With hope & expectations at cloud level, I set to work preparing a menu and guest list for our first ever singles brunch. I decided to have a theme of "perfect pairs" and focus each course on a food pairing that was either a classic well known one or a more unusual one for the taste buds to try.
To get the party going we had our first "pairing" of Champagne and truffle infused popcorn - the smell of warm truffle & butter was amazing!
Our place settings were decorated with homemade cookies inspired by Christina Tosi's famous Momofuku Milkbar "Compost cookies" - a perfect vehicle for a sweet & salty pairing.
It felt kind of wrong mixing in pretzels, salty chips, coffee grinds, caramel popcorn into the sweet buttery cookie dough but amazingly, the sweet & salty mix seemed to work.
Once everybody was seated, we started with an amuse bouche of the first food pairing that I found when I googled "awesome food pairings" - gherkins & peanut butter is apparently an unusual match made in heaven - better than some of the other suggestions such as tomato ketchup & bananas!
For our first course we served up one of my current favourite food pairings - scallops & prosciutto. The recipe we used was actually given to me by my brother - who by the way, also happens to be single & gorgeous but unfortunately over 6000km away in Melbourne... Anyway, I digress, he took the recipe from chef Andrew McConnell's "Cumulus Inc" cookbook. This guy is one amazing chef and the recipe which my bro & sis made for my Mum's birthday last month is to die for. The scallops were pan seared and nestled on puddles of warm cauliflower purée & topped with a caper, raisin & chilli vinaigrette.
For our main course we served a classic food pairing of pork & apple. Slow roasted pork belly served with toast, apple slaw and topped with a velvety apple & onion soubise. We served this with a 63 degree egg - which I will need to keep working on as the whites were still really runny while the yolks seemed to firm up quite a bit....hmmmm.
Our palate cleanser was a granita hit of watermelon & chilli inspired by a recipe from a book called "What Katie Ate" - I loved the colour!
I had a bit of a tough time trying to decide what food pairing to do for dessert. So many awesome choices: chocolate & coffee, lemon & ginger, plum & crumble, banana & caramel, custard & well, anything... the opportunities were endless. In the end I decided to do something fresh & zingy, and something a little different - a pairing of strawberries & fresh basil served with a tangy lemon posset & a finger of homemade buttery shortbread. Decadent yet refreshing at the same time. We received lots of compliments for this course so it must have hit the spot!
|Photo courtesy of Chris W. - thank you!|
Special thanks to Santi for his expert kitchen & front of house waiting skills today and also to Gah Wing for all her help & fun chatter in the kitchen yesterday - we love you both!
Stay tuned for our next round of events planned for the coming months. With two recent new additions to the Brunch & Co silverware family (a freshly polished one shown below) I'm thinking a Covert Cake Club or Decadent Afternoon Tea is on the cards!
Happy Brunching to one and all!
Louise & Mark xx