Sunday, January 08, 2006

Pâté Party

Tonight we had the honor of being invited to a cooking school banquet in NYC -- a grand buffet of pâtés, terrines, and assorted appetizers. It was a fabulously decadent display of all things bite-sized, loglike, and brickish. Our friend the ace student worked hard in her chef whites, but she eventually got to stop and have a glass of champagne.

I actually arrived before Margy, who'd gone shopping, in a moment of calm before the storm. Within minutes of my taking this somewhat serene photograph, hordes of people streamed into the room and began eating. A long, carefully molded rectangle of lentil salad collapsed under serving spoons and spread all over its dish. Mini crabcakes seemed to fly off a plate at time-lapse speed. Mirrored trays that held slices of pâté were quickly left streaked and empty. It was great.

Just for the heck of it I'll try to remember as many things as I can (guessing a lot):

* Smoked duck quesadillas with guacamole
* Crisp-edged mini potato pancakes topped with smoked salmon, caviar, and cream
* Risotto balls
* Lentil salad pressed into a 2-foot-long log, with greens on a prosciutto-lined platter
* Couscous, also in a log
* Assorted vegetable, seafood, poultry, and meat terrines and pâtés
* Crabcakes with mustard
* Sausage in crust
* Foie gras pâté in crust
* Red pepper tartlets
* Small clear jars containing colorful layers of spinach, carrot, and cauliflower gelatin (in back of photo)
* Aspics served in spoons and tiny bowls (in foreground of photo)
* A dessert table with filled chocolates, chocolate/fruit terrines, and a white chocolate treasure chest bursting with chocolate/caramel/krispies candies

The event was really fun, and I admired the students who had put it together. Their presentations were very attractive, and their food tasted great. I hope they're proud of their accomplishment. It clearly involved tons of work, from just 16 people.

That must be about a kilo of gelatin per person!

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