Menu for the Money!!

Over the past six years, my wife and friends have volunteered me to be auctioned off by a variety of charitable organizations, helping raise money for important causes.  The auction item typically involves collaborating with the winning bidder to create a customized five to seven course dinner, plus paired wines for each course.  I then prepare and serve the meal in my 110 year old historic home for up to eight guests of the winning bidder.  The lowest winning bidder has spent nearly $4,000, and the highest bidder has spent $15,000 for these dining events.  I did 4 of them for the Pittsburgh Botanic Garden over a 5 or 6 year period.  Check out the below menu for the dinner I did in August 2011. The secret to these evenings has not been gourmet-prepared food using complicated and elaborate cooking skills–it has been simple ingredients, uncomplicated recipes carefully prepared, and artfully presented.  That’s it!!  And everyone can do this!

In future blogs, I’ll begin sharing some of the recipes from this menu and others, so stay tuned!!

Gardens and Gourmet

Winning Bidder Guests Botanical Gardens Auction Dinner

 Saturday, August 6, 2011

Gli Antipasti

Goat Cheese and Fresh Mango Snow Drops rolled in Toasted Almond

Tiger Shrimp BBQ with Tarragon Buerre Blanc

Balsamic Dipped Pastore Cheese and Strawberry wrapped in Parma Prosciutto

Mionetto Vino Spumante Prosecco Brut–Treviso, Italy

I Primi

Chilled Vichyssoises with Fresh Chives

Domaine de la Perriere Sancerre—2009—Sancerre, France

I Secondi

Fresh Lumpmeat Crabcake with Orange-Vanilla Scented Port Wine Cream

Sterling Vineyards Chardonnay—2009—Napa Valley, California


Mesclune, Belgian Endive and Toasted Pecans dressed in Housemade Raspberry Vinaigrette, Ash Goat Cheese Crostini Garnish

 I Premiere

Pork Tenderloin Medallions and Polenta with ‘Seven Seas’ Mushroom Herb Sauce

Steamed Locally Grown Green Beans dressed with Tomato, Basil and Garlic Concasse

Domaine Carneros Pinot Noir—2008–Napa Valley, California

I Dolci

Steel City ‘Cherries Garcia’ Jubilee

Two Hands For the Love of Money, Late Harvest Cane Cut Semillon—2007

Barossa Valley, Australia


Categories: Great Menus, Just Great Ideas!

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