1 To keep the house kitchen neat and tidy for the party, Pierre likes to prepare most of the meal in the work kitchen located in the flower room, which is housed in the carport building.
2 Piles of fresh asparagus were picked in the garden, where both green and purple asparagus grow.
3 These are the prepped baby carrots, sugar snap peas, fava beans, and green beans for the couscous.
4 To go with the couscous, Pierre made a fragrant tomato broth using fresh tomatoes, herbs, saffron, and harissa, a red chile paste used extensively in North Africa.
5 When it was ready, the solids were separated from the broth using a sieve.
6 The main course was an assortment of grilled skewers. This is spicy beef.
7 The beef was marinated in spice vinegar, soy sauce, orange juice, and cilantro.
8 This is marinating lamb.
9 The lamb marinated in Greek yogurt, saffron, garlic, and rosemary.
10 Pierre made a paste of the ingredients using a mortar and pestle.
11 These are prawns marinating in minced ginger, thyme, lemon zest, and olive oil.
12 The prawns were quite large.
13 Pierre used only lemon zest and not the juice. Lemon juice would "cook" the shrimp, as in ceviche. He drizzled a fruity olive oil, from my new food line, Martha's Pantry, at jcPenney.
14 And this is chicken flavored with madras curry powder and lemon grass.
15 Using some of the asparagus, Pierre made a puréed asparagus soup.
16 Here are the skewers all ready to go on the grill. Pierre partially cooked the vegetables, which were threaded onto the skewers between the chunks of meat. There was also a meatless option.
17 For dessert, Ryan, my gardener, picked red rhubarb for Pierre's creation.
18 Dessert included a rhubarb sorbet.
19 So pink and beautiful
20 There was also rhubarb crumble.
21 The tables were nicely set and adorned with large tree peony flowers from my tree peony border. This is the long dining table in the brown room.
22 This is the other dining table in the brown room.
23 The tree peony blooms were stunning.
24 And this is the dining table in the bird room.
25 My guests were bussed up from our offices in New York City.
26 A great group photo - Zaki Kamandy, Benjamin Broerman, Gia Sung, Tracy Llewellyn, Michael Chuapoco, Lisa Yen, Kellie Feltman, Hosanna Houser, Erin Kelly, Chelsey Culmann, Gianni Zanin, Samantha Bennett, Chanell Riley, Daniel Grossman, Leslie Robertson, David Ong, Daniel Vissac, Megen Lee, Aaron Stewart, Brian Fitzsimmons, Marissa Brown, Rosma Gutierrez, Stefanine Lynen, and Bairon Garzon
27 It stopped raining briefly and guests wandered about.
28 Marissa loved the fragrant pink wisteria.
29 Hosanna and Megen
30 Bairon, Tracy, and Daniel
31 Brian, Rosma, Marissa, Zaki, and Michael
32 Samantha, Erin, and Gia
33 David saying hello to the Friesians
34 Of course, it started to rain again!
35 The rain came down in torrents all day long.
36 I was so happy to see my friends, Patricia Ardila and Kathy Sloane. Patricia was our gracious host when Kathy and I visited Colombia and this was her very first visit to my farm.
37 Drinks were set up in the servery.
38 Patsy and Aaron
39 Kathy and Patricia
40 We took a tour throughout the house and here we are in the basement laundry room - Aaron, Thomas, me, Kevin, David, Zaki, and Megen, and of course Bartok.
41 Meanwhile, the skewers were cooked on a grill, which was set up beneath a small tent since it was raining.
42 Pierre set up the very colorful buffet. These are little cups of that very smooth asparagus soup. Pierre's pureed soups are always so creamy, without the addition of any cream.
43 There was an excellent baby kale salad picked from the garden.
44 Fluffy couscous with beautifully prepped spring vegetables - baby carrots, sugar snap peas, fava beans, and green beans
45 There was also a rice pilaf with fresh herbs.
46 Steamed garden asparagus with hollandiase sauce
47 Roasted baby potatoes
48 The assortment of grilled skewers
49 They looked and tasted amazing!
50 Pierre was ready to serve the guests.
51 But first, many photos were taken of this gorgeous buffet.
52 Pierre served the skewers while guests helped themselves to the other dishes.
53 This was my plate.
54 This group in the bird room look quite content!
55 Plating up that rhubarb crumble and rhubarb sorbet
56 Simply lovely!
57 This was my serving, which was superb!