An Unintended Fast

I remember awhile back, my friend Dan was in the midst of a fast. For one week, he was having nothing but water with cayenne and maple syrup. Midway through, he began not looking so well. “How’s it going?” I asked. “It’s going well!” he said, unconvincingly, and I wasn’t certain if the forced smile on his face was more for himself than me.

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People do all kinds of fasts — juice fasts, cabbage soup fasts, lemonade fasts, protein fasts, kale fasts. They are done for weight loss, to rid the body of toxins or for spiritual reasons. More

New Year’s Eve Dinner 2011

With the end of the year comes our annual New Year’s Eve dinner party. The guest list is small — the same handful of friends each year, going on a decade or so, with the occasional inclusion of new faces if anyone gets sick, moves or goes through a divorce.

Menu and mise en place.

We set the table with proper linens, light candles, print out menus and put out the champagne flutes. The kids get to stay up late. More

New Year’s Eve, 2010/11

Each year, we gather with a small group of dear friends — the same cast, year after year, with rare new invites — for an intimate New Year’s Eve dinner. It’s a great excuse to let my creativity run wild with expensive and rare ingredients my wife wouldn’t normally let me buy. Indeed, my friends have come to expect as much.

Here, without further ado, are some highlights of the 12 courses from our 2010/11 New Year’s Eve dinner. Enjoy…

Mise en place

Yellowtail sashimi with spicy lemon aioli, wasabi flying fish roe, crispy garlic and chervil salad

Yellowtail sashimi with spicy lemon aioli, wasabi flying fish roe, crispy garlic and chervil salad

Garlic soft shell crab with roasted shimeji mushrooms and sakura denbu

“Duck clouds” — Rillettes with white truffles, plum sauce and truffle scallion potato mousse

Quail breast medallions, crispy wonton, savoy cabbage and Clementine ginger reduction

Duck liver paté ravioli with mashed Kyoto sweet potato, demi glace butter and shoga ginger

Proscuitto di Parma with winter melon and Calpico gels, sugar shards and pickled garlic

Hickory-smoked five spice baby back ribs with "kim chi" red cabbage chiffonade

Dark chocolate-draped madeleines with coffee whipped cream

The cook

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