For Queenie’s 11th birthday, which was her final bday as a Los Angeles resident, she wanted a very intimate, dressy dinner party. She had four of her closest friends over, and they all dressed in their best party frocks. I was the chef, and Mr. Man was the waiter. Queenie crafted the five-course meal (having multiple courses was key to her), and we came up with the table decor together. We were living in the hills at the time, and the view provided a magnificent backdrop to a special evening.
The menu is planned and the menu cards printed.
We made everything from scratch, except for the bread, which we purchased at the amazing Italian deli, Bay City, in Santa Monica. Here, I’ve got the roasted garlic olive oil going. I didn’t use a recipe for this. Just baked A LOT of garlic in oil for a while and then let it sit. Seriously delish.
And here is our gnocchi manufacturing plant. I used the recipe from the Candle 79 Cookbook.
The table is set and ready for an elegant evening. Because Queenie’s birthday is in late October, we went with an autumnal feel for the table settings, blending new things with old, some from her grandparents and great-grandparents.
Taking advantage of the view.
Mr. Man was an excellent waiter.
The birthday cake, which is the tiramisu recipe from Eric Lechasseur’s wonderful book, Love, Eric. It’s been out of print for a while, but I understand a new edition is imminent. Be sure to pick it up when it comes out! His desserts are exquisite and not only vegan, but free of processed sugar. I can assure you that you won’t miss it! We served the cake with fresh mint tea.
It was so much fun cooking for these kids. Since Queenie was the only vegan at the table, and some of the food was deliberately “fancy,” I wondered how it would go over. This is how: every single guest polished off every bit of food, often requesting seconds. They were all effusive and thankful, ooohing and aaahing over each course. They couldn’t have been more receptive and appreciative. A fantastic evening.
(I deliberately chose a blurry group shot, as I don’t want to focus on other people’s kids too much in this forum. Just wanted to give you the idea of the fun time.)
The bottom line: Any day is a good day to get dressed up and savor some tasty food!