This year’s office party was at Cuisine Classique Cooking School. We all risked our lives driving through monsoon season’s flash floods to get to the beautiful home of Mardi and Bob Burden on Magee Road.
The menu on the night was Chicken Piccata, handmade fettuccine, a tomato, garlic and basil side with poached pears for dessert.
We began with the pears. The 7 of us were each assigned the task of orange peeler, pear slicer or pear corer. The pear halves were then poached in a mulled wine which incorporated our orange peels, along with other spices.

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We then began to mix our pasta ingredients together.

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Gluten free pasta was also on the menu, which made for a troublesome time in the pasta machine.

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We discovered that many hands are required for making fresh fettuccine and luckily, we had 7 pairs of agile and skilled hands available to complete the task.

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We used grape tomatoes from Mardi and Bob’s garden, and as American writer Lewis Grizzard once said, “It’s difficult to think anything but pleasant thoughts while eating homegrown tomatoes”.

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Lastly, we began cooking the Chicken Piccata while the pasta was boiling. We were all getting mightily hungry by now and as soon as we received the go ahead to sit at the gorgeously set dinner table, we quickly sat down.

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To finish up our lovely meal, the poached pears came out of the mulled wine and were served with marscapone filling.

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A fun filled and educational night for us and thankfully, the floods receded to let us all safely drive home.

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