish as it was elegant, this was a beautiful example of thinking
outside the box with flavors.
Third Course
Veal Sweetbreads
pork belly, Grain mustard crème, savoy slaw
Kistler, Chardonnay, Les Noisetiers, Napa,  2010

Orange-Cardamom Sherbet
Candied ginger, orange zest

Braised rabbit saddle in its own juices with shaved Grana Padana and wild chanterelles.  Hearty, rich, soulful and restoring. 
Braised Rabbit
Handkerchief pasta, golden chanterelles
Domaine Joseph Voillot, Volnay “Vieilles Vignes” 2010

A first for many attendees, this "filet" of ostrich from OK Coral Ranch in California was tender and juicy and just the right foil for cognac and truffles.  The Saint Cosme was revelatory!
Ostrich Filet
Black truffle, faro, Cognac
Saint Cosme, Chateauneuf-du-Pape, 2005

Another "outside the box" dish, the carrot tartare was fully cooked, but resembled a true beef tartare in every way.  Much credit to Sous Chef Drew Ramage
for this creative and well-executed dish.
Carrot Tartare
Caper, truffle and brioche toasts

The garden gods were with us, as we landed some fresh Turkish figs accompanied by the smokey Idiazabal from Spain with chorizo-almond and plump winter blackberries.
almond-chorizo crumble, Turkish figs
Camins del Priorat, Alvaro Palacios, 2010

A fun display of milk chocolate bouche de Noel, dark chocolate ganache Christmas tree and Bailey's Irish Cream -white truffle snow man with coconut and apricot.
Chocolate Wonderland
Taylor Fladgate Vintage Porto, 2000

Mignardises and Coffee

Executive Chef Robert A. Lhulier
Sous Chefs Andrew Ramage and Stephen Seth
Pastry Chefs Debora Saienni
and Michael Preske

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