A Boy Genius & An Amateur Gourmet

I’m gonna tell you a story. One of the first food blogs I ever read was Amateur Gourmet. I was living in New York and doing the whole “struggling actor” routine. Over the course of several years, I walked dogs, I worked at an ice cream shop, I was a bartender/cocktail waitress, a personal assistant, a hostess at a restaurant…you get the point. In 2005, I was working at a real estate office on the Upper West Side by day and acting in a Shakespeare play (performed in the underbelly of an old lightship called The Frying Pan docked near Chelsea Pier…) by night.

I got through each remarkably boring day in that office knowing I would have lunch hour blog reading time. That was the year food became a real passion of mine. And my passion for food and restaurants introduced me to my true love- wine. 7 years ago, I would’ve never guessed I’d be doing what I do now. And never in a million years would I have thought I’d be at a dinner party in Los Angeles with Adam Roberts, the writer of Amateur Gourmet.

Enter my buddy Andy, the boy genius.

He is a boy genius because he is: a) young and b) a genius. Duh. Honestly, he is a self-taught cook, incredibly intelligent and intuitive in the kitchen and is a relentlessly inquisitive student of food. AND he made this meeting possible! Andy dreamed up a fantastical 4 course feast and invited us over for dinner. I, of course, brought the wine.

Andy sent me the menu ahead of time, so I had a few days to think about what I wanted to pair with each course. I just HAD to bring my current favorite rosé from Vinya Sanfeliu.

What better to pair with a salad of wild fermented vegetables than a wild ferment wine with no added sulfites? Delicioso! Adam proclaimed this “the best rosé I’ve ever had.” It’s like a slightly funky, lees-y, tangy watermelon juice. Pure and gulpable.

Next up? 2009 COS “Rami” with, get this, a mac ‘n cheese stuffed raviolo with lobster and fresh peas.  Carbs stuffed inside a pocket of more carbs…with lobster on top.

And you know what? It didn’t feel heavy at all! PS- served in bowls Andy made in college. As if we didn’t love him enough already.

The third course, aka the one I still have daydreams about 2 days later- Coq Au Vin chilaquiles with duck fat fried tortilla chips, fried egg, mushrooms, ricotta salata and fire roasted chili salsa. SHUT YO MOUTH! No, wait. Open your mouth!

This dish screamed for something cold and refreshing to cut through all the fat but still stand up to the savory and semi-spicy flavors. Grotta del Sole Gragnano to the rescue! I like this stuff, clearly.

Our final course consisted of one of life’s most beautiful, edible gifts. Brioche.

A big hunk of buttery, flaky, warm, soft, eat-with-your-hands brioche. Amazing. This was served with a variety of honeys and creamy brie. To be eaten as we wished. I brought some ’06 Pithon “Les 4 Villages” chenin de botrytis to sip on.

It’s always so wonderful to sit around a table with good people, good food and good wine. Thank you Andy for sharing all your fantastic creations. And Adam and Craig for not thinking I’m some weird stalker. So very nice to (finally) meet you two!

  • Laura @ Sprint 2 the Table
    March 6, 2012

    Andy and Adam at one dinner?! I think you just lived my dream night! I’m off to go find that rose… 🙂

  • The Wind Attack
    March 7, 2012

    Laura, all you gotta do is come visit us all in LA and that dream could come true, yo!

  • Laura
    March 27, 2012

    sounds like an awesome dinner!

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