!!! 2 !!!

June 14th, 2009 · 48 Comments

this past week, ceF was 2 years old.

and somehow it’s been nearly 2 weeks since i’ve posted but… PEOPLE, I’VE BEEN BUSY. you see it’s been SPRING – and i’ve officially gone riding. so if you need me, you can find me in the mornings at edwin warner park worshiping at the altar of mother earth and heaving myself up some pretty decent sized tennessee hills..

but not only that – i was actually doing the W word…

i know, i know. working… it’s crazy – but it was just a short, intense job. this particular gig was feeding 16 people for 3 days. and since you’ve probably stopped by to hear about some food, i thought i’d share the menu with you so you can see that i’ve not been slacking – not in the least…


thursday dinner

tomato, basil, garlic
spring pea, garden mint, lemon zest, pecorino
cannellini beans, red wine vinegar, rosemary oil

orecchiette with broccoli rabe, toasted garlic, toasted bread crumbs, pecorino

roast pork shoulder with roasted vegetable sauce
grilled zucchini and red peppers



friday lunch

caramelized fennel, pancetta
roasted mushrooms and venison prosciutto
tomato sauce, shredded mozzarella, and fontina
san marzano tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, basil

caesar salad

lemon pistachio biscotti


friday dinner

percatelli all’amatriciana

grilled tuna steaks with dill pollen
grilled chicken – lemon, oregano, garlic
asparagus with walnut crema and shaved pecorino

lemon ricotta cheesecake (pictured above)


saturday lunch

pasta ceci
mixed greens and tomatoes – olive oil/balsamic
rosemary, garlic, black pepper flat bread

jacques torres chocolate chip cookies


saturday dinner

cannellini beans with arugula, grape tomatoes, oregano, garlic, lemon, anchovy

roast chickens on a bed of rainbow chard with shallots
a gremolata of toasted pine nuts, garlic, lemon zest and flat leaf parsley

polenta terrine w/ italian sausage, mozzarella and peppers

olive oil and rosemary cake with crème fraiche ice cream and fresh lemon syrup


sunday lunch

spaghetti, guanciale with caramelized onion and garlic

pork scallopine with a salad of shaved fennel, red onion, romaine, basil, capers, lemon zest and juice

honey glazed nectarines with balsamic zabaglione


so, 72 hours and 4 litres of olive oil later, it’s all behind me now. overall, i’d say it was a huge success thanks to the incredibly competent and graceful maggie spicer, whose palate and integrity i trust implicitly, along with my foodie buddy chris widick who cooked his ever-loving ass off and put up with my requests and demands respectfully and kindly because well, he had to – plus he’s a prince of a guy. together we all made beautiful food and fed a bunch of hungry and grateful songwriters.

and a very special thanks to mario batali, andrew carmellini, lidia bastianich, paul bertolli, the women from the river cafe in london, nate appleman, gina depalma, heidi’s tiramisu, vincent from taste catering in dallas and a huge shout out to judy rogers’ and her zuni café’s roasted chicken because it’s just THE BEST. these cooks were all there on my shoulder making it the consummate group effort, to say the very least… 

but really, aren’t those almost always the very best?

Tags: other

48 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Robert // Jun 14, 2009 at 9:19 pm

    Welcome home kid……

  • 2 The Italian Dish // Jun 14, 2009 at 10:10 pm

    What an impressive menu! You have been working your butt off, holy cow. Very, very nice selections. I would love to see that polenta terrine…

  • 3 Chris // Jun 14, 2009 at 10:18 pm

    i put up with you cause i luv you. i had an exhaustively fun time, except for that mandoline malfunction (actually operator error).
    as you know, call on me anytime you need a kitchen slave.
    dish – i think i had a few seconds to snap a shot of the terrine. it’s hard to remember. :)

  • 4 Choosy Beggar Tina // Jun 15, 2009 at 2:30 am

    Holy jumpin’, just looking at that line up and I’m totally ready to go take a nap.

    Also: I keep coming back to those two precious words….venison prosciutto. I mean, VENISON PROSCIUTTO. Sigh. I would have been happy just eating your pizzas for the next three days.

  • 5 Donald // Jun 15, 2009 at 2:42 am

    Congrats on 2 years!

    That menu looks incredible! You have been working hard.

  • 6 Amy (Minimally Invasive) // Jun 15, 2009 at 3:18 am

    First of all, happy anniversary!

    That menu … wow. I’ll have to study it when my eyes are fully open so I can learn a thing or 20. Well done!

  • 7 Heidi Robb // Jun 15, 2009 at 5:14 am

    Happy Two!!

    What a incredible gig you(all) put out – totally raising the bar.

    Need to hear more about the cheesecake -wow- great photo.

  • 8 maggie (p&c) // Jun 15, 2009 at 5:53 am

    Wow, what awesome menus…am tempted to do a little imitation…

  • 9 Diana // Jun 15, 2009 at 6:00 am

    Thanks for sharing the fantastic menu! You know I’m on an Italian kick right now.

    Congrats on 2 — It’s been a pleasure being a reader. You had me at bottarga.

  • 10 Jack // Jun 15, 2009 at 6:32 am

    Looks like you were in your element all weekend. What a menu! Happy 2nd

  • 11 Becky and the Beanstock // Jun 15, 2009 at 7:57 am

    Screw the music — sign me up for the food! Everything on your menu was enough to make me peckish this morning — and I already ate. What’s dill pollen?

    And happy B-D. I guess this means I’ve been reading for a year now, because I remember when you turned one. The terrible twos on CEF – I can only imagine.

  • 12 goodfoodmatters // Jun 15, 2009 at 7:59 am

    Excellent menus, and no doubt with execution to match.
    Dill pollen-brilliant! I’ve got towering dill in the yard bursting with it—must use.
    And, congratulations on the !!!2!!!

  • 13 Lauren // Jun 15, 2009 at 8:31 am

    all i can say is…not even a drop of tiramisu left for me?

  • 14 krysta // Jun 15, 2009 at 8:48 am

    happy birthday! i take it your cheese cake turned out better than mine… i’m interested in how much yours was different than mine and what you thought of the recipe and cooking time.

  • 15 lisaiscooking // Jun 15, 2009 at 9:57 am

    Happy blog Birthday! Those sound like some delicious meals.

  • 16 kristie // Jun 15, 2009 at 10:44 am

    That is SO impressive, Claud. Seriously. Wow.

  • 17 Maybelles mom // Jun 15, 2009 at 10:54 am

    Happy blog birthday. Can’t wait to read ceFs terrible twos.

  • 18 cookiecrumb // Jun 15, 2009 at 10:58 am

    I’ve never heaved up a tennessee hill. Is that sort of like a cat with a hairball??
    So glad we have you.

  • 19 Pam // Jun 15, 2009 at 2:03 pm

    Congrats on two years.

    The menus are amazing. Every single dish sounds like a work of art!

  • 20 we are never full // Jun 15, 2009 at 3:07 pm

    HAPPY ‘versary. how time has flown. i’m thankful i met you before you turned two. you a BIG GIRL NOW!!! come give me a hug, big girl!!

    that menu tired me out just reading it! and made me hungry. that cheesecake looks beautiful. i can almost taste those lemons on top. lovely!!

    were you cooking as a catering event or for guests? maybe missed something – you mentioned the “w” word, but cooking for 16 friends can feel like work!

  • 21 Marie // Jun 15, 2009 at 4:57 pm

    Holy Cow! Thats quite a menu, and it all sounds so good together. I’m sure you had some very happy guests, I know I would be! A big congrats to you on your 2nd, and I hope many more to come!!

  • 22 Brooke // Jun 15, 2009 at 5:46 pm

    Oh yum. That menu sounds pretty f-ing wonderful. And happy bloggiversary!

  • 23 denise (chez danisse) // Jun 15, 2009 at 7:24 pm

    beautiful menus! i’m especially intrigued by the olive oil and rosemary cake with crème fraiche ice cream and fresh lemon syrup–yum! …and those lemon ricotta cheesecakes are gorgeous.

  • 24 Samantha // Jun 15, 2009 at 7:39 pm

    Suddenly I wish that I were a songwriter!

  • 25 _ts of [eatingclub] vancouver // Jun 15, 2009 at 8:26 pm

    Oooh, 2! So old in blog years. Happy 2nd!

  • 26 Cary // Jun 15, 2009 at 8:37 pm

    I had to leave for 3 days. I was literally booted out while the event took place.

    Imagine that.

  • 27 rachel // Jun 16, 2009 at 10:48 am

    collective gasp at those menu’s – that is my kind of food
    buon compleanno e tantissimi auguri a te CMP (cucinare, mangiare, preoccupare)
    un bacio grande

  • 28 Barbara // Jun 16, 2009 at 11:40 am

    Impressive menus! The lemon cheesecake looks delicious. Congrats on your second blog year!

  • 29 Heather // Jun 16, 2009 at 1:56 pm

    “Kegels” doesn’t start with ‘W’.

    I made this for you.

  • 30 yveala // Jun 16, 2009 at 2:16 pm

    Happy Blog Anniversary!
    and wow – I wanna be a songwriter!

  • 31 Jennifer Hess // Jun 16, 2009 at 2:52 pm

    Wow. WOW. Happy blogiversary, but WOW.

    You’re really something special. xo

  • 32 Scott // Jun 16, 2009 at 3:40 pm

    Seeing this made me run to my (new) fridge and plate/savour/devour the last of the cannellini salad – yum! Here’s to some more hill-heaving. And happy 2nd, ceF!

  • 33 Marco in Italia // Jun 16, 2009 at 3:54 pm

    Claudia! What beautiful Italian food you make! My mama would be very happy to know you but I would be very more happy. Please come to Italia and be my guest and let me cook for you!

  • 34 Ethel // Jun 16, 2009 at 8:38 pm

    Hard to believe it’s 2 yrs. You sure made it a success . Always fun and informative to read.
    Hard to imagine serving so many people all this fabulous labor intensive food. YIKES !!!!!!
    So here’s a toast to CEF and to you, my favorite cook.

  • 35 Karen // Jun 16, 2009 at 9:34 pm

    That cheesecake, OMG! If I could have that right before I died….well, I would go to heaven happy!

  • 36 maris // Jun 16, 2009 at 9:49 pm

    That is one heck of an impressive menu. I’m dying to know what the occasion was?

  • 37 Melissa // Jun 17, 2009 at 12:39 pm

    Oh honey. I think that is the first time I have read through that many dishes and want ALL OF THEM. What seriously wonderful food you gave those people. (And I recognize a few of the recipes too!)

    Happy happy on 2 years. I will always be biased – you are one of my favorite, favorite people in this little universe. Much love and welcome back.

  • 38 JUNE BUG // Jun 17, 2009 at 1:57 pm

    I love stopping by your blog. I always leave smiling!

  • 39 countrymouse // Jun 17, 2009 at 9:12 pm

    Still packing, taking a break to look at your food pictures. Now I’m just hungry for lemon ricotta cheese cake, what a beaute!

  • 40 SpinachTiger // Jun 18, 2009 at 10:41 am

    Oh my what a menu. I’m now really hungry. I love every selection!

  • 41 Meg // Jun 18, 2009 at 12:42 pm

    The menu looks fantastic; those people must have rolled away from the table happy on Sunday afternoon. And you must have been ready for a 2-day nap.

  • 42 Bren // Jun 19, 2009 at 9:14 am

    i want thursday’s menu sans the chop! :) Nice job woman!

  • 43 democommie // Jun 21, 2009 at 6:45 am

    Yikes! She dood it again!


    Anybody who thinks you are anything less than a dynamo has never spent an hour with you. The menus, the photos, the commentary–any of those would be enough to make me happy to have accomplished. The sum is far greater than the parts.

    Just ONE teensy, tinesy favor? Could you, like, give us all the recipes–for a party of one?;)

  • 44 Peter // Jun 21, 2009 at 8:49 pm

    Heather LIES. She made that picture for me.

    Happy blogiversary and all, but I’m still all giddy from Grant Achatz making our dessert all over our table last night.

  • 45 Mari // Jun 23, 2009 at 1:56 pm

    I like a girl who knows how to celebrate in style! A belated congratulations on passing the 2 year mark, my dear. The world is a better place with you in it.

  • 46 maggie // Jun 26, 2009 at 9:42 am

    ahh, those lemon ricotta cheesecakes. quite scrumptious, savory, sweet, decadent, balanced textures–what more could one request from a cheesecake?
    claudia, if you’ve yet to patron Patterson House, we must go together. Claudia’s Kitchen/Songwriting Catering-for-an-Extended-Weekend reunion.

  • 47 Kim // Jul 3, 2009 at 5:11 am

    What a menu. You have been busy, and I am so impressed. I have read the menu no less than 3 times and still shaking my head in awe. You are something else!Way to go on 2 years, I have only been around for one of those-and you make me smile everytime. Thanks…

  • 48 Jim // Jul 20, 2009 at 10:10 am

    I’m glad everything worked out, but how was my tuna? I hope it worked well. I’ve got some Bronzini coming in later this week if you’re interested.

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