GIRL’S NIGHT WITH A GREAT PERSONAL CHEF

Hello there.

A couple of weeks ago, I had the very great pleasure of spending a girl’s night with a great personal chef.  My dear friend, Ruth, invited 10 of her closest girlfriends to enjoy a crisp fall evening in her home.  It turned out to be one of the most enjoyable and memorable evenings I have spent with a bunch of girlfriends, probably since college.

GIRLS NIGHT WITH A GREAT PERSONAL CHEF | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

In fact, four of the girls were Ruth’s friends from college whom I had never met before.  They were in town for the weekend, having flown in from San Diego and San Francisco.  One of Ruth’s San Francisco friends was a woman I had long heard about and looked forward to meeting, as she just happens to be the Vice President of Marketing for one of my favorite stores:  Williams-Sonoma.

GIRLS NIGHT WITH A GREAT PERSONAL CHEF | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

It was an evening spent laughing…

GIRLS NIGHT WITH A GREAT PERSONAL CHEF | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

and drinking wine…

GIRLS NIGHT WITH A GREAT PERSONAL CHEF | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

and watching a cute young chef prepare a fantastic meal for us.

GIRLS NIGHT WITH A GREAT PERSONAL CHEF | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

His name is Chef Julian Huntley Hagood.  He’s a CIA trained chef from Seattle known as the Who’s Who of Personal Chefs in the Pacific Northwest.  Chef to the likes of such notables as the Nordstrom family, but more importantly a friend of Ruth’s, Julian was in California to visit family in The OC.  So Ruth asked him if he wouldn’t come on up to our mountain top and cook for some of her friends.

Chef Julian Huntley Hagood | GIRLS NIGHT WITH A GREAT PERSONAL CHEF | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

We were all very delighted that he agreed!  Not only was Julian cute, and funny, and entertaining, he also prepared some very good food for us!  Plus, he shared his recipes with us, giving me permission to publish them here, so you too will be able to enjoy them.

Chef Julian Huntley Hagood | GIRLS NIGHT WITH A GREAT PERSONAL CHEF | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

He started by preparing one of my favorite things:  GRUYÈRE GOUGÈRES.

GIRLS NIGHT WITH A GREAT PERSONAL CHEF | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

These are small, savory French pastries that are made with a Choux pastry dough that is mixed with cheese.  In many cases, the cheese used is Gruyère, which is a hard yellow cheese, named after the town of  Gruyères, Switzerland. French Gruyère style cheeses include Comté and Beaufort. 

GIRLS NIGHT WITH A GREAT PERSONAL CHEF | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

The next appetizer we enjoyed was called MARKET CEVICHE ON CORN CHIPS WITH AVOCADO & RED ONION.  That’s a mouth full!

Market Ceviche with Avocado & Red Onion| www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

Market Ceviche on Corn Chips with Avocado & Red Onion | GIRLS NIGHT WITH A GREAT PERSONAL CHEF | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

These little bites of goodness were unique and delicious.

GIRLS NIGHT WITH A GREAT PERSONAL CHEF | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

Julian then prepared what he called PIZZA BIANCA.

Pizza Bianca | GIRLS NIGHT WITH A GREAT PERSONAL CHEF | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

It was made by toasting raw flour tortillas that had been spread with fig jam and topped with mozzarella and goat cheese.

Pizza Bianca | GIRLS NIGHT WITH A GREAT PERSONAL CHEF | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

After the tortillas were baked to a bubbly golden brown, Julian added thin slices of apple and baby arugula that had been tossed in truffle oil and salt. The combination was outstanding!

Pizza Bianca | GIRLS NIGHT WITH A GREAT PERSONAL CHEF | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

The 4th and final appetizer was SCALLOP BOUND DUNGENESS CRAB CAKES WITH SAFFRON AIOLI.  Incredible!!

Chef Julian Huntley Hagood | GIRLS NIGHT WITH A GREAT PERSONAL CHEF | www.AfterOrangeCounty.comChef Julian Huntley Hagood | GIRLS NIGHT WITH A GREAT PERSONAL CHEF | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

Next, Julian got Linda involved in the making of FRESH SEMOLINA TAGLIATELLE.

Fresh Semolina Tagliatelle | GIRLS NIGHT WITH A GREAT PERSONAL CHEF | www.AfterOrangeCounty.comFresh Semolina Tagliatelle | GIRLS NIGHT WITH A GREAT PERSONAL CHEF | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

It was made extra delicious with the addition of William-Sonoma Australian Pink Salt, a gift from MaryAnn, our William-Sonoma friend.

GIRLS NIGHT WITH A GREAT PERSONAL CHEF | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

Linda surprised everyone with her skills at pasta making.

Fresh Semolina Tagliatelle | GIRLS NIGHT WITH A GREAT PERSONAL CHEF | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

Fresh Semolina Tagliatelle | GIRLS NIGHT WITH A GREAT PERSONAL CHEF | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

Fresh Semolina Tagliatelle | GIRLS NIGHT WITH A GREAT PERSONAL CHEF | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

Fresh Semolina Tagliatelle | GIRLS NIGHT WITH A GREAT PERSONAL CHEF | www.AfterOrangeCounty.comFresh Semolina Tagliatelle | GIRLS NIGHT WITH A GREAT PERSONAL CHEF | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

Julian prepared a wonderful pasta sauce for the fresh made pasta.  He calls his recipe FRESH & CANNED TOMATO MARINARA.

Fresh Semolina Tagliatelle | GIRLS NIGHT WITH A GREAT PERSONAL CHEF | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

He used an array of multi colored heirloom fresh and canned tomatoes to make some of the best tasting pasta sauce I’ve ever had.

Fresh Semolina Tagliatelle | GIRLS NIGHT WITH A GREAT PERSONAL CHEF | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

Fresh Semolina Tagliatelle | GIRLS NIGHT WITH A GREAT PERSONAL CHEF | www.AfterOrangeCounty.comFresh Semolina Tagliatelle | GIRLS NIGHT WITH A GREAT PERSONAL CHEF | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

Fresh Semolina Tagliatelle | GIRLS NIGHT WITH A GREAT PERSONAL CHEF | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

A lot of effort went into making the pasta, but in the end it was enjoyed by all, including Chef Julian.

Fresh Semolina Tagliatelle | GIRLS NIGHT WITH A GREAT PERSONAL CHEF | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

For his main course, Chef Julian prepared 2 VADOUVAN PORK TENDERLOINS. Vadouvan is a ready-to-use blend of spices that is similar to an Indian Curry Blend, but with a French influence.

Vadouvan Pork Tenderloin | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

He first seared the pork in avocado oil on a cast iron pan, then finished it in the oven.

Vadouvan Pork Tenderloin | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

To accompany the pork, he roasted these tri-colored baby carrots…

Tri Colore Carrots | GIRLS NIGHT WITH A GREAT PERSONAL CHEF | www.AfterOrangeCounty.comTri Colore Carrots | GIRLS NIGHT WITH A GREAT PERSONAL CHEF | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

and prepared two sauces: ROASTED RED PEPPER & GARLIC PUREE…

ROASTED RED PEPPER & GARLIC PUREE |  GIRLS NIGHT WITH A GREAT PERSONAL CHEF | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

and a PARSNIP PUREE.  Both were outstanding with the pork tenderloin.

PARSNIP PUREE  and a ROASTED RED PEPPER & GARLIC PUREE |  GIRLS NIGHT WITH A GREAT PERSONAL CHEF | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

GIRLS NIGHT WITH A GREAT PERSONAL CHEF | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

Next, he added a FENNEL, CORN & SHALLOT RELISH…

GIRLS NIGHT WITH A GREAT PERSONAL CHEF | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

and plated the lovely little roasted carrots.

GIRLS NIGHT WITH A GREAT PERSONAL CHEF | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

Julian sliced the perfectly prepared VADOUVAN PORK TENDERLOIN…

GIRLS NIGHT WITH A GREAT PERSONAL CHEF | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

GIRLS NIGHT WITH A GREAT PERSONAL CHEF | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

and then added my favorite dish of the night: an APPLE HERB SALAD.  I don’t know why, but those apples, seared in the pork drippings and tossed in olive oil and lemon juice with fresh chervil, chives and parsley was just so refreshing.  I am craving it just talking about it!

GIRLS NIGHT WITH A GREAT PERSONAL CHEF | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

Finally, Julian dolloped on some goat milk yogurt, topped it with roasted garlic and voila, dinner was served.

GIRLS NIGHT WITH A GREAT PERSONAL CHEF | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

GIRLS NIGHT WITH A GREAT PERSONAL CHEF | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

As we sat down to enjoy this delicious wine, a round of applauses was offered to our charming and talented chef.

GIRLS NIGHT WITH A GREAT PERSONAL CHEF | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

But the grand finale was a wonderful VALRHONA CHOCOLATE COULANT WITH CARAMEL GELATO AND TOASTED HAZELNUTS. Valrhona chocolate is a French luxury chocolate made in Hermitage, France.  What a great way to end a very memorable evening!

Valrhona Chocolate Coulants with Caramel Gelato and Toasted Hazelnuts |GIRLS NIGHT WITH A GREAT PERSONAL CHEF | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

So there you have it:  GIRL’S NIGHT WITH A GREAT PERSONAL CHEF

Please stay tuned and in the next few days I’ll be sharing all of these fantastic recipes!

Thanks for dropping in!  Do please leave a comment below.  I’d love to hear from you!

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All opinions expressed in this post are my own.  All photos are the original property of Celia Becker @ www.AfterOrangeCounty.com and may not be reproduced without specific permission.

Comments

  • Annie

    What an incredible experience, and gorgeous chef! Thank you for sharing!!!

  • Yes Annie, it was quite a night!

  • Ruth Lester

    Thank you, Celia, for this excellent “coverage” of such a fabulous evening! Your pictures and descriptions brought it all back vivdly. The friends, food, wine and our star Julian made for a perfect night.

  • The thanks go to you Ruth for hosting this enchanted evening!

  • Linda Turczan

    We are just back from New Orleans so I hadn’t read the account of our wonderful evening until now. Thanks for documenting it so accurately, and reminding us of the fun and all the new ideas to try. Cheers to the hostess and the historian!

  • Oh my gosh I am dying!!! Could I be your pretend friend and you could sneek me in next time!! I think I could make those little pizzas…hopefully you are going to share all the recipes!!!

  • Cindy, “pretend friend” my eye! Of course you are so welcome any time. I would love for you to pay me a visit here on my mountain top. And yes, the recipes will be coming soon!

  • Ahhhh, so sweet! You were an extraordinary pasta maker Linda. We will have to try our hand at pasta making again soon.