|Honeyed almond and orange cake for dessert.|
|Ground lamb and beef meatballs over stewed root vegetables.|
We started with some new friends: Aaron and Youngkey. We are attending their wedding in early 2017 and I learned very early on that Aaron is a huge foodie. Not only does he know a lot about what is going on in the restaurant/chef scene, but he’s an excellent cook in his own right. He had us over for brunch where he whipped up homemade gravlax, assembled a waffle station, and made three kinds of quiche. He knows what he is doing, so to me it was an obvious choice to invite them. I also knew that I had to challenge myself and try something new – so the Tunisian feast idea made a lot of sense. Youngkey, or Yk, is his partner (fiance) and is currently a medical resident and works crazy hours. But I knew he had an adventurous palate and is willing to try different types of food. Moreover, he is a fantastic planner and did what he had to do get them (and their Pick Two) set up and over for dinner. Like I said, they are relatively new friends of ours so I wasn’t sure what to expect, but we were really happy with who they brought.
|The You Pick Two crew, selfie courtesy of Megan.|
One of the most interesting parts of the night was learning that not only is Philip a producer of TV and film, but he used to work on a lot of food shows while living in NYC – especially Bobby Flay shows. We talked a lot about current food programming and I was able to confirm something I always thought was true: on Iron Chef they know the ingredient ahead of time! However, they do actually make all those dishes in real time – something I didn’t know. I have also always been concerned what happens on these food competition shows in terms of waste, like what happens to all this stuff that is cooked? Philip assured me that all the food does in fact get eaten (there are enormous crews that film and make these shows). Philip left NYC to pursue his own film production business here in DC, which he says is a completely different market. I have no doubt he will succeed.
|Harissa paste figured prominently in the cooking.|
The rest can be found in Nigella’s book, “Feast”. Enjoy!