One of the nice things about being a regular at a restaurant is the occasional invitation you’ll receive to a special event like, for instance, the Roasted Suckling Pig Evening hosted by the gang at Fuel last night. While Chef Rob was out making sausages all night (No, I’m serious.), Chef Ted was in the kitchen last night, running the show. And what a show it was. Six of us went to dinner – Rob, his wife Hillary, Fondy and I, and Carl and Lawren (the loveliest couple of all) – and enjoyed a wonderful four course dinner.
Following a tasty little amuse bouche made up of Albacore tuna tartare with meyer lemon, fennel, and crispy bread, we were served a surprisingly hearty Heirloom Beet Salad with romaine, organic olive oil, and crispy ricotta. While good, it was merely a prelude to a far greater culinary achievement – our next course: a heavenly Tagliatelle Carbonara with black truffle, guanciale, and pecorino romano. Apparently, it’s a kitchen favorite that Ted whips up whenever he’s feeling inspired (or, presumably, whenever his co-workers beg long enough). Rich, buttery, and redolent with truffle earthiness, Rob could only manage half a portion (in his desire to save room for the main event) but Carl was more than happy to take it off his hands (or, quite literally, his plate). Next up was Roasted Suckling Pig. It was trotted out for presentation then whisked to the back where it was carved, plated, and eventually served. Crispy-skinned and exceptionally tender, it was stuffed with foie gras, sausage and quince, and served with king oyster mushrooms. Unbelievably good. We finished the meal with a Manjari Chocolate Terrine with toasted marshmallow, mint, and salted caramel. The salted caramel, while tasty, was a tad sweet and chewy for my taste. The terrine, however, was a chocolate dream, the mint mercifully subtle.
This was one of those rare occasions where I actually enjoyed wine pairings with my meal: a lovely Herder Vineyards Pinot Gris, a Selbach-Oster Riesling I didn’t care for, a remarkable Montague Cellars ’3 barrel merlot’ (from owner Tom Doughty’s vineyard), and a nice Warre’s Otima 10 year old Tawny Port with desert.
Thumbs up all around on an incredible feast. Thanks to Tom and the gang at Fuel for a great evening, and a special thanks to Chef Ted for bringing it all together.
The five of us – Brad, Robert, Carl, Paul, and myself – spent the morning going over the show’s arcs and relationships, character motivations and developments, and the evolution of an organized social structure aboard the ship. We discussed the need to resist the temptation to wrap up every storyline with a neat little bow and, instead, look to lay the foundation for coming events. We also focused on backstory and the sometimes surprising history of some of our characters.
After lunch, we screened some auditions: Beckers, Franklins, and Wrays. The feeling is we’ll finally be pulling the trigger on Chloe early next week.
Hey, finish up City of Saints and Madmen. The discussion begins Monday and author Jeff Vandermeer will be dropping by later in the week to field your questions. This one should be veeery interesting.
Today’s entry is dedicated to Jim from Jersey (as it looks like I may have inadvertently deleted his post thinking it was spam) and Trish (Good luck on the surgery!).
Mackenzie’s Momma writes: “Hey quick question- are you going to do(or would you be willing to do) a repeat of last year’s Fan FUEL’d dinners?”
Answer: I’m afraid it’s looking doubtful for this year. New show, shifting commitments, and I lost my pork belly wingman.
Sharyl writes: “Is Lulu small for her breed?”
Answer: Nope. The males can get quite hefty however.
PG15 writes: “So the rank/medic thing for Tamara’s worked out, what about that “Sr. Sergeant” rank for Stasiak/Greer? That rank doesn’t exist. What is up with that?”
Answer: That was an oversight on the character breakdown.
Judy in SATX writes: “I’m *very* interested in your short story! Is the anthology part of the Stargate-verse or are you venturing into original fiction? Or is that the super secret part?”
Answer: It’s an original short story intended for an upcoming anthology (provided I finish it, am happy with the finished product and, most importantly, my editor is happy with the finished product).
Pilota writes: “I will say that while I had many favorites and was indifferent to negative on a couple others – the one that I just couldn’t get out of my head (and still can’t) was This Year’s Class Picture. I loved the way it progressed (nice pace and great visual description) and developed the Ms. Geiss character. Not only was it a good gory read but it somehow had heart.”
Answer: Couldn’t agree more. I loved this story. A real gem.
Selphiealmasy9 writes: “Terribly adorable dogs. I know a friend who is simply mad about pugs. Do I have your permission to offer up these pics for her love and affection?”
GenericWhiteGuy writes: “Did the writers ever discuss how ZPMs were manufactured or recharged?”
Answer: Carl had written an alternate ending to Identity in which our characters deplete the communication device by each picking up a stone and allowing themselves to be randomly transported into some distant “other” bodies. One of the possible jumps we discussed had McKay finding himself in some mysterious processing plant, turning around and discovering a veritable treasure trove of wall to wall, floor to ceiling ZPMS – before being transported back into his proper body.