So if you did invite the 3 food industry people over ... what would you make for dinner?
I would invite Anthony Bourdain, Nigel Slater and Jamie Oliver. The menu would be a full on proper Korean BBQ outside in my back garden during a nice summer day. I know Bourdain likes Asian cuisines but both Slater and Oliver are British chefs and Korean food is still not that well known in the UK.
Menu items would include a full range of meats including kalbi, daejigui (spicy BBQ pork), bulgogi etc along with panchan (side dishes) not normally found in Korean restaurant such as japchae, nabak kimchi, chonggak kimchi etc. Would also serve different Korean alcohols plus beers and wines to show how the food can be matched.
oh wow,my stomach just growled! I'm so hungry now!
1. Ruth Reichl, former NYT restaurant critic, memoirist, and the last editor-chief of Gourmet . I've always loved her writing and passion for real food.
2. Arthur Schwartz, food maven and cookbook author. His book Cooking in a Small Kitchen, purchased in 1978, helped me make a reputation as a wonderful cook.
3. John T. Edge, southern food scholar.
I would begin with an old fashioned relish tray arranged on a vintage yellow oblong Fiestaware dish: slim green onions, celery stuffed with pimento cream cheese, pitted black olives (the kind in a can that I used to stick on the tips of my fingers--my daddy has always called me ripe olive eyes!), and pickled okra. I would cook smothered steak, mashed potatoes to go with the gravy, sauteed carrot ribbons, chilled pickled beets, and my old favorite salad: diced iceberg lettuce, a diced ripe tomato, and a diced avocado with Miracle Whip, salt, and black pepper. For dessert, a choice of one or both of my grandmother's buttermilk pound cake and David Leibovitz's gingerbread with lemon sauce. To drink, sweet iced tea garnished with mint sprigs with a pitcher of unsweet in case the Yankees can't HANDLE the sweet!
oooh, this was fun!
My list was Anthony Bourdain, Jonathan Gold and Alan Richman.
Given the potential fireworks between these parties, I would serve only finger foods that did not require utensils, or ate least anything sharp. That way, any potential bodily damage that could be inflicted would be done through bare knuckles (which break after one or two punches) and not from some sharp unbendable object like a steak knife.
I really don't know who I would invite.
Do I go for the superstar TV chef ? or the unknown next-to-be Michelin starred chef ? or the local "guru" that everyone invites just "because" ?
I'd invite the owner (or owner) of the restaurant "Cuisine&Dependance" (close to home and I like the place). ( to get the insight on working on a neighborhood restaurant that serve market-driven food and the challenge of it)
I'd invite Joel Robuchon to get the insight on the challenge of having a multinational food business and the perils of being needed (or not everywhere).
I'd invite a young wine producer (Arianna Occhipinti or Karim Vionet, or anyother new style wine producers... or if they are not available, Hubert de Montille ) to get the insight on the business of growing "things" and because they would come with some wine! (yeah I'm cheap!)
For food, I keep it simple and hard to fail dishes:
Aperitif : Champagne with some olives, fresh veggies (small cherry tomatoes, radish, ...) maybe some good chips.
Appetizer : Ceviche ( with scallops )
Main : Ossobuco or some other braised meat.
Cheeses : couple of local cheeses.
Dessert : Fresh raspberries and homemade vanilla ice cream.
If they are not going to cook for me, then my criteria changes. I would have Rick Bayless (to pick his brain), Bobby Flay (because I have a thing for redheads), and Paula Deen's son (because he is gorgeous, and has learned from the cradle to be deeply appreciative of a woman's cooking).
I would serve steak and shrimp skewers, wilted dandelion greens with bacon dressing, Portuguese clams with linguiça, french bread, and probably something dairy/creamy/cold for dessert that I could put fresh fruit in. And, of course, lots of wine.
Hmm. Maybe I better take another look at the guest list. I just got way more excited over the menu than I did over the company.