For our second Tasting dinner, we wanted to showcase vegetables at the forefront and be more accommodating to our guests. So, for the larger and longer (length and table-wise) dinner, we decided to go vegetarian pushing late summer/early fall produce into the spotlight. With all of the beverages generously provided by the fine folks at Campus Fine Wines, freshly foraged chanterelle mushrooms donated by the RI Mushroom Co, plus some very stylish aprons generously discounted (and one donated!) from Hedley & Bennet, we had some of the finest ingredients and fashion from both near and afar. Deb Hickey, the bartender down the road at Chez Pascal, was the Beverage Director for the night, pairing drinks with each course including one inspired combination that featured both homemade cucumber granita and vodka. Nate Kelly helped out in the kitchen along with my brother Dylan, in charge of the (two!) dessert courses, as well as myself in the heat of the kitchen.
We bumped up the number of people at the table from 7 people to 11, forcing us to add two tables to our dining room. One of the highlight dishes included a chilled soup made of corn, buttermilk, and herbs and plated with seasonal vegetables (pictured below). Another favorite was the transition between savory and sweet which came in the form of a vegetable-forward plate of avocado ice cream surrounded by roasted vegetables, atop a mound of refreshing cucumber granita.
Even with the numerous hours that went into planning, scheduling, prepping, shopping, and cooking that went into making the evening what it was, I had a thrill making the entire event come to life for a second time.
We’re very grateful for Campus Fine Wines, Hedley and Bennet, and RI Mushroom Co for graciously giving us their fantastic products for a reduced price: we cannot thank you enough! Also, to Deb and Nate without whom the food and beverage never would have made it to the table. And finally: our guests! You are who we put in the effort for and we can’t wait to do it all over again.
You can view highlights of the night below, as captured by Deb Hickey.