The Foods…Paired With The Mighty Leaf (teas)

EAT . BE . TEA Tasting recap…part II … the food pairings…

The foods served with our teas were wonderful. I can say that, because I had nothing to do with preparing it…that was all on our Chef, Kevin Montoya of Carley Cakes. It is an awesome feeling to see your recipes come to life under someone else’s hand. His interpretation was beautiful and tasty.

We retained Kevin to cater our tasting event through a bit of divine providence…I knew when we first started developing the idea of taking my passion for getting great tea in front of the American populous in this tasting format that the teas would benefit from being paired with powerfully, flavorful bites of savory and sweet foods…and I couldn’t cook it myself…we happened to read a wonderful article in our local newspaper about this charitable pastry chef who donates a portion of his earnings to epilepsy research. We also found out on the same day as the article that Kevin worked out of a commercial kitchen less than a half block from our tea tasting venue. We quickly called to see if he was available to cater for us. Obviously, he was. Oh, and did I mention that we have also known Kevin from the day he was born? He happens to have been our next door neighbor for 24 years….the stars aligned all right! I could not have done this event without him. Not exaggerating here at all…not kidding either. Whew. He was professional, offered many ideas on how to improve and present the items, and he was a joy to work with.

Chef Kevin Montoya of Carley Cakes

Chef Kevin Montoya of Carley Cakes

We served three courses…while my tea makers were steeping away over 150 cups of stunningly flavorful Mighty Leaf pure, organic and single estate grown teas… Chef Kevin and my pretty incredible husband were in the kitchen plating 50 plates times 3…. The savory first course paired with a Mighty Leaf organic Assam (Rani Estate grown) and a rare Jade Oolong.

Plating the savory course --

Plating the savory course —

Polenta topped with roasted oyster, shitake, and crimini mushrooms...ready to warm in the oven

Polenta topped with roasted oyster, shitake, and crimini mushrooms…ready to warm in the oven

Cream goat cheese, drizzled with honey - a perfect pairing with Assam tea

Cream goat cheese, drizzled with honey – a perfect pairing with Assam tea

Roasted tomatoes with fresh basil and fresh mozzarella on crostini...ready to plate

Roasted tomatoes with fresh basil and fresh mozzarella on crostini…ready to plate

Savory plates...waiting...for the polenta squares to warm...the fourth item is a smoked salmon mousse in a crispy wonton cup...great contrasting textures of crunch and smooooooth.

Savory plates…waiting…for the polenta squares to warm…the fourth item is a smoked salmon mousse in a crispy wonton cup…great contrasting textures of crunch and smooooooth.

Second course…while I demonstrated how to make a quick bread / scone – two fresh scones were coming out of the oven…plated with my startlingly, flavorful vanilla, cinnamon compound butter (for the savory scone) and a seedless blackberry jam.

Vanilla, cinnamon butter - piped and chilled onto parchment paper...ready to pair with warm, savory proscuitto and fontina cheese biscuit....

Vanilla, cinnamon butter – piped and chilled onto parchment paper…ready to pair with warm, savory proscuitto and fontina cheese biscuit….

Two petite scones...savory and sweet...with blackberry jam... paired with spicy Masala chai tea

Two petite scones…savory and sweet…with blackberry jam…
paired with spicy Masala chai tea

Third course… sweets… lemon curd tart with toasted meringue mmmmm and my decadent, dark chocolate, walnut brownie. A perfect finish with a cup of Jasmine Downey Pearl green tea…or an iced organic Ceylon for those preferring iced.

Two tiny sweets to finish... Lemon curd tartlet with toasted meringue (mmm paired with Jasmine Downey Pearl) and Dense dark chocolate walnut brownie..great with the iced Ceylon

Two tiny sweets to finish…
Lemon curd tartlet with toasted meringue (mmm paired with Jasmine Downey Pearl) and Dense dark chocolate walnut brownie..great with the iced Ceylon

Desserts lined up...ready to go

Desserts lined up…ready to go


Leftovers for the kitchen staff...disappeared in a flash :-)

Leftovers for the kitchen staff…disappeared in a flash 🙂

I felt truly lucky to have such a supportive and skilled team put on this event with me. It was invigorating to see our guests enthusiastically taste the teas with the various foods and discuss their preferences. Several have told me that they went home and have “redone” their tea cupboard…going whole leaf and checking freshness dates too. The shelf life for teas is one to two years, if kept stored in an airtight container at room temperatures, out of the sun. How long have you had those tea bags in your cupboard?

Enjoy and drink tea!

4 Comments

  1. Simply stunning-sorry I couldn’t have been there. I know how delicious it must have been!

    • We missed you. I could picture you in the kitchen helping too as the savory items leaned towards Italian (as seems to naturally occur with me)…maybe we need to do one of these together in the future!

  2. Is that your incredible husband sitting down in all three pictures he happens to be in? It looks like Kevin did all the work.

    • Oh, I saw you standing a few times. 🙂
      You were my rock!