The food here at the ranch is pretty darn good - the extra kilos I’m carrying around my waistline is testament to that! (damn you, Jen, and your delectable desserts!) ...
But on Thursday nights guests are treated to something special - a gourmet feast fit for a king. This is an adults only night ... and while the kids are away on their respective overnight camps, the parents get to indulge in some good food and wine, a night out dancing in the saloon and some valued child-free time.
Our talented chefs have been taking turns designing the menu for Gourmet Night, trying to outdo each other with their innovative and mouthwatering creations. Last night is was sous chef Tim Methven’s chance to shine, and boy was he on fire!
(sous chef Tim Methven)
Kicking off the night in the saloon before dinner - to the accompaniment of Jim Niner’s cowboy tunes - was a delicious ahi tuna ceviche appetiser, a subtle fruity blend of red peppers, mango and mint served up on ciabatta toast. I could have downed the whole bowl, it was so delicious.
(ahi tuna ceviche)
Over a bottle of my favourite Oregon pinot noir, Firesteed, we were then treated to a salad of mixed field greens with poached pear, candied walnuts and gorgonzola, followed by a choice of entrees: filet mignon with chipotle candied bacon and a bourbon dipping sauce, or blackened salmon with herbed goat cheese and a triple berry habenero sauce. I went with the latter, and was not disappointed, the berry sauce complementing the tangy goat cheese perfectly.
(blackened salmon with goat cheese - yum!)
Catering to a broad spectrum and bound to set menus, ranch chefs tend to be a little shackled in terms of creativity - but the Paradise gourmet night gives them an opportunity to cut loose, to showcase their talents and to take some culinary chances. And if the compliments I heard buzzing around the saloon after dinner were anything to go by, the customers were certainly satisfied!