Once a year, maybe twice if we're lucky, an old friend of Eric's flies through Paris. We always invite him over to dinner. It's always a pleasure. And finally, we get to reciprocate. Antonio & his family of 7 (5 daughters!) used to live in Paris & it was Eric who used to always get invited to their house during his business trips. Isabelle would prepare wonderful meals, once even in her last month of pregnancy with the twins, during the month of August! And those familiar with Paris know that most apartements have no air conditioning! And it was a "simple" meal of 5 courses all done with grace & ease, Eric told me.
Anyway, I think Antonio is slightly intrigued to watch this new career path of mine. He asks tons of questions (where do I want to open a restaurant? Europe or US? what city? how big? when?). Each time more questions. However, I still don't have the answers! I wish my crystal ball could tell me where we'll end up & how.....but it's not working that way!
Nonetheless, inviting Antonio over to dinner is a great excuse to practice my craft and to ask for feedback, although I'm not quite sure how unbiased he could be. He did admit, "Even if I didn't like it, I would say it was good....but it's not that....this REALLY IS good!" We had a great evening. Lots of laughs, lots of stories, plenty of wine. And then at nearly 12:30am, it was time to call it a night. Until next time. Maybe I'll have some answers by then!
1st course: Mediterranean Fiesta
Tomato ravioli sombreros stuffed with goat cheese (hand made), crab meat, slow-roasted tomato "tartare" with basil froth& tomato powder
Roasted medallions of pork tenderloin with pork demi-glace
Purée of petits pois, fresh peas & mint oil
Home-made bi-colored cannelloni (spinach & natural) stuffed with ricotta & sun-dried tomatoes.
Brie de Meaux, salade de mache & roasted fig
Baguette toasts with olive oil & fleur de sel
New York style cheesecake with cherry marmalade & rum raison ice cream.
The cheesecake recipe is from Alaine Ducasse. I'll post it separately.