Saturday, July 14, 2012

Can you say Vegan?

Last night we catered an incredible wedding at Hans Fahden Vineyard near Calistoga.  The Bride and Groom came in with a request of a vegan menu that no one would know was vegan.  Vegan is definded as no animal products, no butter, eggs etc.  They had spoken with two other caterers that had turned them down.  I took it as a challenge. 

They gave me a lsit of their favorite foods and we worked to creat the perfect menu.

We started with our Farmer's Market Crudites.  Simple enough, just lots of fresh veg with Cumin Hummus and Baba Ganoush, Artisan Breads, Roasted Beet Relish and Tapenade.  Plus our Vegan Spring Rolls of Avocado, Cucumber, Red Bell, Thai Basil, Tofu, Enoki and Bean Sprouts with Ponzu and Peanut Sauce.

Then on to dinner, this is were a vegan menu is most challenging.  We did it in two courses, everything served family style:

First Course

Wild Arugula Salad
with Heirloom Tomatoes, Champagne Mustard Vinaigrette

Artisan Bread Basket
with Caramelized Onion Mori Nu Spread

Country Style Marinated Olives

Second Course
Stuffed Squash Blossom Fritters
Cashews, Chick-peas, Eggplant with
Horseradish Ceram & Avocado Salsa

Green Pea Risotto
Arborio Rice, Green Peas, Onions and Green Pea Puree

Wild Mushroom Ragu
with Oysters, Chanterelle, Crimini

Summer Vegetable Ragu
Sweet Corn, Bells, Haricot Vert
Lemon, Basil and Olive Oil

The highlight of the night was the squash blossoms, the filling had the perfect tooth to feel hearty plus a touch of Cumin in the tempura battered added a great smoky spicy taste.

Thanks to Geoff and Alannah for giving me a great menu and inspiration.

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