Wednesday, November 7, 2007

New Season Brings New Adventures

From The November 7, 2007 Entertaining with Kathi newspaper column

New Season Brings New Adventures
By Kathi Dameron

A new food business is opening up in the Tallahassee area, and I've got the inside scoop.

Twelve miles outside of town, in the quaint historic town of Havana, a beautiful old building is being refashioned into a unique culinary-arts studio that will feature a diverse menu of creative food events, cooking classes and professional collaborations.

The cuisine de jour of this new adventure will be based on some eclectic flavor-jaunting around the globe. For good measure, regional twists and gracious purposes will be added to the mix to infuse an uncommon flavor. Sound familiar?

Actually, I've got the exclusive on this story because this new culinary venture is my brainchild.

It's amazing how things evolve over time when we embark on a journey. We can't ever really know at the onset where the journey will eventually lead us. I didn't realize when I first started writing this food and entertaining column in May of 2006 that an unquenchable creative thirst in my spirit would spring to life and give way to a blazing desire to branch out in new directions in the field of culinary arts.

But that is exactly what has happened. Writing this column has in some inexplicable way reconnected me with the girl I once was - an intermittently shy girl who dreamed big dreams, who believed her daddy every time he told her that she could be whatever she wanted to be in life as long as she was willing to work hard enough at it and trust the music that played in her own soul.

Writing this column has been a labor of love for me. I hope that you will continue to want to read Entertaining with Kathi as much as I want to continue to pen it. I have big plans for the future, and I want you all to be a part of the exciting things to come!

First on the drawing board is a series of make-and-take workshops. Very fun! Very hands-on!

Cooking class parties, team-building events, evenings of dialogue, guest-chef collaborations and culinary jaunts to far-away destinations are a few of the other plans in the works for this new food business.

A Gala Grand Opening Celebration is being planned for after the holidays. In the meantime, the space will serve as a unique rental venue for private holiday gatherings, wedding rehearsal dinners, classes, seminars and workshops. So, if you are looking for a great place to hold your next special event, call me, and let's powwow!

Speaking about powwowing, November is the perfect time to gather your friends near a crackling fire for an evening of delicious seasonal dining.

Why not kick-off your dinner soiree with a yummy, savory brew of curried-pumpkin and toasted-almond soup topped with a sprinkling of smoky bacon and the sweet, crispy bite of orange-cinnamon croutons. Ah, here you have the quintessential first course for an elegant November supper.

Curried Pumpkin & Toasted Almond Soup with Orange Cinnamon Honey Crispies

1. Whip up your favorite pumpkin soup recipe. Add finely ground almonds.

2. Cook up a few strips of bacon. Crumble and set aside.

3. Drizzle honey, cinnamon and orange juice over diced bread bites and toast in a 350-degree oven till crisp and golden. Stirring occasionally.

4. Ladle soup into individual hollowed-out mini-pumpkins. Top with crumbled bacon, chopped green onions and croutons.

Serve with a hot from the oven home-made loaf of bread with herb-spiked olive oil, a mixed-greens, main-course salad with grilled chicken, Gorgonzola, green apple, sun-dried cranberries and caramelized pumpkin-seed brittle drizzled with a Florida peppered-tangerine vinaigrette. For a show-stopping seasonal dessert, autumn lacquered pears or a Vermont apple crisp with hand-churned, vanilla-bean or pralines-and-cream ice cream drizzled with hot caramel sauce will add a delightful finishing touch.

Kathi Dameron is a caterer, special event designer, food writer and chef-instructor. She was the founder and chef-owner of the legendary Canopy Rose Cafe and Catering Company that catered to the Who's Who of Florida for many years. She took a sabbatical of sorts for a few years from catering, to work on writing projects and hone her skills in public relations, marketing and branding. During this time she founded Kathi Dameron and Associates, a boutique consulting business that offers creative out-of-the-box services to other businesses. The offices for Kathi Dameron and Associates will be relocating to the beautiful Canopy Rose Culinary Arts Studio when it opens for the 2007 Holidays. Need catering? Full-service custom catering services will once again be offered! Check out some of our menus.

1 comment:

Dora said...

Congrats and good luck, Kathi!

--Vaer