Monday, February 05, 2007

24 Hour (dinner) Party People

A pictorial guide to Cooking a Fancy Dinner at Home.
We started work exactly 24 hours before the guests were due to arrive...

Samanda Dinner One by Sam Breach and Amanda Berne photo series copyright sam breach http://becksposhnosh.blogspot.com/
Samanda Dinner One by Sam Breach and Amanda Berne photo series copyright sam breach http://becksposhnosh.blogspot.com/
Samanda Dinner One by Sam Breach and Amanda Berne photo series copyright sam breach http://becksposhnosh.blogspot.com/
Samanda Dinner One by Sam Breach and Amanda Berne photo series copyright sam breach http://becksposhnosh.blogspot.com/
Samanda Dinner One by Sam Breach and Amanda Berne photo series copyright sam breach http://becksposhnosh.blogspot.com/
Samanda Dinner One by Sam Breach and Amanda Berne photo series copyright sam breach http://becksposhnosh.blogspot.com/
Samanda Dinner One by Sam Breach and Amanda Berne photo series copyright sam breach http://becksposhnosh.blogspot.com/
Samanda Dinner One by Sam Breach and Amanda Berne photo series copyright sam breach http://becksposhnosh.blogspot.com/
Samanda Dinner One by Sam Breach and Amanda Berne photo series copyright sam breach http://becksposhnosh.blogspot.com/
Samanda Dinner One by Sam Breach and Amanda Berne photo series copyright sam breach http://becksposhnosh.blogspot.com/
Samanda Dinner One by Sam Breach and Amanda Berne photo series copyright sam breach http://becksposhnosh.blogspot.com/
Samanda Dinner One by Sam Breach and Amanda Berne photo series copyright sam breach http://becksposhnosh.blogspot.com/
Samanda Dinner One by Sam Breach and Amanda Berne photo series copyright sam breach http://becksposhnosh.blogspot.com/

5 Tips for a successful evening:


1) Make sure your cooking partner has a culinary degree - she'll be fast!

2) In the days before the party, share a Google Spreadsheet to organise and track recipes, ingredients, equipment and tasks.

3) Make sure the chefs have a glass of wine or bubbly at their side at all times during the preparation stage.

4) Laugh together about all of the little 'disasters' you have along the way.

5) Only cook with people who aren't scared of pork fat.







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24 Hour (dinner) Party People

40 Comments:

  • At 5/2/07 07:12, Blogger Squishy said…

    Your photos are incredible and your blog is great. It is an addictive read :)

     
  • At 5/2/07 09:17, Blogger s'kat said…

    What a wonderful photo series! It looks like all had a lovely time.

     
  • At 5/2/07 09:23, Anonymous Catherine said…

    I am gobsmacked by all the work you did, and the fanciness of your meal. (Meanwhile, I was all proud that I made brownies from scratch...ha!) But why wasn't I invited?

     
  • At 5/2/07 10:00, Blogger Sam said…

    squishy - thanks

    s'kat - I didn't realise when i started noodling in photoshop quite how long it would take me

    catherine - why weren't you invited? You were left off the guest list out of spite for for forgetting to invite us to yours on Friday night for tuna and yuzu of course! (kidding)

    seriously - we only have 12 place settings and after you count Amanda, myself and our partners that only leaves us with 8 free spots and since there are two hosts that leaves only 4 guests each for my self and Amanda. And we decided to try and limit food bloggers and mix it up. Since we have about 100 friends each, approx 192 of them are really mad at us now for not having elicited an invite.

    Our plan is to have several more and invite different people each time, but it is going to take a lifetime to cook for everyone we love. Still, can't think of a better way to spend the rest of my life.

    Since you asked - I am putting you and Mr Food Musings #1 on the list for the next round. You were actually in pole position anyway, truth be told.

     
  • At 5/2/07 10:01, Anonymous michelle said…

    I totally agree with tip #3! The party starts when the feast is being prepared. We can really see you guys enjoyed cooking.

     
  • At 5/2/07 10:42, Blogger Vanessa said…

    Sam, that pork belly looks delectable. Will you be posting the recipe...please?

     
  • At 5/2/07 10:45, Blogger Amanda said…

    What are you doing next weekend? Ha!

    In all seriousness, I still feel like I was hit by a truck after you dragged me out of bed at 7:30 a.m., made me drink champagne all day, and had me slaving over a hot stove while you laid around and had Fred feeding you peeled grapes (peeled by me) and bonbons and fanned you with a big feather thing.

     
  • At 5/2/07 10:54, Blogger Barbara said…

    Brilliantly documented Sam.

     
  • At 5/2/07 11:26, Anonymous umami said…

    Wow! this fly on the wall is drooling all over the kitchen floors. Your guests are very lucky to have been invited.

     
  • At 5/2/07 11:32, Anonymous bea at la tartine gourmande said…

    This is magnificent Sam. I love every step of it. Wish I had been there to join in and to "mettre la main à la pâte)!

     
  • At 5/2/07 11:56, Blogger Trig said…

    Blimey. Not so much a post as a cookery book! The "professionals" out there must be getting really worried.

     
  • At 5/2/07 12:16, Blogger ChrisB said…

    Sam gorgeous photo; this looks a wonderful meal. Hope Fred kept the chefs nicely watered or should I say wined.

     
  • At 5/2/07 12:49, Anonymous Jennifer Jeffrey said…

    Wonderful post! You never go halfway... bravo.

     
  • At 5/2/07 14:18, Blogger cookiecrumb said…

    Very impressive, and I'm sure you will have introduced new fast friends. As it turns out, SFMike, Tony, Cranky and I shared a meal this weekend, thanks to a similar introduction from you. xxx

    Amanda: Were you wearing the I Dream of Jeanie costume while you fanned Sam? Pictures! We want pictures.

     
  • At 5/2/07 14:43, Anonymous Jeanne Feldkamp said…

    i second the request for the pork belly recipe. i thought i'd died and gone to heaven when we were eating that.

    again, THANK YOU both for such a lovely meal. i already knew you were exceptionally talented, but you definitely outdid yourselves. brava!

     
  • At 5/2/07 15:40, Blogger Catherine said…

    Impressive - what's that pear and roquefort dish? The pine nut tarts look great.

     
  • At 5/2/07 17:36, Anonymous Chicken Fried Gourmet said…

    Wow this all looks really delicious, I too am looking forward to the pork belly recipe. Great photos.

     
  • At 5/2/07 18:18, Blogger Alice Q said…

    Wow - fantastic! I wish I had friends like you down here!

     
  • At 5/2/07 18:59, Blogger wheresmymind said…

    I so love that hat!!

     
  • At 5/2/07 22:36, Blogger NS said…

    Sounds, and looks, like a truly fantastic meal!

     
  • At 6/2/07 05:46, Blogger Sally Lomax said…

    Wow. Looks wonderful. Can I come to dinner pleae, next time I happen to be in the States. (I last visited the States fifteen years ago, so I guess it will be a while yet! So no need to panic!)

    Sally

     
  • At 6/2/07 06:11, Blogger Kevin said…

    Sam,
    Great tips -- especially the last one. Are you going to post the pork belly recipe?

     
  • At 6/2/07 06:22, Anonymous Marieke said…

    Great way to show a fantastic food time. Useful tips ;-) recognisable.

     
  • At 6/2/07 08:13, Blogger Gemma said…

    That looks like an incredible meal and I loved the layout of the story.

     
  • At 6/2/07 08:17, Anonymous Sarah said…

    Holy Yumminess Sam. Those pic's you posted look delightful. I have hosted some dinner parties myself and i totally agree with the speadsheet- I am bound to forget something if I don't make a list before hand. I hope all was great and I am so jealous!

    Sarah

     
  • At 6/2/07 08:27, Anonymous L said…

    Great photo essay Sam! How great to have so many friends to cook such a wonderful meal!

    -L

     
  • At 6/2/07 12:05, Anonymous rob said…

    Damn! That's a tonne of work. Sam, the meal looks superb. By the way, cipollini confit sounds unbelievably good. Am I understanding this right? Did you confit the cipollini in the pork fat from the pork belly? Love it.

    I love your lemon tart, too. There's a pine nut crust with lemon sabayon tart in The French Laundry Cookbook. Pine nut crust is wonderful.

    Can I ask the all important, so how much time did you actually get to spend with your guests at the party question?

     
  • At 6/2/07 17:33, Blogger shuna fish lydon said…

    looks absolutely stunning, thanks for all the photos along the way!

    now, a fine point... you & amanda and your partner(s)?! I seem to remember ntruding one such person to one such person, albeit at your house... this future ex boyfriend is very happy for my future ex girlfriend!

    maybe I can come one day and pay for it by being the dishwasher?

    but this is my serious question-- does the food taste as good if you make it yourself? I like making things like this, but tend to forsake the food once it's made...

     
  • At 6/2/07 18:59, Blogger Sara said…

    wow! what an amazing party! will you post some of the recipes? not sure my cramped manhattan apt. could really turn this out (or that i could!!!) but it is incredibly tempting.-ms. foodmusing's little sister

     
  • At 7/2/07 01:42, Blogger Beccy said…

    Wow Sam, that looks like one great feast. How I wish you lived closer!

     
  • At 7/2/07 05:17, Blogger Christina said…

    Gosh, that looks like it was a divine dinner party! :-) Love the photo essay, great idea.

     
  • At 7/2/07 07:54, Blogger Sam said…

    so many comments thank you - sorry brief reply answering some of the specific questions and points raise -

    i wish amanda was telling the truth and that she really had peeled me grapes -

    about the pork belly recipe - I guess i will mention it in my monthly recipe roundup at the end of te month, BUT it is not my recipe to print because recipes are copyrighted, I will give you some clues and another plug for my favourite recipe book

    i will also later write about the pear roquefort trifle which I loved and was impressive and easy to make

    shuna - I don't think you can really take credit for that since I was plotting it for months and yes - this time the food did taste that good, maybe it has something to do with cooking with a partner rather than by yourself, because I have experienced what you describe when doing it by myself, but not this time - everything was amazing and just as good if not better than more than half the restaurants in town.

    i will probably definitely post up the citrus salad reciep and maybe the tuna - we'll see.

    I'll do my best but no promises cos there are jsut not enough hours in any day!

    thanks for all the comments

    sam

     
  • At 7/2/07 09:24, Blogger 5%C. said…

    I am a chef. On behalf of all chefs around the world--thank you for raising "get the chef a glass of bubbly" awareness. May peace be with you.

    .:tt:.
    http://5percentcelery.blogspot.com/

     
  • At 8/2/07 08:56, Blogger Garrett said…

    All great meals start with a glass for the chef! I only hope that one day I can achieve the level of skill and dedication in the kitchen that you have Sam! You can really see all the months of planning and years of trial, error, and lessons learned in that meal and those pictures. Truly amazing.

    Maybe you should open an underground restaurant?
    >^.^<

     
  • At 8/2/07 12:51, Blogger Amy said…

    I've got a cooking degree and I love pork fat can I come to your next party? (I need an excuse to come home and your dinners seem reason enough to me!!!)

    Bisous,
    Ms. Glaze

     
  • At 8/2/07 13:42, Blogger Kanchana said…

    Your photographs are beautiful! I love food blogs and your's is one I will return to. I've also started one on South Indian Food if you have a chance to take a look :)Kanchana's Kitchen- www.kanchspot.blogspot.com

     
  • At 8/2/07 14:51, Blogger susan said…

    hi sam! your dinner party sounds awesome. :D my favorite rule is: "5) Only cook with people who aren't scared of pork fat."

     
  • At 9/2/07 08:04, Blogger mac said…

    Great pictures. I don't have a culinary degree but I am not afraid of pork fat. I have been meaning to braise a pork belly, this may be the inspiration I need.

    Cheers.

     
  • At 9/2/07 09:18, Blogger Helene said…

    What version of photoshop are you using? I love your website and pics.

     
  • At 11/2/07 06:18, Blogger Pomiane said…

    Sounds perfect! I definitely agree with the need for constantly re-fuelled glasses as an adjunct to cooking. Surprisingly, most published recipes omit this bit....
    I think you would be interested in Heston Blumenthal's slow-cook methods for meat....I've worked with them a bit, and the results are amazing. Check him out on the web...

    Andrew

     

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