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Saturday, January 13, 2007

White Truffle Dinner 2006: Conclusion


This is the tenth and final installment in a series of posts directed to the Fourth Annual White Truffle Dinner that Rhonda and I recently held at my home.   For more on the dinner, please see these posts:   Introduction | Course 1 | Course 2 | Course 3 | Course 4 | Course 5 | Course 6 | Course 7 | Course 8 | Conclusion

I've spent the past month describing our Fourth Annual White Truffle Dinner in some detail, from the thinking that went into the menu to the composition of the eight courses that comprised the meal.   I'd now like to conclude this series of posts by acknowledging a number of people who made the event possible.

First up are the friends who attended this year's dinner.   I've always felt that the most pleasurable aspects of food are those that come from sharing it with others, and a big part of what motivates me to put together a meal like this is to express my appreciation for the wonderful people that Rhonda and I get to call our friends.   The eight individuals who came to my home last month, and the folks who came to the dinner in previous years, are among the most generous, kind, and thoughtful people that I've ever met, and Rhonda and I are truly fortunate to have them in our lives.   They are, in a real sense, the raison d'etre of the truffle dinner itself.

Next are the numerous food purveyors who provided the raw materials that we used in preparing the various courses.   At the risk of stating the obvious, the success of a finished dish is inextricably linked to the quality of its component ingredients, and that is precisely why I spend so much time and energy on trying to find the best sources.   Although all of the food items we used this year were excellent, several were exceptional -- so much so, in fact, that I would readily recommend them to others without hesitation.   Here are those products and the purveyors who produced or sold them:

Last but certainly not least, I have to thank Rhonda.   Her numerous contributions were both invaluable and indispensable, from helping to plan the event and taste testing my experiments, to cooking the meal itself and striking an elegant tone for the evening with her wonderful table decor.   Her warmth, grace, good humor and charm made her the consummate host, and she made the entire process -- from start to finish -- a thoroughly enjoyable experience for me as well.   Simply put, the white truffle dinner could not happen but for Rhonda.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~
There's more...
As we sat finishing our desserts at this year's dinner, my friend A talked about how she would be taking a sabbatical from work at the end of 2007 in order to travel through Europe.   When I commented that she should make sure to get to Italy during the height of white truffle season, she replied that we should meet her there and hold the Fifth Annual White Truffle Dinner right in the heart of Alba.   Check back later this year to see whether we managed to pull this off!

I'll close with a pictorial recap of the eight courses that we served this year.   Click on any picture to be taken to the post describing the corresponding dish.

Fourth Annual White Truffle Dinner
December 9, 2006
Truffled Corn & Leek Veloute
Burrata Cheese with Arugula in a
White Truffle Champagne Vinaigrette
Dungeness Crab Cake with White Truffle
Crème Fraîche & Cucumber Foam
Prather Ranch Beef Filet with
Truffled Parsnip Puree
White Truffle Risotto with Fresh
Truffle Shavings & Browned Butter
Butter-Poached Maine Lobster with
White Truffle Cauliflower Gratin
Duo of Sorbets:  Pineapple Lemon
Verbena & Raspberry Rose Geranium
Pear Cake with Pain D’Epice Crème
& Brown Butter Ice Cream

2 Comments:

Blogger K & S said...

Can't wait to see you do this in Italy! That would definitely be out of this world! I agree that quality is important. Very inspiring posts!

January 13, 2007 10:09 PM  
Anonymous Rhonda said...

I would like to think that this blog speaks for itself in terms of who deserves all the credit for the '06 WTD (hint, his initials are NS). But what it does not say is just how appreciative I am to have been able to work with N on this gift to our friends, and frankly, to ourselves; and, how awed I am of his effort and dedication to giving his very best. In gratitude, Rhonda

January 17, 2007 2:26 PM  

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