The Distinguished Gourmand: Vespertine @ Home 2
When we last checked in with Chef Jordan Kahn and his team at Veserptine, I was enjoying a magnificent birthday dinner. The “theme” that night was Southern Cooking, and you can read all about it here. We were so blown away by the experience and menu that first go-round, we decided to make a second reservation when the next “theme” was revealed. An e-mail from Tock informed us when reservations were available. It described this latest menu as “The French Laundry.”
Vespertine honors one of the most important and influential restaurants in history. With the express permission of Chef Thomas Keller himself, I have chosen to create a tasting menu featuring specific dishes I learned from my time working alongside Chef Keller. This collection of recipes hold a special meaning to me, for within each, lies a personal lesson or story recounted from small moments of imparted wisdom, which was always the case when working with Chef.
Um. Yes, please. Although I’ve never been to Yountville to enjoy a meal at The French Laundry, it is near the top of my culinary bucket list. I’ve read enough and seen enough food shows/documentaries to know some of the signature dishes, and wondered if they would be included in the Vespertine experience. I tried not to read any reviews (and refused to let friends whose reservations predated ours share their thoughts). I wanted the meal to follow the same criteria as my birthday meal, where everything came as a surprise. Or, as much of a surprise as can be allowed when part of the experience involves reading the instructions for proper coursing and potential re-heating/storing of dishes before consumption.
The pickup process as Vespertine was really easy. Although LA has opened up more businesses recently and streets and neighborhoods are more crowded than they’ve been in months, the Sunday evening drive over to Culver City was quiet. There was only one other car in the parking lot, and our food was brought to us within minutes by a mask and glove-clad crew member. Upon returning home, we refrigerated whatever needed to be served cold before beginning our meal.
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