Archive for September, 2008

View from the Villa in St. Tropez and celebrating Benj’s b-day

This place is sick! Makes the place in Sardinia look like a total shit hole. Wind up a hill through a private gate and you are home for the Daring crew for 2 weeks…me, just a long week….wish I was staying longer.

If you were wondering, the pool is heated...sick!

If you were wondering, the pool is heated...sick!

View from the pool deck

View from the pool deck

Out of my left eye

Out of my left eye

Side outdoor dining area...Table set for Benj's birthday dinner

Side outdoor dining area...Table set for Benj's birthday dinner

Another reason to love the French...they sell sparklers instead of candles.  The cake is a triple chocolate espresso cake.  I'll give you the recipe later.

Another reason to love the French...they sell sparklers instead of candles. The cake is a triple chocolate espresso cake. I'll give the recipe later.

Everyone happy I made them put on the hats.

Everyone happy I made them put on the hats.

Sammy Unicorn

Sammy Unicorn

Bennie Beanie

Bennie Beanie

Mougins, Picasso and Food

Leaving the airport in Nice traveling to St. Tropez it was fitting that Josh and I stopped in the town of Mougins for lunch. Having recently read a Picasso biography, and being reminded by my francophile husband, Josh, I was intrigued by the town that Pablo Picasso decided to make his home. As early as 1935 Picasso discovered Mougins in the company of the photographer Man Ray. In 1961 until his death in 1973, Picasso and his wife Jacqueline made Mougins their home. On a more contemporary level, Mougins has more recently been host to The Festival International De La Gastronomie and honors one grand chef of the world each year. Mougins was magical. I would love to return here some day for an extended stay. Until then, I leave you with a couple of images from this 10th Century hilltop pedestrian only village.

Josh waling the narrow streets that corkscrew up the hill

Josh waling the narrow streets that corkscrew up the hill

Don't you just love it

Don't you j'adore it!

French Cats, American Cats, Vietnamese Cats...all cats I hate.  This one was particularly creepy.

French Cats, American Cats, Vietnamese Cats...all cats I hate. This one was particularly creepy.

Rabbit Terrine and a mesculin salad for lunch...amazing

Rabbit Terrine and a mesclun greens salad for lunch...amazing

Cappuccino....sucked.  I'm spoiled from Italy.

Cappuccino....sucked. I'm spoiled from Italy.

A vision of things to come...Josh in 40 years...if we can just find a beret to fit his huge cranium.

A vision of things to come...Josh in 40 years...if we can just find a beret to fit his huge cranium.

After a burger shoot

Thanks to the thousands of you who were interested in our little burger shoot. Here is one of the final image cards pitched to the client.

Gianni Versace would be proud

Okay, before you think I have some kind of chair fetish, please note that two chairs left when these SWEET chairs came in last week.  How could I say no to the crack my designer friend Lynn was selling when she told me I had to see the two new chairs she acquired to sell.  My eyes glazed over and I started shaking.  Had to have them….Had to.  Silver leafed spider backs with python print on the cushion and silver studding.  Welcome home.

On closer inspection...these rock!

On closer inspection...these rock!

Amy Sedaris and the meat cake

Just had dinner with some food stylist friends from NY, which brought back fond memories of working with them on a few particularly slightly unpleasant shoots in the past. Laughable now, but dramatically tragic then. Fortunately this was one of my favs. I love me some Amy Sedaris and was honored to have made her cold cut cake. Can’t wait for her next book to come out…maybe I can style a raw meat tiramisu for it.

Cold Cut Cake Masterpiece

Just act like you don't see the meat cake and maybe it will go away

To Libbie, Drinking kills feelings, Good Times!  Thanks for making the meat cake

To Libbie, Drinking kills feelings, Good Times! Thanks for making the meat cake

The feelings are all mine.

Colosseum check!

On our way home from Italy, we had one last stop in Rome. Enough time for a great dinner with new friends made in Sardinia, Tom and Pam, and a sunsetting trip to the Colosseum. Faux Centurians beware.

The only thing bigger than Josh's head

The only thing bigger than Josh's head

City wide clean up day not slated until December

City wide clean up day not slated until December

My food journal for Sardinia

So enough about the digs and people…now about the food and of course spotlight on me for the week. I always keep a food journal when I travel to cook…something about a future book deal. A few weeks ago it was shrimp and cajun fries with Michelle Obama in Virgina…that’s an easy one to note in the journal. This one was so much food, I could barely remember to write down the most important. With 12 guys and two significant others, someone is always hungry, thirsty, sober or drunk. Everyday included a 3 hour trip to the markets loading and unloading my fiesty punta. 3 refers filled to the brim. I kept the menu primarily Italian since I could buy unbelievably great fresh pasta….god knows there was no time to make my own and what kind of an idiot would I be to try. I hope it makes you hungry…some of it just made me cry.

S/Y Daring Food Journal
Rolex Swan Cup Porto Cervo, Italy  (1st time on the island…second largest island in the Caribbean.  VERY cosmopolitan and chic.  My Italian sucks, but I am getting by.  Cooking at a Villa overlooking the Bay in Puerto Cervo.
Day 1 (Friday September 5, 2008):  Arrival and Provisioning
Breakfast:  N/A
Lunch:  N/A
Dinner:
Apps:  Antipasti Platter of Local Olives and Marinated Artichokes|;  Local Figs stuffed with Gorgonzola, wrapped with Proscuitto and broiled
*Mache and Beet salad with toasted pine nuts and a lemon balsamic dressing
*Lasagnette Pasta with local Brie, Tomatoes and basil served with warm garlic rubbed Spianatine Sarde (large round flatbread)
*Dessert:  Local Gelato trio (lemon, chocolate and strawberry)

Day 2 (Saturday September 6, 2008)
Breakfast:  Organic yogurt with fresh local blackberries.  Cereal and cappuccino.
Lunch:  Pannini of grilled chicken and fresh pesto on morning-baked ciabatta.
Apps:  Local wild boar (chingali) sausage, bull sausage and sliced local pears
Dinner: Very late….crew arrives after a lame party…hungry! Red sauce that had been cooking all day with fresh pork chops falling on the bone.  Big bowls with loads of fresh bread for the dipping.

Day 3 (Sunday September 7, 2008)
Breakfast:  Organic yogurt with local berries, cereal, hard boiled eggs, espresso and orange juice
Lunch:  Underway (Race training for crew)…sandwiches of pesto, cheese and procuitto
Apps:  Deep Fried cheese ravioli with marinara sauce for dipping
Dinner:
*Lemon and Rosemary Roasted fresh hens
*Caprese Stacks
*Radicchio, Fennel and Parmesan Salad
*Focaccia Rolls with Roasted Garlic Spread
*Dessert:   Trio of Gelatti (lemon, strawberry, chocolate) with
Amaretti cookie and Macchiato

Day 4 (Monday September 8, 2008)
Breakfast:  Fresh Croissant, mixed local berries, yogurt, cereal, espresso and juice
Lunch: (Race Training/Lunch Underway) Sandwiches of three different local hams with spicy mustard and local cheese
Apps:  Roasted Pepper Dip with pizza dough chips
Dinner:
Large Local Caught Scampi/Lobster grilled outdoors
Caesar Salad
Gemelli with Olive oil, garlic and parsley
Dessert:  Boca Negra with white chocolate Rum sauce,
Espresso

Day 5 (Tuesday September 9, 2008)
Breakfast:   Herb scrambled eggs, sliced peaches, croissant, toast, jam, cereal, espresso and juice
Lunch:  (Day 1 of racing/Lunch underway) Sandwiches of grilled chicken breasts with melted Swiss and homemade pesto
Apps:  Local Sausages, sliced pears and Parmesan cheese
Dinner:
*Arugula Salad
*Meaty Lasagna
*Freshly Baked Herb Garlic Bread
*Dessert:  Fresh Blackberry Cobbler with panna gelatti

Day 6 (Wednesday September 10, 2008)
Breakfast:  Grilled local spiced sausages, herbed scrambled eggs, sliced fresh fruit, organic yogurt, honey, cereal, espresso and juice
Lunch:  (Day 2 of racing/Lunch Underway) Sandwiches of wafer thin sliced ham warmed in a pan with Swiss cheese and piled high on a focaccia roll with honey mustard
Apps:  Sautéed Mushrooms with sliced baguette, mascarpone pancetta dip with sliced baguette and cold green local grapes
Dinner:
*Chunky Lemon Artichoke Soup topped with a Quail egg and crispy Pancetta
*Linguini with Salmon in a cream sauce
*Warm Focaccia Rolls
*Dessert:  Gelatti with Raspberry sponge cookies, espresso
And limoncello

DAY 7 (Thursday September 11, 2008)
Breakfast:  Prociutto wrapped melon, hard-boiled eggs, croissant with Nutella and jam, cereal, juice and espresso
Lunch:  (Day 3 of racing…distance race) Two rounds of Sandwiches. 1.) Hot ham and Swiss on focaccia with cherry jam 2.)  Procuitto with Swiss on pizza rolls with a dijonaise sauce
Apps:  N/A
Dinner:
*Spicy corn chowder loaded with chicken, local cheese and Roma Tomatoes
*Fried Italian bread chips for dipping
*Bennie’s favorite Perugina Ice Cream Bars

DAY 8 (Friday September 12, 2008) RACING LAY DAY
Breakfast:  Croissant, strawberries, organic yogurt and honey, sausages, scrambled eggs, cereal, juice and espresso
Lunch:  Sandwiches underway, hot procuitto and cheese on pizza rolls
Apps:  Local Sardines in Olive Oil with fresh baked Italian bread, chingali sausage, cold grapes
Dinner:
*Homemade pizzas on the outside grill with local sausage, fresh sausage and herbs from the villa
*Spinach and grilled radicchio Salad with a simple lemon dressing
*Jim’s Espresso Gelatti floats

DAY 9 (Saturday September 13, 2008) Race Cancelled due to heavy winds
Breakfast:  Freshly baked banana bread with a compound honey butter, cereal, strawberry yogurt with fresh blueberries and strawberries, juice and espresso
Lunch:  Pulled chicken sandwiches with a dijonaise sauce on soft Italian bread
Apps/Snacks:  Chips, popcorn, nuts, grapes, oranges
Dinner:
*Carrot and Squash soup poured over homemade croutons
And drizzled with local honey
*Lightly sautéed Thick Cut local pork chops topped with
Pear bundles, wrapped with procuitto and baked in the
Oven
*Rosemary and white chocolate mashed potatoes with a
Balsamic reduction sauce
*Dessert:  Tiramisu and espresso

DAY 10 (Sunday September 14, 2008) Last day of racing
Breakfast:  Eggs lightly scrambled with spinach and tomato, or pancetta.  Cereal, yogurt, sliced kiwi, banana bread, juice and espresso
Lunch:  Underway.  Sandwiches of local spec on French rolls with Swiss cheese and pesto
Apps:  Eggplant and garlic dip with sliced bread
Dinner:
*Tossed romaine salad
*Meatballs stuffed with mozzarella in a roasted red pepper      red sauce served over spaghetti
*Warm Garlic Ciabatta
*Dessert:  Chocolate and Vanilla swirled gelatti with a strawberry sauce and espresso

DAY 11 (Monday September 15, 2008) Race week over majority of owner and crew departing
Breakfast:  Freshly baked blackberry bread, juice and espresso
Lunch:  White chocolate Rosemary Potato Pancakes topped with two fried eggs and crispy procuitto
Dinner:  OUT…Agriturrismo

White Hot

White Hot

Midnight Sandwich making

Midnight Sandwich making

Getting ready to plate the main

Getting ready to plate the main/salmon roe at the ready