It was a joyous celebration – 90 years young! On the weekend I Chef’d for a wonderful family (4 sisters) celebrating their mum’s 90th birthday. As a Chef, I know that presentation is a feast for the eyes before the tongue has a chance to taste anything. Well in this particular case, the presentation was not only the food but the venue as well.

The living room was decorated beautifully with fresh cut flowers – with even more being brought in as each guest arrived, lovely china and linens. A beautiful large cornucopia (created by one of the hostesses, offered the seasonal bounty of vegetables and fruits, adorned one side of the kitchen island, the other side was being used by me to prepare the meal.

There were 7 hors d’ oeuvres – 3 types of Bruschetta – Tomato, Wild Mushroom, and Herb Pesto, Salmon Croquettes, Turkey Sliders on Focaccia adorned with garlic, rosemary, sea salt, and spicy toppings in olive oil, Pork and Shrimp meatballs, and a new addition to the menu – Edamame, Pea and White Asparagus Salad with a Spicy Vinaigrette. These went nicely with a couple of Food Inspires house specials – Spiced Flank Steak served on Crisp Lettuce dotted with Reduced Balsamic Vinegar and Asian Pork Belly on Pear Slaw with Mandarin and Lemongrass Crème.

Lunch was Baked Salmon with Lemon and Fried Capers, Lamb Curry, Coconut Rice, Grilled Seasonal Vegetables and Raita. Desserts, a pink fondant covered yellow cake with fig buttercream in the middle and Italian Meringue Buttercream just below the surface of the fondant. We also had Mango Mousse – another favorite signature dish of Food Inspires. In addition, there was a most amazing Pavlova with Passion Fruit coulis (wish I’d taken a bigger piece to try) made by another of the hostesses. I was too busy prepping (and talking) to take a lot of pictures so I’ve asked the hostess to send me any she might have gotten, so check back for more.

These wonderfully talented ladies are all foodies, so in a way, it made me feel right at home. The kitchen was neat and organized with rows of jars filled with dried goods, some recently bottled jars of organic tomatoes and peaches, as well as a remarkable array of spices. I had the opportunity to sample some Shrimp Balchao and Apple Pickle. From one foodie to another, they were both delicious. I’m trying to convince them to share this with all of us – more on this later though.

For now, enjoy the pictures.

Pink Fondant Yellow Cake with Fresh Fig Buttercream

Pink Fondant Yellow Cake with Fresh Fig Buttercream

90th Birthday - Salmon2

Baked Salmon with Lemon and Fried Capers