On Saturday evening, we hosted a reunion dinner for the Royal College of Defense. The dinner was organised by our Bursar, Air Commodore Chris Blencowe, and held in the College's Old Library.We began Saturday's dinner with a lovely pasta dish from Thomas Keller's French Laundry cookbook.
Mushroom and Truffle Tortellini with butternut Squash Velouté, sautéed ceps and Parmesan crisps, highlighted the culinary skills of Adam Littlewort, one of Pembroke's finest chefs. Each of the 350 tortellini were shaped by hand, testament to the attention of detail that marks Pembroke's food from other Colleges.
Our chefs looked to Gordon Ramsey's beautiful tome Three Star Chef, when deciding on a suitable main-course. They chose to cook roast Gressingham duck breast with honey glazed baby shallots, spinach, minted crushed peas, purée de pomme de terre and a Madeira sauce. Shane Miller, one of our longest serving chefs, was also on hand to ensure the dish was served smoothly and to a high standard.
To finish the meal, we served another of Gordon's recipes, Palet d’or with chocolate and hazelnut ice cream and passion fruit cream. Sara Molinaro, another of our excellent chefs, prepared this complex sweet to a very high standard!
Anticipation and Reaction is a crucial concept in delivering and maintaining excellent dining room service. It is very important that all staff and management read the guests individually and the table as a whole, anticipating when to clear a course, serve more wine, or simply to retire from the room.
There is no better exponent of these skills than Savino Cafagna, our College Butler; Savino and his team performed wonderfully on Saturday, ensuring that the evening was a success.