Thursday, August 27, 2009

Catering for Jesus!

Recently, the Mrs. and I got a phone call from a friend inquiring about the possibility of catering desserts for an upcoming private concert held in the Napa Valley. The concert was a fundraiser for the upcoming Rock of Ages Christian Music festival held here in Calistoga ( A worthy cause. Sure, let's do it. But wait, desserts? How many people? Ummmmmmm, okay.
The first rule in preparing for an event is a timeline. Since we only had 4 days advanced notice, we had to get ourselves organized fast. Wednesday: Shopping trip. Then it was into overdrive from then on. Oh yeah, what was our menu you ask? A Trio of Profiteroles stuffed with Chocolate Mousse, Peanut Butter and Cream Cheese Mousse, and Chantilly. Or, an assortment of creampuffs. Also, we came up with the idea for a sugar cookie based fruit tart to diversify our selections for our guests. ALL 75 OF THEM!!! We might have bit off more than we can chew.
Pate u Choux can be tricky at first. Not all meet the strict standards of Bakery Deux Walnofer's.

But many did. Is that the Mrs. dresser? Don't forget, 500 sq feet.
Even more were on their way. Three hundred to be exact. That's 30 per sheet tray, two sheet trays, one oven=All Day! That is enough culinary math, what is going to go inside all of these?
Perhaps, some Chantilly........................
.........................or maybe some Chocolate Mousse.
Now over to the ottoman/fresh fruit tart station.
Sugar cookies topped with Cream Cheese Frosting, Sliced Fresh Garden Pears, Strawberries, Blueberries garnished with a Mint Plouche and drizzled with a Blackberry Coulis. Nothing screams summer like a fresh fruit tartlet.
When in doubt, put it on a stick and people will eat it. Plus, you won't have to provide plates and it is more fun.
How are we going to get all this to the private vineyard down the street from our home? Who needs a catering van when we have a fold down middle seat. Perfect. The plates are just for show because we actually walked around and hand delivered the desserts to our guests as they partook in the silent auction portion of the benefit. Maybe we should have auctioned off a free dinner cooked by Sous Chef the Mrs. and Chef I? Maybe next year if everyone likes our desserts.The Trio plus an added Eclair glazed with Port Wine Chocolate Sauce (that melted pretty bad in the heat). I was lucky enough to serve Phil Joel this plate.
Trying to be artistic in the 2.4 seconds before we got rushed by all the sweetooths in the crowd. Ray Centanni donated the pears from his garden so I made sure he got this plate. He couldn't believe how tasty those pears turned out. That's all you Ray. I just put them on a cookie. The blackberries for the coulis actually came from some wild blackberry bushes that grow near our home. Foraging is a good way to save on food costs.
Our work was done and it was time to enjoy the beauty of the concert. Phil Joel is the former lead singer in the band, the Newsboys. He recently left the band and started his solo career, which allowed him to spend more time devoted to God and to his wife and two young children. Phil's message and his music is very touching and pictures can't describe God's presence during this moment.
Ray, Phil, and I enjoyed each other's contribution to an awesome event that brings the presence of Jesus Christ to the Napa Valley. I never knew how fulfilled I could be from serving Christ in such a manner as making a few desserts. A part from a church pot luck, this was my first time using my developing talents for furthering Christ's kingdom and I thank him so much for allowing me to be used in this manner. I can't wait till the Rock of Ages Festival in early October and I look forward for the opportunity to lend a hand to feed a few more hungry and thirsty people. Till then..........God bless.


Anonymous said...

Love the story! Jesus will only ask of us what we have to offer...nothing more, nothing less! And, here you thought going to culinary school about all about you! :) Anyway, looking forward to some of those tasty desserts at our next Walnofer "Thanksgiving"!


Anonymous said...

Sorry, correction..."school was all about you..." Writing after midnight is not conducive to spelling correctly!

vcouvrey said...

That looks like such a neat opportunity...what a blessing to be used in this field to serve the Lord! Desserts look great...and you haven't even been through B&P right? Imagine what you'll be doing after getting instructions from Chef Brown or Durphey!

Krista said...

Just stopped by your blog after randomly going through blogspot. I enjoyed this post! What fun for you and your wife. Your 500sqft space reminded me of Julia's apartment in Julie and Julia. So funny!