Sunday, December 23, 2012

Healthy Holiday Appetizer - Turkey Roulade

I wanted to wish all my faithful readers who celebrate an early Happy Christmas. I hope you all enjoy some time with your family & friends in good health, enjoying delicious food, and receiving presents that you actually wanted. Here's a wicked little recipe that's not only packed full of healthy and delicious holiday ingredients it's bloody impressive when you serve it.

With all the holiday temptations popping up around us here's a heart smart and festive hors d'oeuvre that will keep you feeling satisfied this holiday season. By adding some healthy choices to the festivities it will definitely help balance out the bad and keep you on goal ready for the new year.  For a list of some of the health benefits please check out the full post I did for Twenty Toes Fitness (Blog). This app is inspired by one of my favorite French Canadian superstar chefs Ricardo Larrivée.

PREP #1: Chop onions, mince garlic, chop herbs. Cover the turkey breast in plastic wrap and pound with a rolling pin or back of a pan until moderately flat. Season with salt and pepper on each side. 
COOK #1: Saute onions and garlic in olive oil until golden, season with salt, add spices and herbs and continue to cook for one minute. Place off to the side and allow everything to cool before combining with cranberries and ground turkey. Pre heat oven to 350 degrees.
PREP #2: Place seasoned flattened turkey breast on a piece of tin foil, then add small handfuls of the ground turkey filling to create a log shape. Tightly roll the breast around the filling, then roll the tin foil around everything like a candy would be wrapped. You may want to double layer the tin foil to ensure it doesn't break. 
COOK #2: Place rolls on a parchment lined baking sheet and bake for 30-45 minutes. Use a thermometer to check the internal temperature you are looking for it to read 74°C (166°F). Allow to cool for 10 minutes or so before unwrapping and slicing (about 1/4 of an inch). 

 SERVE: Warm or room temp with a dijon horseradish dip (equal parts of each plus a spoonful of greek yogurt in the mix as well). If you wan to make these ahead of time refrigerate the roll whole, let it sit at room temp for 10 -15 minutes before slicing (serve within three days).

Have a delicious Christmas! xo Jaime aka The Tomato Snob!

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Raw vegan dessert alert - cocao peanut snowballs ... that's a mouthful

So here's the deliciousness that went down a few days ago. I believe this is my first blog post about  raw vegan desserts. Really, I just got up to eat one mid blog- not kidding! Just that good! The perfect amount of sweet, they are super satisfying, healthy, oh right...and they're vegan, if you're into that sort of thing.

No official recipe, but here's what I did.
recipe makes about 50

  1. Made coconut butter - pulverised shredded unsweetened coconut in my Cuisinart (about 2.5 cups for about 10 minutes. 
  2. Softened 1 cup of chopped, pitted dates in a 1/3 cup of hot water, heat until they started to fall apart.
  3. Add crunchy natural peanut butter (about 1/2 cup, 1 cup raw cocoa, 1/2 cup maple syrup, date paste, 1 tbs cinnamon, 2 tbs vanilla extract, 3 tbs coconut flower.
  4.  Pulse everything together and check that they are able to hold the shape of a ball, they may or may not need more, coconut flower or moisture -- Sorry I'm sharing this after the first time, it was so wonderful I had to share it right away. 
  5. Turn out in to a bowl and fold in a handful or two of shredded sweetened coconut.
  6. Chill mixture for an hour at least before balling and dust them in powdered sugar. You can do this days in advance or right before serving.  

Check out Twenty Toes Fitness BLOG tomorrow for a healthy - and meaty holiday app with my all time favorite holiday proteins, the mighty bird Turkey. 
- chow for now

Monday, December 3, 2012

Tomato fennel soup - an elegant take on tomato soup!

Good Monday foodies. Today I'm going to give you a recipe that's so delicious even tomato soup haters will enjoy it. This is one of my very favorite soups ever. I can't remember the first time I had it but my mom's been making it for years and everyone in my family knows and loves it. It's so elegant and complex in flavor yet so simple to make. Try it at your next dinner party or better yet holiday celebration. 

PREP: Remove the green part & root of the leek, fingers & core of the fennel - reserve to make your own veg stock if you are so inclined. Roughly chop all veg. 
COOK: In a medium pot, saute leeks & garlic until translucent. Season with a pinch of salt & pepper then add fennel + seeds and continue to cook everything on medium until it all starts to caramelize. Add pasatta or a can of crushed tomatoes as well as your desired liquid. Allow everything to cook together for 20 - 30 mins. Remove from the heat and puree. If you want a super luxurious soup stir in a few tbs of crème fraîche or a touch of cream.
TIP - Always add  dairy components to soups off the direct heat to prevent the milk fats from separating which creates a nasty chalky texture.
SERVE: With some toasted fennel seeds or a few sprigs of the fennel frond. Instead of stirring in the dairy you can finish with it on top of the soup for a pop of white. 

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Indian dahl & saag stew with leftover shredded turkey

This past weekend was American Thanksgiving and since we just love turkey & gravy and stuff my cousins and I decided it would be the perfect time to indulge in another family Thanksgiving celebration. We had a delicious time filling our faces with buttermilk mashed potatoes, crispy brussel sprouts, moist turkey and enough chocolate bourbon pecan pie to send anyone into a full blown food coma. Sunday we were all left with the age old problem (not a problem at all in my house) of what to do with all the left over turkey. This delicious recipe really transforms the turkey into a super satisfying Indian inspired stew. You can also use leftover shredded chicken or dare I say pork. I've adapted this recipe from my moms version of a Bonnie Stern red lentil stew recipe. Enjoy!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Summer Fresh dips & spreads

The people from Summer Fresh were nice enough to send me a freeze packed case filled with a bunch of their delicious dips and spreads. Unfortunately the original pictures were on my old black berry and were all lost when my phone decided to take a deep dive into the toilet, I've since switched to iphone. Any ways the point of today's post is that these Summer Fresh dips are pretty awesome and aren't just good with some pita bread or tortilla chips. I really like to use a few spoonfuls instead of salad dressing or adding them to a drizzle of olive oil and a splash of lemon or vinegar. The Jalapeno was excellent over a red cabbage and carrot slaw, and the cucumber and feta worked like a delicious charm on my favorite kale salad with avocado and cherry tomatoes. One of their most famous dips - the artichoke and asiago I simply spread over a sliced baguette and toasted it so the the spread just melted into the bread. This was just heavenly and would be great served along side a creamy tomato soup. I really liked all of the dips except for the sesame topped one and that's just because I'm allergic to sesame so I couldn't eat it. You guys know I'm not a huge fan of pre packaged products but these Summer fresh dips are gluten and lactose free and are made with simple high quality ingredients. They taste great and are an easy add on to sandwiches and salads for extra flavor. Try them out and let me know what you think.


Friday, November 16, 2012

Simple roasted cauliflower & sweet potato soup

Happy Friday all. Here's a fast and delicious soup that will warm your belly during these cold months ahead. Peel and chop two sweet potatoes. Pull 1 head of cauliflower apart. Season both with olive oil salt and pepper and scatter on two baking sheets. Roast at 350 until soft and or golden (about 20 mins for the cauliflower and 35 for the sweet potato). In the meantime sauté a cooking onion and a few garlic cloves then add in the roasted veg. If you any thyme dry or fresh you can add it in. Cook for a few mins before adding a quart of water or stock then purée. Add in more stock or water depending on how thick you like your soup. Taste for seasoning and serve with a dollop of Greek yogurt. #yum
Have a delicious weekend y'all xo

Monday, November 12, 2012

Pesto fusilli - how to keep your pesto vibrant green

Oh hello snobs and snobettes. I hope everyone is doing well and enjoying all of falls beautiful offerings. Since it was 17º here in Toronto yesterday it really got me thinking about summer and one of my favorite homemade condiments... pesto. This versatile sauce originated from Genoa (Italiay) and is made traditionally from fresh basil, garlic, parmesan cheese, olive oil and pine nuts. When I make it I leave out the pine nuts which can cut back on some calories and $$$ but certainly doesn't cut back on any flavor. You can also substitute the pine nuts for walnuts or hazelnuts for a modern twist. One thing about pesto that drives me completely crazy is when the herbs oxidize and you end up with a murky dark coloured pesto. If you follow my simple steps you'll end up with vibrant gorgeous green every time. 

PREP: For the pesto combine a bunch fresh basil (discard stems), 2 garlic cloves, 1/2 lemon juiced, about a half a cup of grated parmesan, a pinch of salt & pepper and a drizzle of olive oil. Blend everything up using a hand blender (or standing blender). If mixture is too thick continue to drizzle more olive oil as you blend. Taste and season with more lemon or cheese to your liking. For the vegetables slice the zucchini and eggplant about 1/2 inch length wise. Brush with olive oil & sprinkle with salt & pepper. One of my tips would be to buy pre roasted peppers from the antipasto bar at your grocery store or the jarred variety which can be a much needed time saver for busy home cooks.

COOK: Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook pasta until al dente. Strain pasta and toss in a small amount of olive oil before spreading it out on a large baking sheet or pan to cool. The olive oil will prevent the pasta from sticking and clumping up into a solid mass. Using a cast iron grill pan (or bbq) grill up the zucchini and eggplant for a few mins on each side (the eggplant will take slightly longer). Let everything cool then cut into strips.

TIPS: Make sure the pasta and the veg are all cooled before combining everything with the pesto - this is they key to keeping your pesto pasta looking good.  If you follow that rule you will never have dirty brown looking sauce again. 

- Chow for now

Monday, October 29, 2012

Mulled bourbon apple cider

Hi y'all. Just trying out a post from my iPhone. I wanted to hate this photo from a few weeks back when I made a delicious mulled cider with a shot of bourbon. The key is simmering your apple cider with a whole spice/ herb blend. I used two cinnamon sticks a couple of star anise, few sprigs of thyme and two orange peels (be sure not to include the white pith, which adds bitterness). Use a shot of your favorite bourbon and 4-6 oz of hot cider. If your thinly slice a whole apple it makes a beautiful garnish! Serve this warm cocktail for the holidays or on a cool October night perfect for a hurricane or Halloween. Have a safe and week everyone. Good luck bearing the cold rainy weather. Chow for now. 

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Roasted Pumpkin and poblano soup with coconut milk

Today is the day. A cold rainy mess here in Toronto definitely a day for a delicious pumpkin soup. This soup is the bomb as they say and was certainly one of the stars at our Thanksgiving dinner. I hope you love it as much as my family did. For an extra touch toast the pumpkin seeds up with a dash of cinnamon, cumin and sugar. You can also toast up some shredded coconut in a pan on medium high, just be sure to use a non stick pan, agitate it constantly and remove as soon as you achieve the perfect golden brown colour. 

PREP: Rough chop pumpkin and roast (on a parchment lined baking sheet) at 350º with a drizzle of honey, coconut oil, salt and pepper for 30 -45 mins. At the same time roast off the poblano peppers until the skin is charred on all sides. Place the peppers in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap. The steam will loosen the skin and make it very easy to remove.  Rough chop all of the other ingredients. When the roasted peppers have cooled remove skin and seeds.
COOK: Sautée onions, garlic, carrot & celery in coconut oil until tender. Add spices, roasted pumpkin & poblanos, stock or water and allow everything to simmer for 10 minutes or so, then add coconut milk and puree soup with hand blender until smooth. Taste to check seasoning/ sweetness. 

Like my pumpkin photo? If so follow me on twitter & instagram @thetomatosnob aka JaimeVerkPerez

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Cold season damn it!

Hi all. Sorry I haven't posted the recipe for Roasted pumpkin and Poblano soup yet. It seems that between getting over my "cold" and  the weekend I've actually ended up with another cold. At least this one has all the usual "cold" symptoms. This week has been cray with a bunch of events, out of town guests and one of my best friends weddings. I'll post the recipe as soon as I can. 
Chow for now!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Feeling crappy & suffering from Thanksgiving withdrawal

Hello everyone! Sorry I haven't posted in days but I've been pretty under the weather and uninspired over the past two weeks. Maybe not uninspired but way too tired and run down to sit at the computer to do anything productive what-so-ever. I tell ya, this cold which doesn't even have the right to be called a cold since it lacks all basic cold principals such as a sneezing, sniffling and any sort of nasal issue. This "cold" is the type of cold that probably would have wiped out half the population 200 years ago. Needless to say it has  taken it's toll on me. I feel slightly like I did in third year university when I had mono for five months - bad times to say the least. My throat had been crazy sore, I have a hacking old lady smokers cough, the headache of a coffee addict first thing in the morning before they've had their first cup and just overall feelings of nausea, exhaustion and overall  crap. I had a nice sleep last night for the first time in days thanks to the fact that I had the fore sight to drug myself with advil cold and sinus an hour before bedtime yesterday. I'm almost feeling human today and will actually attempt a workout, which I need desperately since I've been feasting on not one but two days of Thanksgiving heaven. I hope everyone had a delicious holiday over here in Canada. These photos are some highlights of my long and delectable weekend. Check back tomorrow for my recipe for Roasted pumpkin & poblano soup with coconut milk (your welcome to any vegans that stumble over here). 
Chow for now xo 

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

A speedy fast ending hopefully in a feast

For those of my Jewish readers may you have an easy and meaningful fast. I couldn't help but provide some comic relief with some of my favorite ecards about Yom Kippur before repenting for all the naughty things I've done and eaten last year. For those of my non Jewish readers if you are curious about this sacred day we call Yom Kippur please check out this "fact" sheetG'mar Chatima Tov - may you be sealed in the book of life.  
xo Jaime aka The Tomato Snob

Tuna Tartare inspired by Asia de Cuba

Asia de Cuba is one of my all time favorite restaurants. In fact I can still remember my first meal there when I was 18 years old. My mom took me to NY city for my birthday and we ate our way through some of the cities best and trendiest restaurants. Till this day my mom is one of the most serious foodies I know, I guess we now know where I get it from. Anyways Asia de Cuba is fabulous restaurant with locations in NY,  London, San Francisco, Los Angeles and Miami. The food is tapas style with influences from Cuban & Asian cuisine.

This tuna tartare is my take on their famous dish "Tunapica". To make to make the dish a little more heart healthy I serve it in cucumber cups instead of deep fried wantons. Either way the tartare is to die for! If you don't have time to make cucumber cups or fry your own wantons you can serve it up on potato or tarot chips as well.  What's great about serving an appetizer like this is you can prep everything in advance then quickly toss it together right before serving. If you like spice you can add a drizzle of sambal or sriracha to the dressing.

1 - for the dressing add finely chopped chives to the lime juice, soy sauce, sesame oil, grape seed oil, minced garlic & ginger, and a pinch of s & p
2 - finely chop the tuna and refrigerate until you are ready to use it
3 - toast slivered almonds in a pan over medium heat until golden
4 - combine coconut, currants and almonds once they have cooled down 
5 - remove cucumber skin (using a carrot peeler) and divide into 1" pieces, then punch out using a cookie cutter, then wrap in damp paper towel and refrigerate until ready to serve
6 - toss tuna, dressing, & dry mixture together and spoon into cucumber bites. 
7 - garnish with a sliver of green onion or panko bread crumbs 

So grateful for the #twitterlove from the operators at Asia de Cuba, many thanks. Now when can a girl get a calamari salad in Toronto?

Monday, September 17, 2012

Happy New Year 5773

To my Jewish friends and readers I wish you all a sweet and delicious new year. Lots of love, success, health and happiness. xoxo  Jaime aka The Tomato Snob 

I'm enjoying a beautiful fall afternoon with my mama & my totally adorable grandfather, eating drinking and enjoying our time together. 

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Korean Charred Beef & sesame slaw

Yes it's September. I don't know whether to cry or celebrate the fact that fall is here. It seems like the summer swept by in a blink. Like May was only last week and I was celebrating my 30th birthday with family and friends. I'm in a mood today I guess, a mood that can only be lifted with this delicious simple end of summer dinner. It's light and flavorful and will not dissapoint. A while back I had the pleasure of cooking for newlyweds Macy & Stephen. They were a couple cool kids that love their food and wine, needless to say we hit it off emmediatly. I promised them I would post the recipe for their dinner that evening and here it finally is. 

* Macy & Stephen - I actually made a variation or this slaw using a hoisen vinaigrette from the Vietnamese salad roll dipping sauce. It was basically just hoisen sauce, sambal chili, splash of citrus, splash or rice vinegar & sesame oil. I also added julienned peppers & cucumber to the mix. 

1/4 red cabbage - shredded 
1/4 green cabbage - shredded
1 carrot - shredded 
Asian pear - julienned 
1 tbsp minced ginger
2 green onions - thinly sliced
handful of mint - chopped
handful of cilantro - chopped
splash citrus - orange, lemon or lime (or all three) 
splash of rice wine vinegar 
drizzle sesame oil  
pinch s & p 
black sesame seeds - for garnish 

PREP: Chop, shred, mince and toss all ingredients together

FOR THE BEEF: Season beef on each side with salt, then whisk marinade and pour 1/2 on the beef (we used NY strip). Allow marinade to sit for 1 hour  if you have the time. Reserve the rest of the marinade to spoon over the dish once it's finished. 

COOK: In a blazing hot cast iron pan sear beef for two to three mins on each side (for medium rare). Do not move the meat around in the pan, you want a crust to form around the edges to create the char. Touch the beef and if it feels slightly springy remove from heat and place on your cutting board. Allow beef to rest for at least 2 mins before you cut it into slices. *If you have a fan above your stove you will want to put it on before you begin to cook - this dish produces a lot of smoke. 


Saturday, September 1, 2012

Do you love tomatoes as much as this Tomato Snob?

Happy Labor Day weekend! I hope everyone is having a delicious long weekend filled with fresh local fruits & veggies and strong icy cocktails. I just wanted to let you all know about an awesome opportunity to be in the National Post Newspaper in Toronto. Over the summer I've been participating in this program called #gastropost where food lovers get weekly missions, complete them via blog post, instagram, fb, or twitter and possibly get some newspaper love sharing their mission in Saturday's paper. This week I've been asked to host the mission since it's all about tomatoes. I would love if my faithful readers participated and made this the biggest gastropost mission yet. All you have to do is get your submission in by this Thursday morning for the chance to see your story in print. Lets make it happen people! Chow for now...

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Yummly - Feature Food Blog wrap up

Howdy y'all check out this feature that was done about me yesterday on 

 Featured Food Blog: The Tomato Snob

By On · In Food Blog of the Day
Name: Jaime Verk Pérez
Name of blog:
 The Tomato Snob
Describe your culinary style.
My culinary style is laid back honest food with a hint of gourmet. I hate the fussy French traditions and prefer take a simple fresh approach to maintain the quality of seasonal ingredients.
What is the main source of inspiration for your recipes?
I draw inspiration from a global flavors and put my own local twist on classic cultural dishes. For example right now I’m working on a recipe for Jamaican Pepperpot Soup using Ontario okra that’s in season right now. I love allowing one ingredient to inspire the culinary journey – you never know where it’s going to take you.
If you could have one food while stranded on a desert island, what would it be? 
It would be any sort of Asian noodle soup. Thai, Vietnamese, Japanese I’ll take any of them as long as I have hot sauce & fresh herbs.

For someone new to your blog, which recipes do you recommend they try first?
What is your ultimate guilty food pleasure? 
My ultimate guilty food pleasure is going to a nice restaurant with a bunch of open minded food loving friends and ordering a very large selection of the menu. I want to taste everything!
Define Yummly.
To me yummly represents the love and ease of finding delicious recipes.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Jamaican Pepperpot Soup

Good hump day friends. Today I'm excited to let you all know about a delicious comfort dish you may not be familiar with called Pepperpot Soup. Pepperpot soup is a classic Caribbean dish where okra is the star. I know what your thinking okra that weird slimy vegetable I've avoided my whole life. Yes! For some reason this flavorful soup is one of the most perfect ways to enjoy okra which is packed full of flavonoid anti-oxidant vitamins. The slimy factor does take some getting used to but in all honesty this probably the best way to introduce okra into your diet. 

Some of you may or may not know this about me but my grandfather on my mothers side is Jamaican so I pretty much grew up on this brothy stew. My grandmother used to make it all the time on Friday nights as part of our shabbat dinner. For those of you that know me you're probably scratching your head at this point, yes we are Jewish & Jamaican and it's not as uncommon as you might think. During the Spanish inquisition many Jews fled persecution in Spain & Portugal and sought safety in the Carribean - there you have it folks, white Jamaican Jews. Now back to the recipe at hand. A few weeks ago over lunch I asked my grandmother how she made her pepper pot soup. I took notes on my blackberry and then took off to the grocery store. Obviously I put my own twist on the recipe and including local green chilies instead of scotch bonnets & I also added some spices which grandma probably would have shook her head at. I made the cheffy decision to sear off the beef rather then the old school Polish method of cooking  which is just boiling the shit out of everything. Grandma couldn't wrap her head around the thought of it, but lucky enough my soup turned out amazing! Confirmed by my mother who can't wait for the next batch.

PREP: Generously season the beef with sweet smoked paprika, all spice a hint of clove salt & pepper and chop all of the veg into bite size pieces, mince the chillies seeds and all.

COOK:  In a drizzle of olive oil sear off beef on both sides, then remove from the pot & chop into large chunks. Saute garlic, green onion & chilies in the same pot until tender (2 mins) then add in okra and continue to cook for another 10 mins. Remove veg from the pot and put off to the side. Add meat back into the pot with 2 quarts of water & bay leaf and simmer for 2 hours, skimming off the excess grease and impurities. Add the okra, onion mixture to the pot as well as the chayote squash. Cook for another 45 mins or so checking your seasoning (salt & pepper to taste). Finally add the spinach or greens (callallo, collards, kale, chard etc...) and cook for another 15 mins. When your your beef is fall apart tender it's ready to go. 

NOTES: This recipe makes about 6 servings of stew. If you don't like fatty meat like short rib you can use stewing beef. Be sure to use beef, chicken or turkey stock instead of water so you don't loose out on flavor. You can also simmer the soup with smoked turkey or ham bones for a rich flavorful stock. 

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Le Dîner en Blanc Toronto 2012

 Last Thursday night I had the pleasure of attending Toronto's inaugural Diner en Blanc. For those of you who haven't been privy to all the hoopla, Diner en Blanc can be defined as a smart mob or flash feast - kind of like a flash mob but instead of a group of people breaking out into a dance routine, a bunch of strangers dressed all in white congregate at a secret location and set up an elegant dinner time picnic. I found out about the event which began in Paris in the late 80's the way all cool kids find out about posh by invitation only events... on a blog of course. I signed up to be on a wait list and about a month ago I received the news that I had been invited with a guest. Yay me! The rules to this underground dining ring were lengthy. You couldn't just show up with a gingham table cloth and some sandwiches and call it a picnic. No no I had to scour the city for suitable white folding chairs, the perfect square table no smaller than 24", no larger then 32", a picnic basket (preferably white, or if non white must be covered in a white cloth), a white table cloth, white linen napkins, China, silverware, glassware, must bring a three course dinner, must wear an elegant white not cream or ivory outfit and some joie de vivre. Subsequently, we also needed white or clear poncho or umbrella given that it turned out to be the rainiest day this summer. I was seriously considering backing out the day of when my friend Rebecca reminded me "if you don't come you will never be invited back!" Her words echoed in my mind as we walked out of our taxi in the rain to the meeting spot in front of the ROM. I felt utterly ridiculous until I saw the sea of white clad trend setters invade the streets of Toronto. As we approached Bathurst and King the buzzing had exploded around us, the word was out and the historic Fort York was our destination for the evening.

It was quite a sight to see, rows and rows of buses and people dressed only in white completely drenched schlepping all the listed items through the muddy grass to the open field. I had to laugh all through the first 30 minutes of setting up. It was hilarious watching women in high heels set up their "elegant dinner" in the rain. It poured all though our first course, all over my Caesar kale slaw and shared cheese tray, right though my white table cloth & linen napkins but the rain did not stop anyone from having a fabulous time. Just as we were warming up to the table of friends next to us enjoying their margarita pizzas and beef carpaccio from Pizzeria Libretto the rain stopped and the sky cleared. All of a sudden I felt the magic all around us, 1,400 strangers all dressed in white surround us enjoying each others company, sharing in the strange and whimsy of it all. l.

I went on to thoroughly enjoy my main course of olive oil poached cod with arugula & mint pesto, raw puttanesca gluten free pasta and roasted cauliflower. There was a lot of charcuterie and cheese trays around, many people opted to pick up dinner from local hot spots like Whole Foods or the picnic basket at County General. There was also the option to purchase a catered meal provided by chef Ted Corrado but being the Tomato Snob I am that just wouldn't do. The night before I stayed up late to make a vegan gluten free peach berry tart with an almond and lavender crust. Yes I was trying to make everyone around me jealous and that I did.

The entertainment throughout the evening was perfection. Starting off was a sexy jazz band, followed by violinists and an appearance by Against the Grain Opera Company. After dessert we took a stroll to spy on the other diners and ran into our table mates Ben & Sie looking to score an extra bottle of champagne, which they were so kind to share with us. Yes there were even rules on how much wine & bubbly you could consume (two bottles per table) which I guess is a good idea so that party goers don't get completely sauced, not that I could imagine this crowd getting too rowdy dressed in their Sunday best. The climax of the night came at around 9:30 when table leaders passed out sparklers. Everyone congregated by the stage and we danced to top 40 house tunes provided by DJ Vinny Gruvhunter. It was kind of like New Years with out counting down from ten, popping bottles or having to kiss any stinky garlic breathed party goers (yes I'm speaking of myself).

As you can see everyone was totally committed to the theme of the evening white everything although there were a number of people wearing the forbidden ivory & creme.  I thought they were going to be persecuted for such an abomination, but in good spirits the party gods let them be. If you do get the chance to attend this sensational event don't pass up the invitation, It's definitely a night to be experienced by all. 

Photo credits 1-12 by Jaime Verk - Perez, #13 by Rebecca Goodman.