Written by Anita
November 28, 2009
Photos courtesy of Dr. Gary C. PowellThanksgiving came a few days early for those gathered for Paolo’s Home for the Holidays Cooking Demonstration and Tasting (featured on GregsListDC). Paolo’s executive chef Steve Benincasa provided careful instructions as he showed the group how to prepare a delicious holiday feast, featuring garlic roasted Rock Cornish game hens and all the trimmings. Chef Benincasa kept us entertained and interested by answering questions, providing hints, and even teasing one health-conscious guest about her proposed recipe modifications. We wouldn’t dare change a thing—we loved chef Benincasa’s spiced pumpkin bisque garnished with a flavorful pumpkin seed gremolata, maple roasted mashed sweet potatoes topped with fluffy housemade marshmallows, and tender Brussels sprouts (yes, they really are tasty!) cooked with gorgonzola cheese and walnuts. The three-hour demo culminated in a convivial meal (much more substantial than the “tastings” that had been promised), during which guests chatted while feasting on the prepared dishes. At afternoon’s end, we were sent packing with a booklet of the meal’s recipes and a takeout container filled with the bountiful leftovers. The only thing missing from this holiday gathering was the Thanksgiving Day parade! Missed this event? Then buy your tickets now for Paolo’s wine tasting event, which will include several tasty hors d’oeuvres by chef Benincasa, including golden potato latkes with roasted sour apple crème fraiche and caviar, morel mushroom fondue with asparagus fries and ciabatta fingers, and seafood sausage with tuxedo orzo. And watch this space for more information on chef Benincasa’s next cooking demo, where he will be joined by a guest chef who will demonstrate Mediterranean cooking techniques.