A few weeks ago Minnesota had the distinct honor of hosting the Ryder Cup….which to the non-golf lovers out there is basically the equivalent of the Olympics of golf. I am one of those non-golf lovers, and in April of 2015 had no idea what the Ryder Cup was…had never heard of it. So when I got a call from a gentleman arranging for a group of executives to attend the event and needed a chef for the week, I had no idea what a big deal it was. I have never been booked a year and a half in advance before, so when I told a friend that I’d been hired to cook for 10 people for six nights for the Ryder Cup, she set me straight, while squealing that I was cooking for the RYDER CUP!! She is most definitely a golf lover.
This event turned out to be one of the most fun that I have ever catered!
When I toured the home where the guests were staying I was blown away by it’s beauty. It was situated right on Lake Minnetonka and had every amenity imaginable, including a stunning outdoor living space complete with a wood burning pizza oven, antique working refrigerator, fireplace, pool, and multiple seating areas overlooking the grounds and the lake. Of course I served gourmet pizzas for some of their dinners, with toppings like duck confit, braised beef short rib, shrimp, pesto, and all sorts of other goodies. Grilled pound cake with homemade ice cream was perfect for dessert! On the nights when we didn’t fire up the pizza oven I cooked four course dinners featuring handmade artichoke ravioli, smoked tomato soup with crab dumplings, filet mignon with wild mushrooms, herb crusted rack of lamb, and pork porterhouse chops. The kitchen was a dream to work in; featuring commercial grade appliances that were a joy to use! In case anyone out there is in the market for a new home, this one is for sale http://boulderbridgefarm.com/
Cooking breakfasts for the guests was just as much fun as the dinners!
The original plan was to have pastries and fruit for breakfast, but it became clear from the first day that these folks needed FOOD in the morning! Eggs cooked in duck fat, lamb hash with potatoes topped with poached eggs, breakfast sandwiches, and eggs benedict along with muffins, croissants, and fruit kept me very busy before they all headed to the course for the day, well fed. Breakfast is one of my favorite meals to prepare, so I was having fun! Lunches were a light affair……..sandwiches, lemon potato salad, and my favorite chocolate chip cookies, which were a huge hit!
The whole experience was truly gratifying
It was A LOT of work…a week of very long days, not enough sleep, and sore feet, but it was absolutely worth it. The clients were incredibly appreciative (at one point they were chanting my name!), I was able to be creative with my food, I got to give some work to my wonderful staff, and everyone just had fun. The day that the US team won, the joy and excitement went on all evening, making that night’s dinner an amazing celebration. It’s a week that I will never forget!
CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES
Butter, soft-1/2 pound
Brown sugar-1/2 pound
White sugar-6 ounces
Baking soda-1 teaspoon
Chocolate chips-1 cup
Walnuts-1 cup (optional)
Beat the soft butter with both of the sugars until very fluffy. Add the eggs and vanilla and mix till well combined. Mix the dry ingredients together then add to the butter mixture. Add the chocolate chips and optional walnuts last, mixing just till combined. Scoop the cookie dough onto a sheet pan and bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes.