Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Meat, Cheese, Vegetable

Friday a wine group I belong to celebrated the event we call "The Feast of St. Vincent".
If you are really interested you can click the link and get a quick run down of who St. Vincent was and also some info on our group (Confrerie de Vignerons des St. Vincent de Macon).
We hosted our dinner at the Oregon Culinary Institute and what a great dinner it was. OCI is a teaching restaurant and with a group of our size we can have their restaurant space reserved as a private event. A four course seasonal dinner is $18.00 + gratuity (a phenomenal bargain).
In the past OCI had done appetizers for our group, but due to a change of policy we weren't able to make that happen this year.
So what do you do when life gives you a lemon? You make lemonade. I decided as the outgoing Chanclier (President) of the group to take our budget and see what I could pull together. I knew that with our budget we couldn't realistically pull in another caterer and the thought of a Champagne reception with a Fred Meyer veggie/lunch meat tray gave me the motivation to step up and prepare appetizer platters for 40 people.

Charcuterie Platter

Cheese Platter

Vegetable Platter

Cold Smoked Salmon Crostini

The three platters turned out wonderful and was really pleased with the presentation.
I even got cocky and did some individual Salmon appetizers as well.
Prep for these four platters + some nuts, olives and condiments took about 3 hours. This little exercise gave me a huge appreciation for what a caterer does. A big shout out goes to Chop of Portland for their pate, smoked duck and house made charcuterie.
I got nice compliments all night about the appetizers, but the biggest pat on the back came from the chefs at the restaurant when I was pulling these out of my car and setting up. When they asked "who did your appetizers, those are awesome"! and I could look them in the eye and say: " I did them".