Help, community!

This is a fun question, just to get some new ideas.

I don't need recipe links and I don't need menus. Just ideas, which is the most fun part of planning an "important" dinner for 14.

For example: This afternoon I was lucky/crazy enough to stumble into a 2 star Michelin restaurant in St. Emilion--apparently you can just that do in France. The first course was a "tomato soup," which of course couldn't have been further from a tomato soup, but was the essence of late summer: Perfect tomatoes, slivers of plums, a bit of vanilla and a shower of flowers and... burrata ice cream. (Also: Wine.) That's an idea I'm going to steal--A savory ice cream as part of a first course soup. I don't need a recipe for a burrata ice cream, I can figure that out myself, but I am interested your wildly different ideas for interesting food and unusual combinations, particularly for vegetable sides and, always, wacky starters that make everyone wonder what's next.

This is a business dinner, three weeks from now, which will be succeeded by meetings in Sonoma, largely ceremonial.

What would you serve if you wanted to impress?







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Nancy September 30, 2017
You've already got your soup, or I would have suggested Bocuse's soupe aux truffes noire elysee, which I was lucky enough to have one May afternoon, for a dramatic opener.
Second, in Sonoma your crowd has probably eaten lots of impressive meals. So I wouldn't compete. Rather, I'd cook good simple food in abundance to make them happy.
If you know your crowd, it's easier to plan.
If you don't, have a selection that allows for various allergies or proscribed foods.
Get the freshest ingredients.
Make (mostly) things you have mastered, with maximum one new-to-you or experimental dish.
Last, my one idea for you is Dorie Greenspan's pumpkin stuffed with everything good - it is seasonal, flexible and can be a main or a side.

This is a fun question. I'm looking forward to what others suggest, and what you eventually serve.
 
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