What is the most elaborate meal you ever cooked?
I once made a Thanksgiving meal with 11 courses. 8 guests.
Started with an amuse.
Followed by pick grapefruit with white cherry.
Oyster Rockefeller variant with artichoke hearts in place of oyster shell.
White shallot soup
Salmon en croutte
Turkey, walnut stuffing, sweet potato, asparagas
Hot dessert with coffee
I paired wines with each course, and the whole thing took 8 hours for me and my guests. It was wonderful. I have never attempted anything so grand ever again. I would do so in a heart beat if the opportunity presented. Anyone else strive this way, or am I a little weird in my aspirations?
New Year Even 1999 (Y2K fears in full swing, LOL) for 16. I spent weeks preparing everything from scratch. One guest did all the hunting for the game items. We served cocktails during the apps, had wines to match each dinner course and served champagne at midnight and with desserts.
duck wrapped in bacon and grilled
local bay scallops, simply seared
assorted brined olives
Dinner: served over a 4-5 hour time period
Butternut squash bisque
venison steaks with a spiced cherry glaze and
endive, arugula and fennel salad
local pork loin roast stuffed with spinach, feta and dried cranberries
meyer lemon granita
Dessert: served buffet style after midnight.
assorted butter cookie with ginger ice cream
mini fruit tarts
molten carmel cake
chocolate covered strawberries
It was amazing and everyone spent the night so no worries about designated drivers!
The next morning I had huge breakfast buffet, again all made from scratch. It included coffee cakes, sweet rolls, eggs benedict, bagels (shipped in, I drew the line at making those!), smoked salmon, cream cheese, quiches. I have forgotten the rest.
For those that stayed for the day I brought out a big pot of french onion soup around 4:00. I put out mugs, basket of toasted french bread and grated gruyere and let people help themselves.
I don't think I have ever cooked that much since!
While not elaborate, my most ambitious meal happens on an island in the Indian River. It is known as Dale's Diner.
I cook breakfast for who ever shows on Memorial Day Sunday morning out of the cockpit of my boat on a two burner propane cooktop.
eggs to order
omelets to order with sweet pepper, hot pepper, onions,ham, bacon, shredded pork, cheese, and anything else I may have on hand
Prep takes about 3 hours that morning and my record is over 50 people fed in about an hour and a half. Using two woks and a large cast iron skillet.
Everybody brings their own beverage of choice and keep me happy with strong black coffee.
Ill be doing 10 courses for 7 on christmas eve, but I have it pretty well planned out so it should run smoothly. Soup course/foie gras terrine/duck confit etc are all able to be made the day before.
In terms of the most elaborate meal Ive ever cooked period it was for work during f1 weekend this year in austin. 14 courses for 70 people. Thats a lot of plates to put out even with a team ><
I'm not sure I recall any specific details but it's bound to have one of those very rare occasions when we've made three courses, without recourse to buying one of them.
Almost certainly a Christmas lunch. One sticks in my mind from around 20 years ago. We started with soup - vegetable, I think. Followed by turkey. And a steamed Christmas Pudding, with brandy sauce, for dessert.
Found it challenging, culinary-wise, and, certainly for a big family gathering we've not repeated it - now buying the Pudding and, usually the starter as well, if it's not been something that can be prepared easily.
Much as we love to cook and to eat, we don't try and prepare complicated food these days - no fancy sauces, no difficult last minute touches - and very much leave that sort of meal to when we eat in restaurants. Professional chefs, even at bistro level, are so much better cooks than I am.