"Good God Man, It's Not Even December Yet And You Are Talking To Us About New Year's Eve Already?!"
Like the fashion industry, restaurants need always be thinking ahead. Everyone plans a wedding and company holiday parties a year or more in advance, so we must always be thinking about the next holiday. When I was at Citizen Cake we had our first fall/winter holiday meeting in June.
Menus need to be written, press needs to be contacted, taste buds need to be teased and tantalized into signing on the dotted line:
for, where do you want to be on the eve of this new year?
Me? I actually like to stay at home on new year's eve if I have the option. But this year I will be happily plating many a dessert plate with my team and the kitchen crew, waving in 2008 with my new family, in my new home.
So what to serve? What do most people want to have for dessert on the night of the big bash? What will be fun to plate minute after minute, hour after hour, until the wee hours? What will excite my assistants? Can I teach them something new? How can I challenge them and yet satisfy our diners?
What are the flavors most indicative of December turning into January?
Special events mean special menus mean new desserts to try out mean inspiration exploding and shattering over everything, new plates coming from wide reaching conceptualization.
On special nights I like to create delectables not found in the average mindbook, but I want to appeal to a wide-ranging set of palates and imaginations. I think a new year's dessert should be playful but not silly, sophisticated but not dusty, comforting and yet not too traditional.
Chocolate is obvious, but how...
Have you plans for December 31st? Do you do the same thing year after year and love the tradition of it? Do you love the countdown and the kiss? Do you hate the crowds and avoid the streets? Do you have your outfit planned or will wing it the night of? Did you make your reservations already or will you cuddle up with those you love?
One of my most favorite new year's eve nights was 1999/2000. Patrick and I took the dogs on a moonlight walk. Neither of us wore a watch so we had only the faintest idea of when midnight struck. The farm was quiet and the dogs were happy.