Ok, here’s the back story. A few months back we were introduced to Bill & Janet Robinson from Tennessee. Bill was brought in to the be the COO of an umbrella company that managed multiple restaurant franchises in Kuwait – Ruby Tuesday’s, Sakura, Pepe’s Pizza, etc. They are great folks and we’ve really enjoyed getting to know them.
As part of his responsibilities at work Bill had to make sure all of the sub-franchise operations were getting the training they needed and this resulted in a short trip to Kuwait for a Mr. Tom Stafford. Tom is a Le Cordon Bleu graduate, interned and was then a line chef at one of America’s premiere restaurants (Vie in Chicago) and was an executive chef at Tom Colicchio‘s Craft in Atlanta, GA. The man’s got some skills.
Being from Atlanta, and only in Kuwait for a few weeks Bill asked if Tom could be included in a dinner invite for last weekend. We (as the six of you know) are big on the whole ‘the more the merrier’ philosophy but cooking for a professional chef was not on my bucket list and dinner had already been planned out. Even though we were doing our standard salad bar buffet with grilled chicken we said of course. I tried to doctor up the chicken as much as possible and busted out the ‘fancy’ cheeses. Tom was very gracious about it all but while we he was here said that he’d love to take our kitchen for a test drive some time. Not needing any more prompting than that we set a date for last night and said ‘come on over’!
Pete had been storing a pork roast in the freezer for about a year and said he wasn’t ever going to get around to cooking it and donated it to the dinner. So with the meat settled Tom planned a menu around it and started shooting over recipes and prep instructions. I got the meat brined up and unbelievably found every item on his grocery list except kosher salt – go figure. Tom came over early in the afternoon to get started. He let me hang in the kitchen and watch which was awesome! Paul & Jennifer were coming to eat that night and brought Juliette (their housekeeper) over to watch as she does a lot of the cooking for them. Jenny got into it too and with his two sous chefs they prepared an amazing meal.
Dinner consisted of stuffed pork roast with an apple cornbread stuffing served over a bed of braised artichokes and vegetable medley with homemade southern biscuits – not those silly Englishy things but real live biscuits! It was like Thanksgiving, Christmas, and my birthday in the kitchen while he was cooking. Janet brought an amazing lemon pound cake for desert and we all had a great time. On top of letting me watch Tom put up with me snapping pictures every 15 minutes of whatever he was doing. Unfortunately for y’all as I was uploading them to the server the server crashed and they are gone. I’ve done everything but send the hard drives to the NSA for data recovery and the pictures are just gone. So you don’t get to see it but that would’ve been kinda cruel anyways unless you were here to enjoy it too. Needless to say – dinner was awesome.
Tom’s not leaving until next weekend and I’ve got some steaks in the freezer that are just begging to get in the game so maybe we’ll have a little more luck with the pictures next time.