If I can’t use this blog to do something for others, then what is the point of having it? That was the question, the notion that was in my head when I was having a beer and a burger with the irrepressibly funny LiLu and her boyfriend B.
I told them of a rough idea I had about offering my private chef service to a couple who couldn’t ordinarily afford to hire me. Valentine’s Day weekend is a very busy and profitable period for me and I explained that I was feeling this desire to reserve that Friday night, 12 February, for some teacher, or social worker, or Hill Staffer, or really anyone who has a heart of gold but not the bank account to match. I just didn’t know the best way to find that person.
B gave me the perfect idea: have people nominate someone besides themselves and then do it as a raffle.
And with that, the RR Valentines Personal Chef Raffle begins.
- You cannot nominate yourself.
- You can nominate as many people as you want.
- Nominations can be made via a comment in this post, or by sending me an email (restaurantrefugee at gmail dot com.)
- All nominees must reside in the DC metropolitan area.
- Nominations must include your email, a brief description of why your nominee should be included (i.e. My friend John is a really terrific teacher who would never do this for himself but really deserves it.) You should also feel free to be as verbose as you deem necessary to fully elucidate your reasoning.
- Nominees should not be fully identified to protect their privacy.
- Nominees do not need to be a couple in the romantic sense (i.e. if you have two good friends who are meritorious and they don’t have plans for Valentines Day.)
- Due to other commitments, the date is largely inflexible, but some reasonable accommodations can be made.
- You may nominate vegetarians – you may not nominate vegans.
- I may reject any nominee if the reason for nomination trips my bullshit sensor or seems otherwise insufficient.
- Each nominee will be assigned a number. All numbers will be placed in a bowl and one will be pulled at random by a third party – someone with a webcam and a penchant for making videos (LiLu, thanks for volunteering) and will be posted on the web.
- Nominations will be accepted until 26 January. The drawing will take place within 48 hours of the close of the nominating process.
p.s. in case you’re wondering what type of dinners I prepare for my clients (and don’t have the inclination to sift through the archives to find them,) the following menus are my favorites of the past year:
A Summer Anniversary Dinner for Six:
- Big Eye Tuna Tartar in corn tortilla cups
- Caprese Salad Skewers drizzled with 10 year aged Balsamic
- Mini Grilled Cheese: gorgonzola, prosciutto, and tomato on grilled baguette
Amuse Bouche: Sweet Corn Velute with olive oil poached lobster and Parmesan Beignet
First Course: Pork Cigars
Slow cooked pork and mascarpone cheese in a tissue paper potato shell with a spiced apple cream sauce and petite arugula and micro green salad
Soup Course: Shrimp Bisque
North Atlantic Prawns in a tomato based bisque with a six hour roux
Third Course: Beef and Potatoes
Braised Beef Short Ribs with a spinach and artichoke cassoulet, truffled French fries, and reduction of braising jus
Sweet Course: Apple Slapple Sweet
Cinnamon and sugar glazed apples in a deep fried spring roll with cognac & caramel sauce.
Cheese Course: Cheese and Accoutrements
Selection of Cowgirl Creamery Cheese with slivered almonds, wildberry compote, and truffled honey.
Cajun Themed Holiday Dinner for Ten:
Amuse Bouche: Shot of Guacamole Soup with essence of Black Forest Bacon
- Cajun Sushi Roll with Andouille Sausage, Pimento Cheese and Anaheim Peppers
- Blue Cheese Gourgeres
- Shrimp and Jalapeño Hush Puppies
Seafood Gumbo Or Chicken and Sausage Gumbo
Tagliatelle Pasta with Jambalaya style Sauce Or Red Snapper with Heirloom Tomato and Basil Sauce
Mint Chocolate Mouse topped with frozen and crumbled Peppermint Patty Pieces
Fall Dinner for Four*
Salad of Asparagus “Linguini” with Wild Mushrooms, Pancetta and Poached Quail Egg
Pumpkin and Roasted Pine Nut Bisque with Garlic and Truffle Au Jus
Lamb Tenderloin Medallions with Lamb Shank Confit Spring Rolls and Spinach & Artichoke Cassoulet
Cheese Course: Cheese and Accoutrements
* they didn’t get an amuse bouche because it was this couple