On Friday we hosted a ‘Good Times’ event here at the winery and had opportunity to have some fun with food.

I think I’ve alluded to the fact that part of what drew me to cooking for a living was a lifelong desire to play with my food.  I remember trying to sculpt with a fresh pound of butter, or making volcano’s out of mashed potatoes and gravy.  I also remember the perpetual “cut it out!!” from cheffer’s mom.   It’s no wonder that my two favourite toys now are the two that I was discouraged from playing with as a kid.  Food and, well, um,  maybe lets just leave it at food and move along huh?

So on April Fools’ night we ran a mini ‘fool’s fare’ menu featuring Grilled Cheese and Ketchup, Spaghetti Nataschia, and Rice Pudding with whipped cream and pistachios.

In true ‘fooled you’ fashion we served dessert first.  ‘Dessert’ being a rice pudding which (fooled you) was a risotto, with the role of raisins being played by small cremini mushrooms, and the whipped cream being played by a whipped and truffled ricotta.  We did have one lone vegetarian, so in true April fools fashion – I hope you liked your  risotto made with chicken stock (fooled you!).   No really though, we did make a vegetable stock for the risotto (fooled you?)

Second course was ‘Spaghetti Nataschia’ which, if you aren’t familiar with, is spaghetti in a vodka (pronounce ‘wodka’, please, just for me) cream sauce with Sevruga caviar.  The role of Sevruga caviar was played by Beluga caviar instead.   Fooled you.  No caviar (3 courses for $25??  No shit no caviar!!)  Caviar was played by black olives pureed to a caviar-like consistency.  Garnish with parsley and serve!

‘Dessert’ was the aforementioned Grilled Cheese with Ketchup.

Faux Grilled Cheese

April 1st Grilled Cheese and Ketchup

We took golden pound cake, buttered it ever so lightly and toasted it on the flat top.  Toast.  We made a lemon curd with just a hint of orange – a ‘cheeze-whizzier’ looking curd has never been seen.  Finally, a raspberry and strawberry coulis thickened ever so slightly and poured into an empty Heinz Ketchup bottle finished the illusion.  Fooled you! Sweetest grilled cheese EVER.

The only problem with the ‘grilled cheese’ was that it looked so muck like a  brioche bread grilled cheese that I think we disappointed some.  That’s to say that I don’t think Cheffer is the only one who went home on Friday, went for the Kraft singles, and made a grilled cheese.  Come on, you can admit it.

We had some fun.  I played with my food.  A good time was had by all, and if the food police are lurking, I know that pouring ‘sunspun’ brand tomato ketchup into a Heinz bottle is illegal.  I don’t think that fruit coulis is ‘deceptive’ in the same way, so please, no reprimand.  The April Fool will be on us if it includes a $500 fine from the CFIA.

Well, we’re 363 day’s away from the next April Fools event, we’ll start racking our brains.  Maybe we’ll put together a 5 or 6 course dinner next time around.  Suggestions are welcomed!!  Chow!