Sunday, October 30, 2011

Castle Gourmet Pop Up Dining

I had really hoped to post more this month, but I have been swamped with a number of things. Earlier this month I was guest pastry chef to my friend Anne Lee's awesome vegan gourmet pop up dinner.  Here's some more info on that: Plus the blog with menu details:

The dinner we prepared was inspired by the weather and had an Indian Summer theme. Think BBQ, burgers, slaw and ice cream, but with hints of the approaching fall season. The first course was a creamy, pumpkin butternut & sage soup garnished with fennel and pomegranate.

Next course was a refined "slaw" of beautiful tri-colored beets, watermelon radish and grilled avocado, served over a bed of watercress with a mustard vinaigrette. The colors were amazing. Just look at the watermelon radish. Nature is awesome.

The main dish was an open-faced chipotle spiced lentil burger on a cornbread "bun" with aioli, pickled red onions and grilled pineapple. Served alongside, seared kale and breaded and fried okra with a spicy BBQ marinara sauce. The okra was outstanding. Couldn't stop snacking on those guys. Wish I had a picture of this dish, but I was so caught up with cooking, and of course preparing and plating the desserts. I will update this post in the future when I get copies of the photos taken by the other photographer.

On to dessert. This was a really fun dish. No summer is complete without ice cream. We decided on an ice cream truck indulgence you can't find vegan any where -- THE CHOCO TACO. When's the last time you had one of those? Probably long, long ago after a shitty "burrito" made with powdered beans at a fast food joint that shall remain anonymous. Well behold, friends! This Choco Taco is better than the original.

This bad boy was made up of a crunchy chocolate coated almond tuile cookie, filled with coconut vanilla bean ice cream, chocolate ganache, topped with toasted crushed almonds and a little raspberry coulis. I didn't get good shots of the plates we served at the dinner, so this version was reshot and reconstructed with what I had on hand, strawberries. Pretend that coulis is strawberry and not raspberry. Just know that my boyfriend was eagerly waiting behind me as I shot these photos. After the shoot, he tore into this plate.

This was an exciting experience and I look forward to next month's Castle Gourmet dinner. If you're interested, sign up! Seats are currently limited to 12 and will fill up fast!


  1. Awesome! I'd love to someday be a part of a pop-up. The concept is intriguing!

  2. Ooh, I love the original take on a nice little BBQ. ^^