Personal Chef Services

Hello Friends!

A Bolder Table started as a food blog in 2009. My goal was to compile my recipes in one place, and it’s evolved into a space where I express my thoughts on food, share recipes, talk about restaurants, and help promote my favorite local foodies.

When I started blogging, I had no idea I’d meet and marry a chef. After more than twenty years working in professional kitchens, Sean is making the leap to being a full time personal chef. We’re really excited to spend more time together, to stop eating dinner at 11:30pm after he returns home from work, and to help make other peoples’ lives easier and more delicious.

We’re now transitioning to a personal chef service, so our blog posts will soon migrate to the “blog” section. We’ll continue to fill them with easy to follow recipes and keep you updated on anything food-related we’re excited about here in Boulder and across the Front Range of Colorado. We’ll also keep you up to date on the delicious meals he’s making for some hungry locals.

We are happy to unveil our new personal chef services. Stay tuned for the updated website!

Cheers!

Megan & Sean

Thanksgiving 2015

We had the honor and pleasure of cooking Thanksgiving again this year for a really great family.

I bought a local turkey as I did last year from Long Shadow Farm in Berthoud, CO. Unlike last year when I arrived at the farm to find a woman seated at a desk in the garage near a large refrigerator distributing chilled birds to anyone who had pre-ordered, this year I walked into a slaughtering/de-feathering/cleaning of turkeys small-scale processing line that I was not expecting at all. Our bird hadn’t even been chilled as she had been slaughtered just a few hours prior to pickup. Talk about having a real understanding of where our food comes from! I have that image seared into my memory… and will spare you the few photos I took.

We’re very fortunate to purchase such a quality turkey, so it’s extra important to me to serve it with all made from scratch accompaniments and sides.

I made the caramelized onion gravy base on Tuesday night. I’ve been making this gravy for more than ten years now, and each year I think it tastes better than the last. The butter and onions cooked low and slow for six hours. Six. Hours.

caramelized onion gravy

I started with a full pot and snapped a photo every couple of hours…

caramelized onion gravycaramelized onion gravy

 

 

 

 

 

 

…until I couldn’t resist spooning it into my mouth.

caramelized onion gravy

Wednesday I made my pumpkin pie, but failed to snap a photo. I also made a cranberry sauce with roasted shallots and mandarin zest.

Cranberry Sauce

Thursday, Chef and I cooked the rest of the meal on site in their Boulder home. The beautiful bird went into the 325 degree oven after being rubbed with butter and herbs. She amazingly and somewhat surprisingly appeared done after just under two hours. That was a fast cooker!

Longshadow Farm TurkeyRoasted Longshadow Farm Turkey

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I put together a wild rice stuffing while Sean made a sweet potato and chevre gratin, which has now become a Thanksgiving tradition for this family.

sweet potato chevre gratinSweet Potato Chevre Gratin

The ingredients in this dish are simply sinful- The health benefits of sweet potatoes are far outnumbered by the cheese and heavy cream combo. But, that’s what makes it so GOOD too!

While the gratin baked, Sean worked on maple glazed carrots in a cast iron skillet.

maple glazed carrots

Next, he assembled green beans in shallot butter topped with fried shallots.

green beans with fried shallots

We added the pan juices to the gravy base, carved the bird,

caramelized onion gravyRoasted Local Turkey

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And set up a small buffet for them.

Thanksgiving 2015

We can’t wait until next year!

 

Private Dining with Sean Smith and A Bolder Table

In case you haven’t heard through the grapevine, A Bolder Table has teamed up with Sean Smith, a chef at Boulder’s esteemed OAK at Fourteenth, and will be hosting monthly vegetarian dinner parties at my downtown Boulder loft. Once a month, we will be inviting six guests to join us for a unique dining experience. January 28, 2013, was our first.

Sean decided to give our first dinner an around-the-world theme, and treated all of his menu planning, prep, cooking, and plating as if he were working in a restaurant. That essentially means we had one of the best “home cooked” meals ever.

Our guests arrived by 7:30. There are rules guests must follow if they’re invited to one of our parties, and rule number one is you must arrive between 7:15-7:30. Dinner service starts shortly after 7:30 and late arrivals are not allowed because they interrupt the chef’s flow. The second rule is you must participate in social media (facebook, twitter, instagram, etc.) at least twice during the dinner. The third rule is the easiest to follow: Have fun.

And fun was definitely had by all. Sean invited his friends Lorraine, her fiance Jesse, and their friend Brian, visiting from NY. I invited Matt, who’s not on social media so I think he broke one of the rules, Anne, and Tim. Together we made eight.

Our first course was Caponata and Bruscetta, which was, like every course, absolutely delicious.

As soon as Sean told the table what we were about to eat, we all realized we weren’t just at some fun, cool dinner party. We were dining in a private dining room with a professional chef who had put a lot of thought, energy, and love into a four course meal.

…and the wine was flowing…

Our second course was Coconut Curry Soup. Savory Spice Shop’s medium yellow curry was the secret ingredient in this course and, if I’m remembering correctly, the table was pretty silent while spooning this into our mouths.

The third course was a cornmeal crusted red hot marinated tofu (which had been frozen, thawed, and pressed), creamy blue cheese polenta, and braised greens.

…and that wine kept being consumed… and stories… oh, man, the stories…

If I were just focusing on the meal, I’d say, “Finally, Sean served dessert.” Or something like that. But this dining experience was so much greater than a group seated around a table eating fantastic food. This was a group who hadn’t all known each other before but all eight of us came together in a way that forges friendships. Every one of us was so genuinely enjoying each other’s company that our final course, an Earl Grey Pot de Creme, was just the end of the dining part of the evening before heading upstairs into my loft with a few more bottles of wine. And remember… what happens in my loft, stays in my loft, so that part of the story is left for you, dear reader, to imagine.

Sean and I will be holding monthly dinner soirees for the coolest cats in Boulder, and I’ll be sharing photos from our events to tantalize your taste buds. Please email me at megan@localtabletours.com if you’d like a recipe for any of his courses.

 

 

A Bolder Birthday Party

Happy Birthday to me! I enjoy throwing myself a birthday party each year, and my last one was so much fun I think I’ll start throwing more parties in general.  I bought a beautiful cheese spread from Cured that Molly, my friend and manager of Boulder’s fine cheese shop, put together for me. Patti Miller provided some of her wine jellies from her business Start Spreading the Booze, and I made flatbreads for the cheese feast. I put out my olive oil pickles, candied curried pecans, fudge brownies, grilled sausages made in house at Whole Foods, grilled veggie skewers, Nathan Miller Chocolates, chips, wine, beer, and a white wine cocktail (thanks to Allie from The Hooch Life for the idea). Lights, camera, music… action. We went until close to 5 am.

Photo credit: Giovanni Castillo

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