A few weeks ago I introduced Tom to Simon. Tom, as you might remember, was the last person I reported to at Insightful before the layoffs, merger, and my new overloads took over supplying me a paycheck. Tom, however, is much more than a boss -- more like a life-long friend that happened to show up at work one day.
Simon is the husband of Vena, my first friend in Seattle (I met Rishi shortly after, both at the Pearl cafe). He trimmed our trees recently, and has impressed me with his culinary skills at Vena's parents' house years ago.
We invited these to boys over for dinner, and they ate politely, and we had a very good time. They made it clear they would be back, and not to eat. To cook.
Tom and Simon convinced Quincy and I to host a dinner where they would do most of the cooking. They like our stove. So, we did. First, we invited Megan and Scott, friends of Quincy who I just can't get enough of. Scott is a talented musician and Megan is a brilliant blogger and crafter (check her stuff out at Not Martha). They had gotten along swell with Vena and Simon at our house warming. I like inviting Jake to any gathering, because he is the consummate mingler; one of the best party attenders and hosts I have ever met.
Of course, we invited Maggi and Jeff & Rishi and Jamie, but their schedules were booked. Vena and Simon invited Vince, a talented musician and soft soul.
As a surprise, Megan and Talina were in town for the weekend, so they joined us. At this point, the quiet panic was in our bellies, and Quincy and I have never put on a dinner for so many people. So, we stopped inviting!
Simon prepared an exquisite trout main course. I can't possibly describe it, you'll have to see it for yourself. There was bacon and cherry tomatoes and lettuce frizzle involved. Simon also baked more than enough polenta cakes with roasted veggies as a side dish, which are so good I've been trying to limit myself to only two slices leftover per day.
Tom has the most intense side dish I have see in the making: a chestnut, celery root side that had subtlety and depth. He also fried us up some green beans and sliced almonds for color. There was not a single bit of either of those sides at the end of the night.
Quincy and I threw together a salad and a dressing from a Jamie Oliver cookbook. Quincy baked rolls, which also were consumed at a frantic pace.
For dessert Tom make a walnut cake swimming in some sort of sauce that I wish I could describe! I must get the spelling of the French words that mean "melted ice cream from heaven." There was one slice left over, but only because I hid it behind the microwave.
As if the food, conversation and company weren't enough, Vince and Simon set up with guitar and drum box and blessed us with mellow, soulful, relaxing ambient music at the end of dinner.
Overall, this first Cooks' Dinner was a huge success. We missed a couple things, and the "front of the house" fell over; but we'll get it right next time. Simon is lobbying for dinner for 30 -- I guess it's time to buy some comfortable kitchen chairs!