There are some events that you find yourself looking forward to for so long, that when the date finally rolls around it seems unlikely that it will be able to live up the heady expectations put on it.
I had these concerns about Saturday night….. The waiting game for April 9th had begun earlier in the year when I had happened across an eBay auction to raise funds for QLD Floods. I had been intrigued – dinner for 6, cooked in your home by the Executive Chef from The George, Telina Menzies. 4 courses with wine and cocktails… sounded like an incredible experience and for such a good cause. So I put it out there to a few friends to see if they’d be keen. We managed to pick up the deal for $150 a head, which seemed pretty reasonable to me, given all that was included. Now negotiating the calendars of the chef with 3 couples proved the next challenge, but we got there in the end and April 9th was locked in.
Seemed like so long ago that we’d booked it in, but the weeks quickly flew by and the day was finally here! I spent Friday night and Saturday morning tidying up around home, making sure it looked spic and span for our visitors. It was another opportunity to give the new patio a run, and lucky for us, other than a light breeze, conditions were perfect. So first task, we got the table outside ready and with some new placemats and an abundance of cutlery and glassware it was all looking a little bit fancy I thought.
Telina and Brendan arrived at 5.30pm and it was sort of a strange feeling having some one come to your house to cook for you. A whole different kind of indulgent really. So they brought in all their food and a wide selection of drinks and it wasn’t long before the first guests arrived.
We began the evening with cocktails – espresso martinis, caprioscas and mojitos – were on offer and hats off to Brendan, he makes a mean drink! So we milled about the lounge room drinking those and to begin our food adventure, we were served an amuse of scallops on a pea puree with Manjimup Truffle. Seriously the best scallop I think I’d ever had! Flavours were a complete sensation. And the best thing was, we got two each – reliving the magic all over again!
From there we wandered outside to the patio to gear up for entrees. After the deliciousness of our first mouthful, we were eager to give the other amazing sounding courses a go. From where I was sitting I could see the chef putting the finishing touches on all the meals… looked like intricate work.
We were then presented with our entrees and honestly it was just so beautiful to look at – a work of art. A rainbow of colours, with such fabulous attention to detail and I was this enamoured before even taking a bite! The barramundi was cooked perfectly and the bed of risotto it came with was a tasty wonder! And two types of caviar on the plate felt all very la-di-dah! Loved it and it went perfectly with the Capel Vale Chenin Blanc that we’d switched to for this course. I turned to my fellow foodie, Miriam, and sighed happily – “Ahhh food – it brings me such joy”.
But that’s the good thing about dessert – there’s always room and there was no way I wasn’t eating every last bite of the chocolate wonder I was presented with. We were issued a warning prior to eating our sweet treat that the passionfruit jelly was an acquired taste and a little zesty. Rightly so! What a total zap of flavour it was – like this seriously condensed passionfruit burst! Combined with a mouthful of the chocolate tart it was an inspired combination. Yum, yum, yum. And with the cheeky espresso martini that I just had to have with my cake, I was feeling pretty content at the completion of this course.
To end the evening, we were presented with an impressive cheese platter and I was left with a sparkling clean kitchen, as Telina and Brendan bid their farewells. They are total stars! It was seriously the most amazing evening and I feel so incredibly lucky that I had someone as skilled as Telina cooking for me at home. The George is very lucky to have these two in their team. Thank you so much to both of them!
So the 6 of us sat there, polishing off tasty cheese and crackers, as the evening wound to a close. I might have had sky high expectations for the night, but they were completely blown away! Entirely brilliant. A night of fabulous food and friends, I’ll remember it forever. And I just know that if they ever have an auction like this again, that there’ll be a fierce bidding war…. and I’ll be all over it!