Menus are usually not planned, rather, menus are created according to what is vibrant and available on the day of a party. Menus also need to jive with the clients dietary needs and personal tastes. Sometimes there’s a vegan in the group while other times someone is gluten free and only eats fish. Cooking in an unknown environment that might or might not have the usual equipment or quality is also a heavy variable for a personal chef. Dinner for two is always fun; it’s a time to push boundaries and develop new directions. Things that can’t be done when cooking for 10 because of time constraints.
Take the first pic below of the chicken wings. This new recipe was bound to need some tweaking before it could be served. When it’s a dinner for two, there’s time to make sure any unknowns become knowns; and having time for heavy adjustment is part of creative fun. Conversely, dinner for 10 needs a measured approach consistent with variations on known winners. No matter the count, seasonality and vibrancy is at the forefront of any dinner.
Crispy achiote chicken wings with orange syrup, pickled turnip, cilantro stems and chives
Roasted chestnut puree with arugula/basil/golden beet salad and citrus poached cranberries with fresh nutmeg and thyme
Phyllo baked feta with honey/lemon syrup, toasted sesame seeds and fresh parsley
Fig jam stuffed poached pear over homemade sauerkraut, cinnamon roasted walnuts and draped in gorgonzola cream
Fresh white seabass roasted with green tomato and olive oil and topped with snow pea and celery root salad dressed with lemon/orange vinaigrette. Below is white wine and fennel sautéed collard greens and butternut squash bisque
Prime NY strip or roasted chicken breast with red wine/beef bone/maitake mushroom sauce. Perched atop cardoon mashed potatoes and crispy salt and pepper brussels sprouts
Fuyu tart with maple/vanilla whipped cream