Six-Course Dinner for Twenty-three

Well, I’m going to keep this post shorter than anticipated only because we have another dinner party this Sunday and I will document and photograph the event in more detail.

Fresh from the farm's garden

Red or White?

Essentially, the farm owner hosts dinner parties at the request of locals. It’s not just any dinner party however – no no no – this isn’t just some event you attend and eat good food. It’s more of a dinner ceremony, or a renewed dinner experience of fine cuisine; food freshly selected, all ingredients made from scratch (save flour), and six dishes prepared and served comfortably over the course of 3 hours at a farm in tropical Costa Rica.

Keep in mind, as a server, we get the less than ideal looking plates:)

Serving so many people, so many courses takes but two days of preparation…that being said, and may I speak on behalf of the chef, that the mental preparation for such an event yields at least a weeks worth of work. Lo: Choosing or working with a dinner theme; selecting the number of dishes and the dishes themselves; considering the price and availability of food in our area; carrying out the grocery shopping, revising a dish or two after shopping when the shrimp guy didn’t have shrimp because his car broke down and he couldn’t make it to the beach; expecting the unexpected; timing each dish accordingly (did I mention there were six courses served over 2 – 3 hours?); balancing the grocery bill against the cost of each individual (I doubt this kind of thing is feasible); never using the same recipe twice; ETC!

Happy Valentines Day. Mixed greens w/ homemade Gorgonzola & strawberry balsamic vinegrette

However, the whole is greater than the sum of its parts, and the whole is the chef’s love of food and service while the sum are the parts listed above. Oh! And I forgot to mention, many of the ingredients come right from the farm, from cheese, to chocolate, to herbs and some vegetables, and sometimes meats.

So, we’ve got:

– 5 cups concentrated planning

– 3 rounded tablespoons preparation

– 1 Farm in Costa Rica

– 3 assistants (two Tica’s, one Canadian)

– a massive fridge and extra freezer

– a dash of help

– a pinch of luck

– 1 heaping cow’s utter full of love and passion

and voila! A six-course, melt in your mouth, pura vida, dinner ceremony extraordinaire.

Serves: 23

Mango pineapple cobbler w/ almond coconut macaroon topping. Chocolate covered stawberries and sweet salami with drizzled farm-made chocolate



One response to this post.

  1. Posted by Berni & Mike on February 26, 2011 at 2:53 AM

    No wonder the locals are lured to Natalie’s dinner series! All the dishes look stellar. Beautiful edibles…sophisticated presentation. Shane, little did you know that Costa Rica would be a gourmet destination on the locovore wave!!


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