25 Oct Mission Accomplished
One Sunday, my staff and I were delighted to join the Meketa’s for a private luncheon. As we drove through the lovely estate we were led high up on a hillside with breathtaking views. The Meketa’s welcomed us into their beautiful home and showed us straight to their kitchen. The Abbey’s Executive Chef, Matt Berardi, felt privileged to be able to cook in a kitchen such as this one.
While the Meketa’s sat back and enjoyed their various wildlife, we were able to prepare a four course meal, all paired with a specially chosen wine. As they arrived, a table set for eight was waiting with ice cold water to hydrate the guests. Once conversation was ready to begin, Mrs. Meketa gave us the go. One by one each guest cooled off with a fennel and onion bisque, topped with an anise sprig made by Mr. Meketa himself, and the soup was directly paired with a Pinot Noir. When all guests were ready, the Abbey staff quietly collected their bowls and headed for the kitchen.
Homemade rolls and a Summer arugula salad awaited. Baby arugula, crisp summer corn, pan fried shallots, Pecorino cheese and thyme citrus vinaigrette were just what these guests needed to get their nutrition. A chilled Vouvray was poured as the plates were presented to the guests, and in no time they were ready to be cleared again.
On the next course’s plate a citrus chive risotto was laid, on top of which was a perfectly cooked fillet of Coho Silver Wild Copper River Salmon. Chive-wrapped white asparagus was neatly placed above with Chef Matt’s perfect Beurre Blanc sauce to finish, after which he gave the nod that it was ready to be served. When plates were set down in front of each guest, a look of satisfaction came across their face and for the first time the table was quiet while each person took their bites. Afterward, the Chef knew by the clean, white plates that his dish was a success.
Finally, as such an important luncheon was coming to a close the guest were delivered a light palate cleanser. Lemon sorbet was carefully balled into large berry compote-glazed martini glasses with a crisp vanilla tuille cookie rested on top. Each glass was held by a small white plate that carried ripe raspberries and blackberries with a fresh mint leaf. Lunch was finished with a cold glass of Moscato and a shot of coffee.
The Abbey team and I wrapped up the day feeling extremely proud. Just as we finished tidying up Mr. and Mrs. Meketa opened the kitchen doors letting out aromas of newly-picked herbs and spices. I knew that our mission had been accomplished when the Meketa’s invited us back again to prepare another mouthwatering meal!