March 1, 2017
Friday Harbor here we come!
Everything was set for today; mini tiramisus were made for a luncheon, our pithiviers were ready and our ice cream stood in the freezer ready for action, and the perfect chocolate semifreddo also looked ready for consumption in the same spot. Garnishments were made for all desserts including our lovingly prepared chocolate ganache tarts for the event-we melted chocolate and spread it thin on acetate strips and used a pastry comb to scrawl a design through the chocolate, folded it into our desired shape in mind and let it dry for fifteen or so minutes. Once unfolded and taken off they formed little teardrop loops that looked absolutely amazing on top of our dark chocolate tarts. The white chocolate got an isomalt glass filled too the brim with hazelnuts that had been crushed by Kayla. The process of boiling sugar and a tiny bit of water until liquefied was simple and once spread on an aluminum sheet to cool we immediately sprinkled on hazelnuts to finish our creation.
We packed my truck up full with event equipment and headed to the Anacortes Ferry Landing to catch a ferry over to San Juan Island at 10:20 in the morning. Once we arrived, we had several hours to kill before finally arriving at the Brickworks building in central Friday Harbor. Set up was at 3:00 and the event started at 4:30, so we cracked the whip and sliced some tarts and garnished the ganache desserts and moved onto building the smoked salmon sandwiches with cole slaw on honey wheat slider buns. Those things are to die for because I had one while working the Governor’s Ball in Olympia back in January (which was totally awesome and excitingly riley). Once the food was prepped, it was time to arrange them all artfully on these slate slabs from Chef Gil’s personal collection (I had to swear upon my life that I would take care of them and treat them with the utmost respect…) which were the perfect stage for our many gorgeous delectables.
There was a cheese and pickled vegetable tray that came with Lyle along with the salmon and slaw, plus an assortment of fried root vegetable chips with an olive tapenade. I am not big on tapenade because I think they are grotesquely salty but the chips were amazing and the potato and parsnip flavors really shone through. The collection of cheeses and pickled vegetable was almost astounding, not to mention the addition of coconut shells and grapes that garnished the plate; very professional and artisan-like presentation. It felt like we were at a top-notch gathering of college superiors and fellow colleagues (which we kind of were in a sense).
The event started smoothly with people trickling in the door and making a b-line for the craft brewing ales and stouts from the new Skagit Brewing Company class held at SVC. There was a small collection of wine offered as well and there were only two bottles left at the end, same goes for the beer. Once we had the table set up in the middle of the room, executives from the school started gathering around and taking pictures of our diligent and meticulous artistry. Kayla and I stood back and marveled at our own creativity, at least with the limited tools and equipment provided. We stood for a while next to the corner wall towards the kitchen and observed the table so that we could rotate sliders and refill things when needed while Lyle ran the booze table.
Everything went smoothly and around 5:30 people started winding down and falling in line out the door. At this point Kayla and I had already been cleaning up and packing stuff up into piles for Lyle to carry outside. The only thing we waited for were the wine glasses because they were rentals I guess and we needed to trays worth, but people were still sipping. No problem, but we had to take a 7:30 boat to Lopez and then one to Orcas. We took a picture with Lyle and he told us how appreciative he was that we were able to attend and how the experience was well worth it. It was nice to be complimented by such an accomplished man in the culinary world.