October 29, 2007

Behind the Scenes at a Photo Shoot and Pierre's Pumpkin

On Friday, my farm in Bedford was buzzing with photo shoot activity. I had my assistant take a few shots of one particular shoot that took place in my vegetable garden. It was rather chilly outside, but Pierre, my chef, made us all a fabulous warm meal that you will most certainly enjoy viewing. As always, please leave your comments! I truly enjoy your feedback.

Equipment being set up in vegetable garden: 


Karena Gallagher (wardrobe, left) and Vinnetta Scrivo (makeup, right) both making sure I look great!


Jon the photo assistant looks like he could use some gloves:


Brilliant photographer Victoria Pearson shooting the scene while Art DIrector Matthew Axe looks on


And another:


Pierre's Pumpkin
Look what Pierre made for our lunch! It's been a great year for many things in my garden, including all sorts of unusual pumpkins and squashes. Pierre found inspiration when looking at this bright-orange potiron. Potiron is a European variety of pumpkin. It's known for its squat, flat shape and for its deep, nutty flavor. Pierre decided to put this potiron to use as a serving vessel for a really delicious creation of roasted root vegetables, chestnuts, and roasted chicken pieces.

He started by cutting around the top of the pumpkin, creating a lid, and then scooped out the seeds. He rubbed the inside with some softened butter and then placed the pumpkin and its lid in a 375-degree oven for 45 minutes, removing the lid from the oven after the first 20 minutes when it was tender. Pierre then cut carrots, red potato, turnips, parsnips, celeriac, and kohlrabi (all from my garden) into 2-inch chunks. He tossed them with some olive oil, spread them on a roasting pan, and seasoned with salt and freshly ground pepper. He roasted the vegetables in the oven for 30 to 40 minutes. In another pan, he also roasted chicken thighs and legs seasoned with salt and pepper.

Meanwhile, in a skillet with some olive oil, Pierre sautéed a couple of diced onions and crushed garlic, and then added some peeled chestnuts. He transferred all the vegetables to a large bowl and tossed them with chopped fresh parsley, chives, rosemary, and chervil. Then, he placed half of the vegetables in the bottom of the roasted pumpkin, followed by the roasted chicken pieces, and then the remainder of the vegetables. He returned the whole thing to the oven to heat through for about 20 minutes.

Pierre also made leek and potato soup that was so comforting and warming on a cold and dreary day. After the soup, we got to eat this most wonderful presentation. And because Pierre first roasted the pumpkin before filling it, the flesh of the potiron was so tender and wonderfully tasty.