Sample Menus

Here you will find a sampling of menus I have put together for past clients.  As each client’s needs are unique, so are the menus I have created for each one of them.  I typically provide my clients with a few menu options to choose from; for each dish, I take great care to incorporate complementary flavor profiles, multiple cooking techniques, a variety of colors and textures on the plate, and create a plating design with balance, unity, focal point, and flow.  I am able to customize menus to suit personal preferences of cuisine style, dietary needs or allergies, casual family-style service or fine dining-style plated service, and much more!

California Cuisine Inspired Menu

This particular client was from the Midwest, and requested a four-course plated meal with a California cuisine style.

Appetizer: Burrata & Olive Tapenade Crostini with Red Bell Pepper Garnish

Salad: Spinach Salad with Toasted Almonds, Feta Crumbles, Sliced Red Onion, Avocado, with a Roasted Strawberry & Black Pepper Vinaigrette

Entree: Coriander-Crusted Roasted Pork Tenderloin with a Carrot-Ginger Puree and Grilled Balsamic Vegetables

Dessert: Crêpes with Whipped Lemon Ricotta & Roasted Blueberries

Autumn Seasonal Menu

For this menu, the client requested a four-course plated meal influenced by seasonal ingredients and dishes that paired well with the crisp Tahoe fall weather.

Appetizer: Roasted Prosciutto-Wrapped Pears with Fresh Basil and Balsamic Reduction Drizzle

Salad: Shaved Brussels Sprouts Salad Tossed with a White Wine Vinaigrette, Topped with Pan-Fried Goat Cheese and Pomegranate Seeds

Entree: Honey & Rosemary Brined Roasted Chicken with Herbed White Wine Gravy, with Sauteed Cherry Tomatoes and Asparagus, and Fingerling Potatoes with Caramelized Onions

Dessert: Profiterole Trio with Pistachio, Berry, and Salted Caramel Ice Creams, Chocolate Ganache, and Crushed Pistachios

Wine Pairing Menu

This meal was served during the warm Tahoe summer.  The client requested a five-course menu and to have each course paired with a different wine; I was also given a strict list of foods to avoid due to allergies for one person in the group.  The menu she chose had a bit of an “exotic” flare to it.

Appetizer: Wasabi Pea & Ginger-Crusted Seared Ahi Tuna with a Creamy Soy Dressing Drizzle and Micro Greens
Wine Pairing: Prosecco

Salad: Watermelon Salad with Almond Slivers, Sliced Red Onions, and a Basil-Ginger Dressing
Wine Pairing: Moscato

First Entree Course: Coriander-Crusted Roasted Pork Tenderloin with a Carrot-Ginger Puree and Spicy Sesame Zucchini Noodle Nest
Wine Pairing: Merlot

Second Entree Course: Grilled Marinated Flank Steak with an Asian Cucumber Salad
Wine Pairing: Cabernet Franc

Dessert: Grilled Pineapple with Honey, Pistachios, Coconut Ice Cream, and Chopped Mint
Wine Pairing: Riesling

Winter Seasonal Menu

Another menu inspired by seasonal ingredients and dishes, as requested by the client.  This was a plated four-course meal.

Appetizer: Lamb Meatballs with Pomegranate Glaze, Lemon Zest, and Micro Greens

Salad: Roasted Beet & Triple Citrus Salad with Micro Greens, Crushed Pistachios, Shaved Fennel, and a White Wine Vinaigrette

Entree: Grilled Rosemary & Garlic-Rubbed Tri-Tip with Roasted Broccolini & Mushrooms with a Balsamic Sauce, and Risotto with Blistered Tomatoes

Dessert: Blackberry Cobbler with Minted Whipped Cream

Gluten-Free Menu

This event was a lot of fun! The client put this event together for a friend’s bachelorette party, with a cooking class/personal chef dinner theme to it.  The two appetizers were both “hands on” demonstrations where the ladies made each item, and the dinner and dessert courses were “instructional only” demonstrations.  The whole menu was created to be gluten free, per the client’s request.

First Appetizer Course: Springtime Burrata Salad with Roasted Heirloom Tomatoes, Peas, Asparagus, Lemon Zest, Basil Oil, and Basil Leaves Garnish

Second Appetizer Course: Lamb Meatballs with Pomegranate Glaze, Lemon Zest, and Micro Greens

Entree: Honey & Rosemary Brined Roasted Chicken with Herbed White Wine Gravy, Leek and Pea Risotto with Tarragon, and Steamed Broccolini with Roasted Cherry Tomatoes

Dessert: Roasted Blueberry & Whipped Lemon Ricotta Crostini with Honey Drizzle (I left out the crostini for the gluten-free guest)

Summer Fresh Menu

This client hired me to cook for a surprise party she threw for her husband’s birthday with their family in attendance.  This plated meal was four courses.

Appetizer: Grilled Lobster Tails with Clam & Zucchini “Pasta”, Garnished with Dill and Lemon Peel

Salad: Grilled Romaine Wedge with Caesar Vinaigrette, Fried Artichoke Hearts, Hearts of Palm, and Baked Butter-Garlic Panko Crumbs

Entree: Grilled Marinated Flank Steak with Stir-Fry Vegetables, Mashed Potatoes, and Crispy Onion Tumbleweed

Dessert: French Vanilla Cake with Chocolate Ganache Frosting (birthday cake!)

Large Group Menu

Over the New Year’s holiday (2015/2016), I had the pleasure of cooking dinner for four nights for a large family of 30.  The meals were served family-style (aka buffet-style), to accommodate different portion size and item preferences.  Each meal consisted of a salad, three sides, two proteins, and an accompaniment (like bread and butter).  I was also given the restriction to not use any garlic or onions (or use them very sparingly, if needed).

Day 1

Salad: Mixed Greens with a Sweet Soy Dressing, Scallions, Crushed Cashews, Julienne Carrots, and Cilantro
Protein 1: Grilled Marinated Flank Steak
Protein 2: Coriander-Crusted Pork Tenderloin with a Carrot-Ginger Puree
Side 1: Classic Mashed Potatoes with Herbed Compound Butter
Side 2: Asian Cucumber Salad
Side 3: Stir-Fried Vegetables
Accompaniment: Hawaiian Sweet Rolls with Butter

Day 2

Salad: Spring Greens with a White Wine Vinaigrette, Sunflower Seeds, Orange Segments, and Cherry Tomatoes
Protein 1: Chicken au Champagne with Mushrooms and Tarragon
Protein 2: Roasted Cod Provençal
Side 1: Sauteed Leeks and Cherry Tomatoes
Side 2: Lemon and Pea Risotto with Tarragon
Side 3: Grilled Balsamic Squash Medley
Accompaniment: Dinner Rolls with Herbed Compound Butter

Day 3

Salad: Panzanella
Protein 1: Grilled Rosemary-Rubbed Tri-Tip
Protein 2: Chicken with a Creamy Lemon-Butter Sauce
Side 1: Oven-Roasted Mushrooms with Butter and Parsley
Side 2: Steamed Broccolini with Roasted Cherry Tomatoes
Side 3: Sauteed Red Potatoes
Accompaniment: Cheesy Pull-Apart Bread

Day 4

Salad: Cranberry & Walnut Salad with Spring Greens, Fresh Raspberry Vinaigrette, Gorgonzola Crumbles, and Fresh Pear
Protein 1: Grilled Flank Steak Pinwheels Stuffed with Boursin Cheese, Spinach, and Sun-Dried Tomatoes
Protein 2: Roasted Lemon-Butter Salmon with Dill
Side 1: Steamed Green Beans Tossed in a White Wine Vinaigrette
Side 2: Couscous with Basil
Side 3: Sauteed Cauliflower with Bacon and White Wine
Accompaniment: Rosemary and Regular Sourdough Breads with Butter