2 When I host dinners at my farm, I always plan the menu myself, but Chef Pierre and I will also discuss what's in season at the time, and what I may have growing in my gardens.
3 For this dinner, I selected a classic bouillabaisse. Pierre got all this wonderful fresh seafood from F. Rozzo and Sons in New York City, a four generation family owned wholesale business. http://www.frozzoandsons.com
4 Classic bouillabaisse usually calls for fish native to the Mediterranean, but some may be hard to come by. We chose red snapper, monkfish, and shrimp, which are also very delicious for this dish.
5 Pierre also included lots of fresh mussels and clams.
6 One of the key ingredients in a traditional Marseille bouillabaisse is saffron. A small amount is used to season the broth.
7 Saffron is a spice from the saffron crocus, Crocus sativus. Saffron crocus grows up to four flowers, each with three crimson colored stigmas. They are removed, dried and used for seasoning. It is also among the most expensive spices in the world by weight.
9 Here was the wonderful rich-colored bouillabaisse broth.
10 The vegetables in the bouillabaisse included fennel, red pepper, zucchini and potatoes. These 'Red Thumb' fingerling potatoes were grown in my garden, and have such a pleasing taste.
12 Here, the vegetables were cooked and ready to be added to the bouillabaisse.
13 Butternut squash was also grown right here at my farm.
14 I decided to serve them stuffed for this dinner - they were so beautiful and tender.
15 Pierre roasted them first. Roasting is a great way to eat many vegetables. Drizzled with olive oil and cooked at a high heat for about 20-minutes just until tender - so tasty.
16 Nothing is wasted at my farm - all the scraps from the dinner preparations are saved and brought to my chickens. They love it all!
17 Quinoa is a nutrient-rich grain, and a wonderful source of protein. Naturally gluten-free, it is especially good for those following gluten-free, vegan or vegetarian diets. Here, it was cooked and included in the stuffing for the butternut squash.
18 The quinoa was made into a nice salad with finely chopped kale.
20 Sugar and water were combined and boiled until it became that beautiful amber color.
21 Then, it was poured into the pans - perfect color and consistency.
22 It hardens very quickly.
23 Once the apples were cooked, and the caramel was cool, the apples were decoratively arranged with the cut sides facing inward.
24 The apples should fit snug into the pan or the tarte will collapse when inverted.
25 Pierre made two tarte tatins for our group - it takes quite a few apples, but it is well worth it.
26 Here was one of the tatins baking in the oven.
27 After they are fully baked, they are removed from the oven and from the pans. Here were Pierre and Aron doing "synchronized" tarte tatin removal before the pate brisee was added to the bottom - so delicious. http://www.marthastewart.com/343815/pate-brisee
28 Here was the finished tarte tatin.
29 As more and more ingredients were used, they were saved for my chickens.
30 And, a tarte tatin would not be complete without homemade vanilla bean ice cream.
31 Inside, here was my table - another beautiful table setting by my longtime housekeeper, Laura - she made the placemats using burlap.
32 Each place setting was marked.
33 Laura decorated my Brown Room with beautiful fall vegetables, and traces of Halloween.
35 More Halloween adorned my mantel in the Brown Room. Halloween remains one of my favorite occasions.
36 The hearth was also decorated with the darkest of gourds for Halloween.
37 Along one side of my long dining table are three beautiful plants - a bat plant, Tacca chantrieri, an Orange Medinilla, Medinilla scortechinii, and a Zamia in the foreground. The Zamia is planted in an antique urn made of the same material used to manufacture sewer pipes.
38 This is a bat flower plant, Tacca chantrieri, with large leaves that surround unusual black flowers. It is native to tropical regions of Southeast Asia including Thailand, Malaysia and southern China.
39 Some of the members of our pets team: SVP Executive Editorial Director of Crafts, Hannah Milman, VP Design Director, Steffi Lynen, AVP copy Director, Darcy Smith, Design Director, Jeff Pidgeon, Marketing Director, Amanda Klecker, and AVP Merchandising, Jackie Landaeta.
40 It was such a beautiful day and evening, I decided to take everyone out for a walking tour around the farm. Here were some of my guests ready to go - Steffi, PetSmart Design Director, Anne Peffer-Pit, PetSmart Marketing Director, Tracy Dick, PetSmart VP Product Development, Ellen Garfield, Jeff, Amanda and Jackie. Peluche, Francesca and G.K. were also ready for our stroll.
41 Before the tour, I welcomed the group to New York, and to my farm, Cantitoe Corners.
42 We walked around the paddocks, down to the stable, and to my chicken coops and peafowl pen.
43 My Fell pony, Ban Chunch, and one of my dear Friesians, Sasa, came up to the gate to say hello as we passed their paddock.
44 Here I was with Yehuda Shmidman, CEO of Sequential Brands Group.
45 When we returned from our walk, the PetSmart group and I posed for this photo - Tracy, Anne, PetSmart Hard Goods Director, Sonya Constable, EVP Buying & Sourcing, Ted Passig, Director Hard Goods, Product Development & Sourcing, Leslie Morris, Ellen, and VP Hard Goods, Sherry Jane Love.
46 Matt Perella of Perella Events, and Jules, helped with the dinner service.
47 The bar included the evening's themed cocktail - bourbon, and apple cider I made using apples grown right at my farm. We used Michter's bourbon. Everyone loved this autumn beverage. http://www.michters.com/
48 The PetSmart team was so kind to bring me flowers - they looked so beautiful in my kitchen.
49 Here I am with my handsome Bartok - everyone loved meeting him.
50 Tracy from PetSmart enjoyed her cider-bourbon cocktail.
51 Leslie from PetSmart with our Senior EVP of Merchandising, Patsy Pollack.
52 Amanda and Jeff in my servery.
53 Here I was with the beautiful Empress Tang.
54 Sonya and Sherry Jane from PetSmart.
55 Amanda and PetSmart's Anne Peffer-Pit.
56 Princess Peony and I. Peony is a bit shy, and was not too excited about taking photos, but she loved meeting all my guests.
57 PetSmart's Leslie and Sonya outside by the fire.
58 Leslie, Sonya, Hannah, Patsy and I enjoying cocktails and conversation outside next to a fire we built in my big, iron pot.
59 Hannah enjoying a refreshing drink. Behind her in the distance, you can see the front of my Summer House, which I use primarily as a library and an entertaining space.
60 Here I was with PetSmart's Ted, Sherry Jane and Leslie, in my Brown Room.
61 I am not sure what Francesca thought, but she definitely looked so cute in her napkin head-wrap.
62 It's always wise to have all the plates ready and waiting by the time the food is ready to be served.
63 Chef Pierre and Aron had everything on trays and in pots organized and ready to be plated when dinner began.
64 This was a fun addition to the dinner - do you know what it is? It was given to me while I was in Spain. It is called a girolle - and is used to scrape or peel thin ruffles or rosettes from a wheel of cheese.
65 Look how pretty the cheese rosettes are.
66 The first course was stuffed butternut squash with a quinoa and kale salad and topped with roasted pumpkin seeds and dried berries. This was our Kosher serving, made and plated separately on dishes I keep especially for my Kosher guests.
67 The appetizer was warmed, plated and served quickly.
68 The next course was toasted baguette and rouille. Rouille is a sauce made with olive oil, breadcrumbs, garlic saffron, and chili peppers, and most notably served as a garnish with bouillabaisse.
69 It was a big hit with my guests - every plate was returned empty.
70 And, the bouillabaisse! Seafood, vegetables, broth - cooked to perfection.
71 Our Kosher version did not include monk fish, which is a bottom feeder fish.
72 And, for our vegetarian entree, a plate of delicious vegetables was served - everyone enjoyed the dinner.
73 There is always room for dessert, especially if it was apple tarte tatin. Here is the finished upside down pastry. Each slice was served with a helping of my favorite pink applesauce that I made using deep red-skinned apples from the farm. Topped with a sprig of mint - also organically grown right here at Cantitoe Corners.