My students cooked their butts off, creating a meal that anyone would gladly eat as their last.
Thankfully, it wasn't over, and in the end everyone was reminded to savor life, one bite at a time.
The first course that we made reminded me of the silly beauty of life, and how simple yet incredibly complicated it all is.
Here is my metaphor of a starter - Watermelon Carpaccio with Feta Cheese, Mint & Frisee.
8 oz block feta cheese
8 oz block seedless watermelon
2 oz pistachios, chopped
1 oz shallot, finely chopped
1/4 cup mint leaves
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tbsp honey
2 tsp red wine vinegar
2 tsp dijon mustard
1/4 cup canola oil
3 cups frisee
4 quail eggs, pan fried
Slice feta and watermelon into thin rectangular slices (same size), about 3-inches long, and lay them out on a plate in an overlapping fashion. Season with salt and pepper, sprinkle with pistachios and shallots, and set aside.
Make Mint Oil: Blanch mint in boiling water for 1 minute, until leaves turn bright green. Remove mint from water and immediately submerge into a bowl of ice water. Drain, squeezing out most of the water, and place into a blender along with olive oil. Blend for about a minute. Strain, and drizzle oil over plated watermelon and feta.
Make Vinaigrette for frisee: In a small bowl, whisk together honey, vinegar, and mustard. Continue to whisk while slowly pouring in the canola oil. Season with salt and pepper, and toss with frisee.
Top watermelon carpaccio with dressed frisee and quail eggs, and don't ever forget to enjoy the simple, extravagent things in life.