10 day buffet @ vineyard- ideas, recipes for Pinot/Chard friendly, French inspired delights please!
I am a private chef for a couple who own a vineyard that grows only Pinot Noir & Chardonnay..we have a 10day period coming up coinciding with a major Pinot Noir event. They would like me to have a buffet prepared for their friends and invites, that will sing with their high-end output. Their winemaker does things the "french" way and they are anxious for me to WOW all their clients/friends. I am blessed with all the equiptment and grocery buying power one could ask for- open to YOUR suggestions & ideas...and recipe links. Thank you in advance- I look forward to reading your input.
Thank you everyone!
It is not that I have no idea what to serve....I just wanted to see what others might come up with, and even if I use none of your suggestions, they are in my journal now- THANK YOU!
I appreciate the time it takes to respond...I think one of the easiest things/best recieved things I have done, during the harvest of 2011- foie gras / homemade brioche with a pinot noir gelee.
With two meals a day for ten days the possibilities are limitless! I would definitely offer a daily quiche on the lunch buffet, changing up the ingredients. Sandwiches on baguettes or croissants with delicious cheeses and different meats. Molded pates, duck or pork rillettes on salads, blanched room-temp vegetables in dijon vinaigrette. Individual onion soups, if that's not too fussy/labor intensive. Poached pears, fruit croustades, mini-eclairs or fruit/cheese platters for desserts.
As for dinner, what French main dish DOESN'T go with Pinot? I could see a cassoulet working well on a buffet. Coq au vin. Full tenderloins of beef, roasted whole and carved either to order or sliced on a platter and served room temperature. Potato gratin or pommes Anna. Creamy vegetable soups. Here's a link to my own take on saucisson aux lentilles, which gets raves every time I serve it: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/8152...
For dessert, a perfect creme brulee, a killer chocolate mousse, a fruit tart, etc. I'm hungry just thinking about this event - how do I get an invite????
Yeah but the Op's request is so obscure that I can't understand how you come to the conclusion that she is cooking two meals per day for ten days. Or that those meals include brunch and dinner. Is she cooking brunch for 10 different days using the same menu for different guests? Is she expecting to cook one set menu for the same guests for 10 days in a row? What season is she cooking in? How many guests and how long does she need to hold the food. This request is so badly worded that even though the idea intrigued me I couldn't respond even though I have done amateur wine and food events for years.
Didn't mean to stump anyone, jees! In my 2nd post- I make clear I am cooking for 10 dinners, some lunches.
Just looking for recipe ideas- it is my job to cook- hold and serve- and I am capable of taking a recipe and making it happen vs having to follow a post in home cooking boards to a t....
10 day dinner menu is what I am shooting for. Certain to repeat more than one dish- we are on site and I am not sure how many guests- this was dropped in my lap a week ago and we are doing it at the end of February- in California.
Food goes from kitchen to grand room next door and folks serve themselves- nothing to hold, though I do have a 8 burner and oven, plus 2 more double ovens. Substantial fridge and freezer. And a warmer.
Sorry, I didn't see the second post that this was mainly dinner. Obviously the wines are the stars and everything begins and ends with their flavor profiles. You need to really know the wines and think about what would compliment and enhance them. Is the chardonnay robust , buttery, oaky, floral, or berry flavored, or does it have hints of grapefruit etc. Same with the pinot. The nice thing about pinot is that it pairs so very well with a wide variety of foods. I am just a home mostly self taught cook but when I agreed to help my sister with a dinner she and a friend offered for a charity auction that had to be paired with high end wines (the winning bid was $4000. for a dinner for 8) I learned a lot! We tasted and tasted and tasted some more with many different wine and food combinations. Basically we picked the wines we liked the most and worked around them to tailor the food. In a few cases we found that the wine we thought best as a stand alone was not the best for a dish even after tinkering with the recipe. Sometimes that meant ditching the higher priced and more desirable wine for a cheaper but more suitable pairing.
I've served Poached Pacific Oysters with a Chardonnay & Shallot Sabayon with Chardonnay and with Champagne. The shucked oysters are lightly poached then returned to their bottom shell, topped with sauteed spinach then topped with a sabayon sauce and finished briefly under the broiler. These would work on a buffet because temperature is not crucial. A crab, citrus and fresh coconut salad would work with a chardonnay as would crab cakes with a red and yellow pepper coulis. I am a big fan of the salmon cornets from The French Laundry cookbook but found that the cornets are too hard to make for a large gathering and that smoked salmon worked better (for me) than fresh salmon tartare. We ended up with smoked salmon napoleons (using the cornet batter) and red onion creme fraiche.
I love lamb with pinot noir. Hazelnut crusted rack of lamb with a tomato, fennel ragout and lamb demi-glace with shallot, tomato and olive brine is a dish I have served with pinot noir to great reviews. I do lamb noisettes (cut from the rack) and make a sauce using the rack bones and veal demi-glace plus veggies and herbs to make a sauce and pair it with a triple layered vegetable terrine (mushroom layer, spinach layer and tomato concasse layer). The tomato layer and the mushroom layer get white wine but you could substitute chardonnay or pinot. This might be a problem if serving buffet style as the terrine is stacked using metal round molds and then unmolded and I have always served plated. Lamb osso buco with olive and capers or tapenade is always great with pinot just make sure the braising wine works with the serving wine. This, obviously will hold forever although I like to keep the gremolata on the side.
We served the prosciutto wrapped apple & porcini stuffed pork loin with roasted apples from the December Bon Appetite with pinot and it worked really well Note however the cooking times for that recipe are way off and need to be reduced significantly. The roasted apples became part of the luscious sauce as they were too over-cooked to serve. If either wine pairs well with apple and a hint of calvados this is a great dish.
Flans,sformatos or custards (whatever you like to call them) are great for buffets. I like a good parmesan flan with any wine but you could make a couple with whatever vegetables are best in California in February. You can make them even more luxe by incorporating truffles or truffle oil or change the cheese to one that works with your wines. I like to serve in individual ramekins but if that is not practical bake in larger container and slice.
creamy soups and potato dishes don't necessarily pair well with chardonnay. they can be just too heavy, since chard is not a high acid wine. these kinds of dishes only deaden and exhaust the palate. roasted herby potatoes? sure.
i'm also finding it strange that someone who is a personal chef has no idea what to serve?
artichokes and asparagus are notoriously finicky with wine pairing, so avoid them on your menus.
be careful with overly assertive vinaigrettes for salads -- the acid will battle with the wine too much.
will you be in napa/sonoma? you will have access to some amazing local produce, seafood, cured meats, olives, nuts, etc. work with what came from the farm that day. lol, i am in new england so nothing is in season right now. with such pristine produce, it doesn't need a lot of gussying up.
work with platters of colorful roasted veggies, offer sauces like red pepper coulis and lemon aioli. cold purees of vegetable soups, but not dairy-based. use stock or nuts.
platters of cured meats. roast duck and salmon are killer with pinot noir. perfect roast chicken. roast suckling pigs are pretty cool presentations and killer with pinot noir.
pates and rilettes are a great suggestion.
eta: i have had the privilege of being a guest at some of the most exclusive wineries in napa, sonoma and the willamette valley. (france too, but that is ot here.) some are owned by french concerns, some have french winemakers and some have french chefs. they ALL served what i would call west coast cuisine, focusing on local products. remember, the wines are the star here. the food is a supporting player to make them really sing.