Sunday, June 20, 2010

French Laundry Tasting Party

One day, I was feeling ambitious and without much thought, invited a few friends to showcase my newly-found skills for gourmet cooking, thanks to the French Laundry cookbook. As I was planning the canap├ęs I will be making, I felt even more ambitious and decided to go all out for a sit-down tasting dinner instead.

Seven courses, 42 platings, 2 full days of slaving in the kitchen -- all for an evening of fun with some of our closest friends. It was worth it.

Here's all the plates we used.
French Laundry Tasting Party (1)

Our friend, an avid wine collector, took care of the wine pairings.

French Laundry Tasting Party (6)

The table setting.
French Laundry Tasting Party (2)

I made personalized laundry clips and printed menu.
French Laundry Tasting Party (3)

Second Course: Cream of Walnut Soup, 3 Ways
French Laundry Tasting Party (9)

Third course: Gruyere Cheese Gougeres
French Laundry Tasting Party (10)

Forth Course: Surprise Dish
(Roasted Pork Belly in Maple-Soy Reduction)
We paired it with a bottle of 2006 LLyton Springs, savoring
each sip knowing this is on the wine list at the FL restaurant itself -- a list which btw, is 104 pages long!
French Laundry Tasting Party (11)

Course 4.2: Parmigiano-Reggiano Crisps with Goat Cheese Mousse
French Laundry Tasting Party (12)

Fifth Course: Gazpacho
French Laundry Tasting Party (10.5)

Sixth Course: Wheat Penne with Sweet Potato & Sage Cream Sauce
French Laundry Tasting Party (13)

Seventh Course: Cappuccino Semifreddo with Custard Quenelle
French Laundry Tasting Party (14)

The custard quenelle is my my own take on the all-time Filipino favorite, Brazo de Mercedes.
I designed it myself, one afternoon while waiting for the hubz to pick me up at work.
French Laundry Tasting Party (15)

French Laundry Tasting Party (4)

And now for my outfits...

This is what I wore the first time we hosted.

french laundry tasting
-- F21 kimono dress -- black bead necklace, gifted -- Ann Taylor headband, gifted --

For the second time, a friend helped me with all the prep so I wasn't as tired and nervous as the first. In fact, I was feeling more confident in the kitchen and got the timing down so that guests were not waiting longer than 5 minutes between courses. Even made some simple fun games to get them more involved like naming the main ingredient, or the herbs & spices used for the dish, or guessing the number of ingredients for the Gazpacho. There's 15, btw!!

french laundry tasting1
french laundry tasting2
-- dress from Manila -- Kors by Michael Kors braided belt -- F21 necklace --

Bon Appetit!!


  1. Wow, AMAZING array of dishes. Sigh, could I be your next dinner guest? You can then be a guest at our place in Singapore. ;)

  2. @Chic 'n Cheap Living - you are welcome guest at my place anytime! =)

  3. This looks amazing. Simply stunning! I love your place settings, your outfits, but I especially LOVE the food you prepared!

  4. Good Morning, Grace.

    woow to your 7 courses, simply amazing how you handled everything as i can imagine how much work it is to cook and prepare everything.
    i´m sure your friends are already excited to come back;)
    Love these little personalized clips!

    Have a lovely week ahead!!!!

  5. hi Grace yes, it's nice to live here in HI but stuff can be expensive here. We would even mostly pay for parking when we eat out.

    I admire your cooking based on the pictures. I'm sure your guests felt that they were eating in a resto of a 5 star hotel. You must have taken so much time preparing all those fancy food. I like your dining table too.

    As usual, you look gorgeous in your outfits.

  6. G,

    You´ll give the finest restaurants a run for their money! ;) Love that new twist of the Brazo de Mercedes. How did you shape the meringue by the way and I´m dying to know how to make the quenelle? Hala,here goes the multiple qs na.hihi!

    Anyhoo, you´re outfits are perfect for hosting your 7-course meal. It should be comfy, flowy and chic all the way. Love the fuschia dress! :)

  7. mouth watering dishes...Grace...yummy!!!

    you are really good in this kinds of things...btw, I love your simple but chic as well...

    take care love

  8. I'm really impressed, especially since I have LIMITED cooking abilities. Everything looks delish--like it was made by a 5 star chef!

    Cute outfits too. :)

  9. wow Grace! i am speechless :)
    How can you make such amazing food? I can't even do one course & yet you did all these 7! I must tell you that you really have a talent Grace. Please continue to impress us with your well presented food. If i lived in the US, i would really invite myself to your house ;)

    P.S I really like your kimono dress!

    btw, you have a really nice home too.

  10. Um, can I be you? I remember seeing some of these pictures on Twitter and even then I thought you are a goddess! I'm so impressed with how talented you are!

  11. Thank you everyone for the comments!

    @Che - there's a quenelle how to vid here, check it out:



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