Dinner No 1 hosted by Tanyah

The inaugural dinner is on November 11th 2010

Well, it is my turn first, rather scary!!

So a bit about me, well the cooking part of me anyway…

I was a non-meat eater for about 20 years, I still ate fish but when you don’t eat meat I think you have to be a little bit creative.  I rarely cook meat at home even though I will eat it elsewhere.

I pretty much love all food, love eating and adore being cooked for, although this is a pleasure I tend to have to pay for!  

My only proper dislikes are lamb and parsnips (and YES I have tried them roasted!)

I am normally a get-ahead cook especially for dinner parties, where I am usually more interested in sampling the wine than getting sweaty in the kitchen! 

For this dinner party I have made sure I am not cooking anything I have made before.


I have chosen my menu so here it is:

Classic champagne cocktails
Mini filo tartlets with bang bang chicken
Confit of trout with sauce mousseline
Guinea fowl with broad beans,gem lettuce and bacon
Creme brulee
Mini sticky orange and almond cakes
Irish coffee


                                                     Guinea fowl poaching in cling film

confit of trout (poaching in olive oil)

                                     Tanyah, Lucinda, Ginny, Emma, Ellie, Layla, Nikki, Amanda

  1. T

    Well I shall be the first to comment as the cook!

    I am VERY hacked off that I forgot to take pictures of the food, this was part of my plan so I have failed. Shame not to have a record of it but hey hum, next time!

    So my opinion of the food..
    The canapes were lovely a really nice mix with plain poached chicken and a satay style sauce with a kick.

    The trout was ok but honestly not worth the time taken to pick through the fillets and remove every teeny tiny bone, and I didn't really feel that poaching them in the oil added much – trout is a nice succulent fish anyway.

    The avocados were a disaster – just need to remember to stay away from them, they hardly ever seem to be ripe. I bought twice as many as needed and they were still ALL rock hard.

    The sauce to go with the trout was ok, perhaps a little too lemony.

    The guinea fowl was not really that exciting, interesting to try it, but wouldn't be rushing to cook or eat it again. I have never had hot lettuce before, that was pleasantly surprising. I have also never been bothered with popping broad beans out of the skin before, but it was worth the effort as they are much more of a delicacy without the skin. The sauce was very rich but I think it worked as there wasn't too much of it and it coated the lettuce really nicely.

    It presented well on the plate.

    Creme brulee was yummy, I always thought it was very tricky to make but it was easy, just quite time consuming.

    Blowtorching the tops was fun too although perhaps not the job to be doing after several glasses of wine!!

    The orange cake was really lovely, very moist and will be eaten for the next week as I made rather a lot of it. A winner with the kids too.
    Not one taker for the Irish coffee – not that surprising….

    Finally a big thank you to my gorgeous husband who made a very fine waiter 🙂 Service was top notch!!


  2. Lucinda

    What great start to the 8ate club!!
    I thought each course was delicious in its own right but they also complimented eachother beautifully! I used to dislike broad beans, a bit of a post school hang-on but I have been pleasently surprised recently and your main dish was no exception, gorgeous!
    It was also great to find out how much prep was involved as I would never have guessed that you cooked the guinea fowl that way and also learnt what 'confit' was (yes I need educating!)
    The meal was delicious, light and beautifully presented and I am jolly glad I am not going next – good luck Amanda!!
    Well done T, cracking start!! xx

  3. Nikki

    What a fabulous evening of fine dining and great chat! Tanyah, you really are the perfect hostess(and the waiter wasn't bad either!).

    The evening had a lovely relaxed feel (although not for you, I'm sure!) and it was great to meet everyone. The food I think, spoke for itself – it looked amazing and tasted fantastic. It was a real treat to have such delicious food in such relaxed surroundings.

    My favourite course was the guinea fowl – I thought it tasted wonderful with the lettuce, broad beans and sauce and was beautifully presented too.

    A big thank you for including me in your inaugural 8ate club dinner…and good luck Amanda with your next evening, Tanyah has certainly set the bar very high!

  4. The dinner Tanyah created was one of those those that I would have been very happy to have paid for. She was a warm and gracious host, the food was amazing and she deserved the success to be as it was because of the amount of effort that had obviously gone into the evening.

    The flavours were incredibly delicate on every course. If I hadn't have known it had been cooked/created by a female and been asked to guess I would have said it was because of the delicateness of the trout and the gf with the beans. Tanyah you should seriously think about becoming a chef or at least going on Masterchef as you have an incredible touch and pallet. I keep saying no-one I know cooks quite like you and you should now have the evidence of these blogs to know this is true.

    The company was delightful and it was a lovely way to meet new people and to meet again people I have met only with their other halves before in that type of situation, it felt like a very extravagant book club!

    Chris, Craig would never had done what you did, but what a treat for us all so thank you again.

    I am already thinking ahead to my menu for Jan, I won't even try to compete on Tanyah's evening and hope that people will enjoy it for other reasons as it's not going to be the cooking that you will remember, more the smelly dog and no waiter!

    Happy New Year to all and hoping I can put together and cook for another lovely evening.


  5. Anonymous

    Great evening -warm welcoming hosts, relaxed, fun, socially interesting and the food…..arrrrrh the food – delicious !!
    Canapes – innovative and full of kicks of flavour, just how they should be.
    Starter – so so light and refreshing. – sourcing of avocados the only let down.
    Gunea fowl – never had it before, so really enjoyed having it – the lightly fried crispy skin was a nice touch given how light the main was again – dainty food!!
    Dessert – I love love creme brûlée and this was a good one – believe me I have had a few! – but did it suit the rest of the menu, not sure.
    The cake taster at the end – still dreaming of it today!! And very stealable bite size pieces! Such a lovely end to meal.
    Irish coffee – not needed.
    Tanya/Chris – you were perfect hosts – so relaxed and engaging. Tanya – cool as a cucumber, never once did I click you were juggling guests, food and kitchen – you were effortlessly pro in this area. And Chris – you added such glamour and charm to the night! Xx

    Congratulations on such a successful night. So much effort.

    I was and still am hugely honoured to have beeninvited to the first 8ate dinner.
    Emma xx

  6. Anonymous

    Hi this is ellie, the very late and lazy one who has taken weeks to write her comment, much grovelling to tan will follow.
    at least i can say that the lateness of the comment in no way reflects upon the superb evening of food, wine and conversation.
    what a great start to the 8ate club.
    i think the canapes were my favourite part of the meal, the taste of the chicken was delicious, and presentation as always immaculate. as someone more used to a packet of crisps before dinner, i really enjoyed them with the cocktails.
    i enjoyed the starter,the salad and sauce a nice complement, but would have liked some bread to go with the fish, as it was quite rich.
    the guinea fowl looked fantastic and tasted delicious, as did the creme brulee. another great touch was the mini orange cakes with coffee, would have been even better if they hadnt been so mini!
    all in all a superb meal, real masterchef standards.
    chris, ive told steve that you,ve set the standard in terms of butler-ing, you can imagine his response wasnt printable on here!
    a great start to the club, am actually looking forward to my turn!

  7. Layla CB

    I don't think I'm actually the last – or am I?? What an amazing meal. I wasn't sure what to expect from this new experience but as usual I was left very impressed by Tanyahs' amazing efforts and very creative food.

    I loved the fact that it was all new tastes and new foods, I loved the company and the waiter certainly brought us a few smiles ;o)) Given that I am one of the more fussier eaters I have to say that each course was a pleasure to eat, the combinations worked very well with a great balance of tastes at every course.

    From the opening of champagne cocktails and canapes to the orange cake each course was intricately presented – oh and not forgetting the speciality teas that won over the irish coffees!!

    Thank you very much for hosting an amazing 8ateclub and for inviting me to join in the feast, I look forward to following the adventures of each host…….Layla xx

  8. Ginny

    The canapes were delish, the flavour was scrum, a real hit. I remember everyone liked these.
    The trout mousseline was fab too and nice small portion – if a meal is made up of several courses I can't do big portions the whole way thru. I think its fair to say the avocados weren't on form that night; you win some, you lose some, not the chef's fault.
    The guinea fowl was great – loved the broad beans and sauce. And well, the creme brulee, as I said on the night, was tops – just how I like it to be, warm and crunchy on top. The little petit fours at the end were scrum too, I remember keeping the plate at our end of the table. Again, all nice smallish portions. A real triumph! Well done Mrs L xx

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