One of my sister Nikki’s best friends, Chanda, was wanting to have a surprise party for her husband, Jay. Chan had mentioned getting a private chef and doing a ‘Farm to Table’ Dinner as a surprise and my sister (love her for this) recommended me to do the dinner! Chan had talked to some Chefs in Charlotte and Nik told her to call me and see what I could do.
Chan and I talked and she was totally open to whatever I was thinking for about 8-10 people for a dinner at their house on June 4. (Sidebar – the number went to SEVENTEEN – which was a little intimidating to me but WONDERFUL to know that so many people and friends of theirs wanted to be there to celebrate). She was super gracious and offered a hotel room and prep space, but wanted to keep it as best a surprise as she could. Lucky for her, I have DEAR friends in Charlotte and knew Jenny and T would be THRILLED to have me stay there and use their kitchen on Saturday and steal Jenny on Saturday night to be my server!
Chan was most trusting in me and really just wanted me to go to the Farmer’s Market off Tyvola in Charlotte and get my ingredients for the dinner there. She mentioned Grass Fed Beef and when I told Jenny about this, she knew of the farm and called to pre-order London Broil. Apparently, this farm – Proffitt Farms – is near Kings Mountain, NC and they come to the Farmer’s Market and sell what they have. Clearly, if you need 10-12 lbs of beef, you MUST pre-order (thanks Bo Benny!). You can pre-order and then pick it up from Shelly @ the Farmer’s Market. *SIDEBAR – they do tours and Jenny, T, and Jenny’s sis Andrea went on Sunday for a tour and cooking class and LOVED EVERY SECOND OF IT!
So, with the beef I also bought a WIDE variety stuff, including gorgeous Heirloom Tomatoes from some cute little old man near the end of the covered area, yummy Goat Cheese from a Dairy in Waxhaw (Bosky Acres), a seedless watermelon from this little cutie that was thrown I asked for a receipt, and zucchini and squash that was FINALLY in season. MANY props to my Cutie and Jenny and T, who beared with me at the Farmer’s Market while I geeked out and kept asking my bank (aka Wes) for money.
After a side trip to Trader Joe’s for Organic items like Buttermilk and Heavy Cream, along with some wine for dinner, we went back to Jenny’s for prep.
Thomas was AWESOME and was there to learn and help me. Jenny and Wes napped, which was also fine, b/c my Sweetie works hard and drove the whole way to Charlotte AND drove to Independence Blvd to get necessary appetizer spoons and I was going to abuse Bo Benny later!
Here is my sous chef flipping over the zucchini and squash as it broiled!
So we get to Chanda’s with all our stuff like coolers full of yummy meat marinating, pre-cut peaches, blueberry scone ‘pies’, wine blends to match with everything, toasted crostini, pre-made soup, etc.
Start off with some passed hors d’oeuvres of Scallop Ceviche and Peach, Prosciutto, Ricotta Crostini with Honey
Once we sat down to the GORGEOUS table Chan had set outside under the trees with candles and Chinese Lanterns hanging around it, we served the first course (of which I have no photos) – Chilled Cucumber-Avocado Soup with Spicy Shrimp. I must admit, I talked to the soup the whole time I was pouring it into bowls (ask Jenny) and told it how much everyone was going to love it – again…..Geeking Out!
Next Course, Heirloom Tomato and Watermelon Salad with Feta and Red Onion. YUMMY. So fresh, so light, so perfect for summer! Again, seemed to be a BIG hit!
Here is what 17 salads look like:
Next course? YUMMY Grass Fed London Broil with Arugula from my garden in GA and Roasted Veggies. Again – very light and no carbs when you are serving a 4 course dinner. I wanted to serve Roasted Fingerling Potatoes, but didn’t find any at the Farmer’s Market. Next time, I would do about 2-3 potatoes per plate and a smaller portion of dessert.
Here is all the beef after it is cooked
And here it is on the plate ready for service
Last Course was Blueberry Scone with Basil Whipped Cream. While I don’t have a photo of the actual dessert, I have the scones while they were baking
And here is the menu. Thank you Jenny for getting this awesome paper and for helping me out! You ROCK!
THANK YOU again to Chan for trusting me with this AWESOME dinner. I LOVED doing it and cannot wait to get moving on doing it again for someone else!
Anyone having a special occasion? CALL ME!