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.
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.
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.
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.
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!