In 1999 when i first began serving a the newly torn down J.W. Filmores of Mt. Pleasant, MI I met Josh. Part of a team serving up meatloaf & burgers Josh has now, after years of culinary education and experience, made his way up to the ranks of "Chef Josh," as the servers so politely refer to him as of Sam & Harry's.
At Josh's invitation, on Super Bowl Sunday we had a most refreshing time in his home with some friends, fine chili & laughter. That night Josh asked us what we were doing on Valentines Day. With excitement we shared that we were going to use this holiday as an excuse to go down to the local Taqueria and order our favorite veg. burritos with extra avocado. Yummm! Inquiring if we would consider an alternative, Josh shared with us about a private dinner he was hosting with a champagne mogul. He continued to describe that this would be a private party of endless glasses of champagne, matched perfectly with a custom four course meal prepared by him.
In curiosity I whispered in his ear, "How much?"
He whispered in return, "Nothing for you, you will be my guests."
I whispered once again, "If we weren't your guests, how much?"
Josh replied, "$95.00 a plate."
I fell over and yelled, "that would be our entire months allowance for food!"
I'm so tacky.
I couldn't accept this gift at first. I have pride issues and accepting this gift would be a big dent in my armor. I also, if you haven't noticed by now, have guilt issues, how could i go to this dinner, & enjoy it knowing the cost. I'm too judgmental and have too many issues to deal with this stuff. So we decided to accept it. Like I tell my clients, it is rare that growth manifests itself from comfortability, I needed to listen to myself.
back track to our opening line.
Every morning at 7:30am Herb, our maintenance guy, opens the door for me into a warm office out of the bitter cold (this past weekend we reached a low of -24 F, which is -31.1 C), asking for muffins, asking me to write out envelopes for him, sneakly faxing documents to his daughter and telling me that one day when he stops putting so much sugar in his oatmeal he is going to start walking the stairs at work with me. Yeah right.
In an ever daily attempt to assimilate with the culture at work, I have found myself pickin' up a phrase here and there that make people laugh to hear a white woman attempt to say. Herb is usually my teacher in this, correcting me when I call him an "old man" to switching it up to "old boy." "What's goin' on?" to "Watcha working with?" - which also usually doubles as "Do you have anything to eat?" you get the drift. Another favorite though was stated above, "You don't know nothin' about me!" which substitutes, "give me a break."
I have to warn you though - the pictures you are about to witness are evidence that "you don't know nothin' about us!"
A purchase from Salvation Army a number of years ago, this is the first time I have worn them. So sassy, I just haven't been able to rid of them. Not wanted to humiliate Josh as his guests I strapped on the heels (they may look like a substantial foundation to walk on but know that they are significantly taller than they are wide) and enjoyed kicking them off once we got home.
Taken looking outside from a balcony overlooking the lobby on one side and the snow outside on the other, Jake and I snuck around on the fifth floor, attempting to find an alcove for some pre-dinner making out.
All day I was so excited about taking photos of the food when it came out, but when the
stuffy young money whom wanted to impress their ladies & one amazing older couple who we spent our entire time with talking with guests arrived I got a shot of proper and withheld until three hours later when everyone left us alone to gallivant around in our private dining area in the center of the restaurant. Please take note: Jake's champagne glasses are significantly more full than mine at the end of the night - it was just so sweet and bubbly!
Our table was shrouded with rose petals, which I stole a couple of to press. Peeking out behind my pressing book you can see the menu for the evening (which we were able to take home!).
To give Josh a couple props, our menu for the night, minus the champagne selections:
- course 1 - caviar bouchee and creme fraiche with buttered scallop and shaved black truffle,
- course 2 - grilled tenderloin of Berkshire pork with toasted walnuts on butter lettuce, orange vinaigrette,
- course 3 - veal rib chop roasted with acorn squash (jake's favorite) topped with melted cambizola and veal jus, and
- course 4 - poached pear tart with cranberry compote and chantilly creme
Yeah, I can't pronounce two-thirds of these words either.
Thanks Josh & happy everyday of Love everyone.