Monday, November 02, 2009

Halloween feast ONCE more (with better pix)

Sometimes it seems as though I'm surrounded by generous and creative people.

First, I got to go to a
ONCE dinner, which required some fabulously talented kitchen artists to spend days of cooking (and doubtless weeks of planning) to create a truly unique meal.

And now one of my fellow diners, who was wielding a far nicer camera than mine, has kindly allowed me to post some of his shots here.

So before I go further, an enormous THANK! YOU! to Benjamin Eckstein, director of photography, video editor, producer. Check out his site, especially the gorgeous highlights reel.

And now: selections from ONCE Upon a Midnight Dreary, but better. Think of this as a blog post in HD.

The Thai tom yum soup. I think the silvery thing in the middle might be an eyeball.

The chicken feet that garnished the soup. Or, if you like, stood in it.

A lovely shot of JJ Gonson, our hostess:

The other kitchen magicians; unfortunately I don't know their names, though I suspect one of them is Jennifer, who has blogged about what went on
before and during the dinner.

Some juicy skewered hearts (rabbit, I think):

And the lamb's tongue Reubens:

Both of the above are intended to give a sense of the scale of the dinner; there were some 40 guests, all of whom were served each course (more or less) simultaneously, from a kitchen the size of the average office cube.

Also, I neglected to mention last time that the Reuben included from-scratch sauerkraut
and Thousand Island dressing, made with from-scratch pickles. Yes.

The kidney fricassée in puff pastry was one of the best things I've had in a long time. Right up there with the
deep-fried foie gras from PDC.

Giant water bugs, awaiting the fillet knife:

And lastly, a great angle on JJ finishing up dessert.

Thanks again to Benjamin — and also, of course, to the wonderful ONCE team!

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