Tuesday, June 19, 2012

chelsea's dinners

i've written quite a bit about the pursuit of passions.....not only of mine...but also of those i am fortunate to be friends with. since the inception of this blog, i have referred to one of the most talented cooks i know as CK. 

over the past decade i've smiled quite gleefully when straight male friends enter a state of bliss when they taste her food....and before they can offer up any impromptu marriage proposals, i tell them "you know chelsea's in love with/married to louis right?....oh, and did you know that she's also wickedly smart? oh....and did you know that she's really good at giving massages?".


i have such a mean sense of humor sometimes.

over the past few years, i have listened quite intently as chelsea spoke of her desire to extend her passion for cooking in a professional environment. i have also observed quite intensely as she volunteered and worked at industry events, conducted her own catering projects, held a popup dinner in oakland, delighted quite a few people with her food at my rye whiskey tasting party, and even quietly set up a stand and completely sold out of her wares at the lower haight holiday market last december. 

while i have written about chelsea's appearance at the lower haight holiday market....what i didn't say in that posting was how fascinating it was....watching how many strangers ended up hawking chelsea's holiday goodies for us that day. for example, there was this amazingly nice lower haight record store owner that had set up his stand next to ours....and instead of selling his music.... he was telling folks about chelsea's brittle and how they should buy it! i actually wasn't surprised that this happened. the proof of her passion and talent is in the taste, texture, technique, and flavor profiles of her food.......as well as how people connect with her food.

so you can imagine my excitement when chelsea told me that she was planning to put on a series of multicourse dinners at various locations....and that the first dinners would be inspired by north africa for a contribution of $40 per person. 

she also forwarded me the menu.....

  • Chicken and Walnut Rillettes with Housemade Crackers and Pickled Vegetables
  • Spinach Falafel with Beet Tzatziki
  • Grilled Apricots with Spiced Dates, Housemade Yogurt Cheese and Savory Granola
  • North African Spiced Lamb with Carrot, Feta and Harissa Salad and Hand Rolled Couscous
  • Housemade Yogurt Rose Mousse with Strawberries and Pistachio Meringues

i immediately reserved a couple of spots and brought along and treated a friend of mine (who is also, coincidentally enough, an amazing cook as well) to the dinner. 

despite us knowing each other for such a long time....i was rather belligerently insistent regarding paying for the dinners. as she is starting out, i wanted to support her. also, i had a feeling that i was going to write about it. as many industry folks have already found out....i can be quite stubborn about paying. this is an understatement.

i absolutely loved the meal and was happy to have a chance to take a few pics. when my dining companion and i left the dinner to make our way to our prospective apartments....my friend said to me "that was outstanding". yes....yes it was. later that night...when i arrived home...i was very happy to text chelsea to let her know what they thought....as i had a feeling that kind of validation would be nice to have.

if you'd like to have a chance to have this same meal....chelsea is showcasing this same menu on the 30th of june at 6:30pm. if you are interested in booking a spot or want to ask any questions, you can contact her at chelseasdinners (at) gmail.com. the exact location will be revealed after booking is completed.

unfortunately, chelsea and the family got the flu.....so she had to cancel the dinner. stay tuned for one of chelsea's dinners in late july....

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