Feb 5th theme winner & course drawing

26 Jan

**** Note: Read the comments of this post to follow along with the discussion regarding the details of menu planning.****

Chinese New Year won as the theme.  DavidP & I conferred this morning and made the following executive decisions:  With 9 people, besides the usual appetizer + 6 courses + dessert, one person would be assigned pre-dinner cocktail + snack to be consumed while we’re prepping.  Because we would also need nine total conceptual inspirations, we used the traditional 5 chinese elements (Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal, and Water) and added Air, Rabbit (incoming Chinese year) Tiger (outgoing Chinese year) and Yin / Yang.

We drew the inspirations out of a hat first to establish the sequence, and then drew names out of the hat to make the assignments.  Here are the results:

  • JohnW — Pre-meal Cocktail & snack; inspiration: Wood
  • JoannaM (superhorsefeathers) — Appetizer course; inspiration: Rabbit
  • LaurentL — 2nd course; inspiration: Fire
  • FrancineO (francineo1) — 3rd course; inspiration: Air
  • RichardM — 4th course; inspiration: Earth
  • AliciaA (thatgirlinnewyork) — 5th course; inspiration: Yin / Yang
  • JDavidR (jdavidar) — 6th course; inspiration: Water
  • KellyR — 7th course; inspiration: Metal
  • VitoP (vitovino) — Dessert; inspiration:  Tiger

Some comments:

  1. Course trading is allowed. (Horse trading is not.)  Let the group know what you’ve arranged.
  2. Participants assigned sequential courses can collaborate to plate them together (ie; protein + side).
  3. Don’t feel obligated to make Chinese food (or rabbit)… (or tiger!) the inspirations are just that, inspiration.
  4. Don’t forget to plan your beverage pairing.
  5. To avoid duplication, please post (or comment) letting the group know in as general terms as possible what you’re planning (soup, salad, greens, starch, etc.).
  6. Also, give a heads-up if you’ll be tying up all 4 burners, or need the oven at 550 for 3 hours, etc. — if necessary, we can re-arrange the sequence.
  7. Also, let everyone know if you have a food allergy or phobia, (you know, so we can make sure we have adequate epinephrine and benzodiazepines on hand).
  8. We have plenty of cooking equipment, ingredients, spices, and serving-ware.  Post questions and requests regarding specific items.
  9. Amuse bouches are welcome, encouraged, and completely open season.

5 Responses to “Feb 5th theme winner & course drawing”

  1. joanna January 26, 2011 at 2:55 pm #

    Laurent & I are very excited about our courses. We both love the theme & our inspirations. I’m afraid both of ours will be literal translations and neither is an amuse bouche but we are going to keep the portions tiny.
    Laurent will be preparing seafood & I will be preparing rabbit (I have never cooked it before, so I had to take this opportunity to be so literal!) If anyone is allergic to any fish or rabbit, please let me know as soon as possible, so we can plan out something else.
    Can’t wait to see what everyone does! : )

  2. thatgirl January 26, 2011 at 8:43 pm #

    yayyy, benzos!

  3. jdavidar January 30, 2011 at 11:39 pm #

    OK… I am settling on a dish. It will involve shellfish, a couple of ravioli, and be garnished with some fruit/vegetable matter. It isn’t a salad course, or a pasta course, or a soup, just a middling something course… so I shouldn’t be cramping any Yin, or Yang, nor stepping on any Metal toes. I don’t need the oven or any usual kitchen contraptions — I’ll be MacGuyvering my own mad science. Just a bit of fridge space, and a single burner for a short time. I haven’t figured out plating or the beverage yet.

    I’ve got some testing to do this week.

    As people post and comment on their courses, I’ll update the “Upcoming / Upcoming Events / Sat. Feb 5th 2011 page accessible from the menu above with the info.

    • superhorsefeathers February 1, 2011 at 1:06 pm #

      Is it possible for Laurent & I to switch our ordering? Can we serve his fire dish before my year of the Rabbit? He’ll be making shellfish-(hope it won’t interfere with the ravioli/shellfish dish) and since his dish is so light and mine is much more rich, it would make more sense to have the lighter dish before the more rich one?
      Also, Laurent wants to know if you have cognac & fleur de sel? We can always bring some from home but we are trying to limit what we are lugging.
      And maybe I missed it somewhere but what time are we supposed to be there Saturday?

      • jdavidar February 1, 2011 at 2:58 pm #

        Hmmm…. order switching… Hmmmm…. yeah, sure; why not? Fire shellfish will not interfere in the least. Yes, we have cognac, and armanac, and Maldon sea salt flakes,
        http://www.maldonsalt.co.uk/Maldon-Salt-Products.html
        which are, I think, the english equivalent.

        And a big saute pan. And a fire extinguisher ;).

        We haven’t settled on the start times for prep or for eating. Francine and I will be around pretty much all day, so really anyone can come over as early as they like; (for instance if you have an 8-hour marinade, or if you really want your dough to rise in the same place it was mixed, so as not be stressed by a subway ride);).

        Let’s aim to sit down for the appetizer course around 7-7:30pm… everyone can work backwards from there.

        I’ll update the “Upcoming Events” page.

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