AUGUST

It’s hard to believe that it is August already. With all the craziness of Corona and all that the world is dishing up right now, this year is flying by. We are on the downhill slope of 2020. I hope this finds you and your loved ones happy, healthy, and really loving something amazing about 2020 despite it all.

Some of our best local fruits and veggies are abundant in August. Our local peaches, pears, plums, tomatoes, squash, and berries are at their peak. If you’ve not shopped our local farmers, it’s a must! You’ll realize the beauty of our local bounty. And although we are inland, we also have some of the best and freshest seafood just a few short hours away on our beautiful west coast. Halibut is in high season.

In putting our menu together for August, we kept a few of the favorites so far, and, of course, we’ve included some of August’s tastiest treats and that includes succulent Halibut. We hope you enjoy it. We can’t wait to serve you.


Here We Go Again…

Just got off the phone with our District Supervisor. He feels that the Governor is going to shut down restaurant dining rooms again. I hope not. But, if that is to happen, we are ready!

We’ve been plotting and planning and trying to make the best of this situation. Here’s our plan. We will lock the dining room doors and HAPPILY open our DRIVE-THRU WINDOW. We will actually open a bit earlier, 7:30 am – 3pm, Thursday – Sunday. We want you to be able to start your day with us and on Sundays, we’ll offer curbside pick-up and socially distanced outside dining across our lawn and drive-thru driveway, if needed.

We already have several permanent outdoor seating benches, we’ll just add more. It’s important for us to keep things as normal for our guests as possible and we still want you to be able to get out of your homes and have someplace very special to enjoy. We have a well maintained, shaded, country setting for you to enjoy.

We’ve added an online ordering system. The final touches are being programmed. It will be up and running if and when things close back down. We look forward to serving you. Stay healthy and safe and most of all, God bless us all.


SO FAR…

Today marks ONE MONTH of our opening. TIME FLIES! I have so much to be thankful for. The community support for what we are doing has been astounding!

With a basic structure of a farm to table menu, and the vast bounty of our local crops, we’ve been able to cook and bake up some tasty treats to tantalize the taste-buds of our visitors. Our menu changes darn near daily as our local growers drop in to share their freshest fruits and vegetables with us. I think for most, that is the hardest part to get used to. People like consistency. That is understandable. What I hope our guests find is that they can count on our consistency to provide the freshest food as possible and that it is always delicious no matter what the dish is.

With any new business, its nerve-wrecking and gut-wrenching to put something out there that you love or think is of value without knowing how it is going to be received, especially when it isn’t what others might do or expect. I knew from the start that what I wanted to create might be a different idea, slightly confusing, and more expensive than what had previously been in our location. I was praying that my little community and beyond would enjoy the change and be open to the new concept. So far, so good!


Brick and Mortar

It was a long time coming, but here we are, our own storefront. We opened last week and we are steadily gaining our footing. One of our first customers that came in wanted to chat about catering and all that we do at our little bakeshop, eatery, and catering company. He said he was trying to figure out what exactly we were trying to do here. I said that I was trying to figure out the same thing. He also said he loved our Sliders and Potato Salad that he had for lunch but that our Jalapeno Corn Salad tasted like sh*t! I laughed, of course. I told him I had three grown sons. Two of them love it, one thinks it tastes like sh*t, too! He thinks corn should be hot and not cold in a salad. That’s why we have choices. 🙂

As we go along, I’ll be just as excited as everyone else to find out what we are trying to do here. Until then, we’ll just continue to bake and cook to the best of our abilities in order to tantalize a few taste buds. If you ever travel our way, stop in. We’d love to serve you.

French Whisk, 1974 Acacia Ave., Sutter, CA, (530) 329-8694


EAT with us!

EAT is a private pop-up, secret supper club thrown by The French Whisk (Tiffani Williams) and her team… friends and family who love local, seasonal, delicious food, adult beverages, entertainment, and fun.

You’ll be seated around our chef’s-like-table in the midst of a beautiful table-scape. Our seats are filled by a random lottery draw with guests that have a love for all food local, fresh, and delicious. If you are going to dine out, why not EAT with us?

At EAT you’ll enjoy a multi-course meal with wine, beer, and or spirit pairings, prepared with this season’s most ripe and ready produce and fruit, over the course of an entire evening. Our menus are created with an entertaining theme in mind.  Our wines, beers, and spirits are carefully selected and will pair deliciously with each course. Wines from local Estates will be featured each dinner. EAT is a pre-planned, set menu, event. It is for the adventurous palate (but not too extreme). Due to the nature of our meal, picky eaters or those with food allergies, this experience may not be for everyone.

To experience and enjoy an EAT event, simply ask to be put on our email lottery list. Ten days in advance of each dinner, an email invitation will go out. The email will include the creative theme for the dinner, a suggested donation to help cover the cost of ingredients, and the time we EAT. The lottery draw will take place 7 days prior to EATing. We will notify you only if your name is drawn in the lottery.  Please be courteous and respectful of our precious resources, farm fresh produce and fruit, with a minimum of a 48-hour cancellation notice if you cannot attend.  Cancellation seats are released first-come-first-served on The French Whisk Facebook page.

Being a pop-up, secret, supper club, we are not a restaurant and we do not have set charges. At the conclusion of the meal you are invited to make your suggested donation to cover the cost of your meal and celebrate your servers and entertainers for the evening. Our suggested donation will normally be kept around $100 per person and will always include a welcome drink and amuse-bouche, a multi-course meal, and delicious wine, beer, and/or spirit pairings. Gratuities are welcomed and appreciated by the hard working and dedicated staff of servers and entertainers. Feel free to contribute any amount you feel is appropriate.  If you are a well-dined guest, we hope you will find your evening meets and exceeds any of those experiences that you’ve ever had.

EAT is an evening long celebration of all things delicious.  Diners 21 and over are welcome to be on our lottery draw list and attend a dinner. Your experience will be a lively, vibrant dinner party, not a stuffy restaurant meal.  You may get gussied up or attend in casual attire. Be as unique as you are and the experience we provide.

EAT’s location is a secret! We will notify you 24 hours prior to dinner of the location. We STRONGLY suggest you arrive by a taxi or UBER so that you may fully enjoy your evening and the following morning!

To be on our super-secret lottery draw list for our next dinner, email or text:

thefrenchwhisk@aol.com

(530) 329-8694


OHHH, you’ll never miss it!

The H. E. double toothpicks, I won’t!!! There is nothing worse to me than when I am recreating a recipe for a client with a special dietary need and I find a like or similar recipe to what I’m needing and they use the old adage “this recipe is so good, you’ll never miss the ….”! You fill in the blank, YES! Yes, I will miss the ….

Today I was going through Keto Chicken Cordon Bleu recipes. Each of them went through the steps, but omitted the delightfully crunchy bread coating you get on a delicious Cordon Bleu. Texture, texture, texture. That is one of the best parts of eating, well, other than taste, of course!

I took some guidance from each of the recipes I found, but I also put the “crunch” back in. Hot and spicy chicharrons (crispy pork rinds) to the rescue! CRUSH THEM! Crunch them into a powder. They make THE best bread coating replacement. You do not have to use the hot and spicy, but they sure add flavor.

Here’s a photo of the coated, pre-baked, chicken breast roll. Visit The French Whisk Facebook page to see the entire process of the recipe. It turned out pretty darn amazing if I do say so myself. And, I didn’t miss a thing!


It’s never what it seems…

I’ve been cooking and baking most of my life and catering for the last sixteen years. I still have epic failures!

This weekend I was baking a very special cake for people I love very much. I dove in head first with a brand new recipe for a cake I knew would be simply amazing. One layer was strawberry, one layer lemon, and the third layer was French vanilla. Each layer baked up beautifully. I trimmed them and started the layering process. The strawberry was filled with a fresh strawberry compote. The lemon had a filling of tart lemon curd, and the vanilla had a creamed almond paste.

After placing the top layer, I turned my back to grab my bowl of crumb coat frosting and as I turned back around towards my masterpiece, from the bottom up, each layer had crumbled into pieces from the middle out!

At that moment, I could have crumbled myself. I was crunched for time, utterly disappointed and very frustrated. As I looked at the heaping pile of cake, I reached down and grabbed a handful like a child with a smash cake and I took a bite. It was sinfully delicious. I couldn’t waste one smashed crumb. So I punted.

I grabbed a large baking dish and layered it as best as I could into a trifle. I took my remaining icing and smeared a layer on the top.

It wasn’t the thing of beauty I had dreamed of baking, but I wasn’t going to let my labor of love turn into a complete failure and ruin the spirit of what I was attempting to do.

While I was fixing my mistake, I went back over the recipe in my head and what went wrong. It was just simply too tender of a cake for stacking, especially three full layers with fillings.

My lesson was that I tried, I failed, but I didn’t crumble under my failure. To everyone that ate and enjoyed the trifle, they were none the wiser to my earlier catastrophe. To them, I pulled off another successful dessert. They had no idea it just wasn’t what it seemed.


Seasons and Seasonings

Spring is here. Asparagus, strawberries, and artichokes become abundant and abundantly beautiful this time of year. Bright fragrant herbs break the soil and pop their tender leaves making for delicious salads, lite soups, and added seasonings to almost anything we cook or bake. Summer will bring a whole host of different fruits and vegetables.

Did you know that there is a season for fish and shellfish? Salmon season runs from May through September. Lobster season is late September through March. We are in the end of Atlantic sea scallop season now. They taste best before summer spawning.

Combining all of nature’s current best gives us the best opportunity to enjoy the moment. I had the pleasure of catering for an intimate dinner party in mid-town Sacramento last evening. Their loves were beef, any seafood, and all things hot and spicy, but didn’t necessarily want Mexican food. That’s when I get excited and my creative juices get flowing.

Starting with a green salad of spring butter greens, tender, but crisp, spring peas, shaved fresh jalapenos, adding roasted beets and roasted carrots and dressed with a cashew sour cream dressing, we moved into a dinner with a sous vide and then seared rib eye, huge and delicious Atlantic scallops finished with a pan sauce of fresh tart cherries, balsamic vinegar, and chipotle adobo peppers with a bit of fresh rosemary and thyme.

The best of Spring was on the plates. There is no reason to fight the seasons for delicious seasonings. It will always taste best, cost less, and be readily available.


Lunchbox

What a beautiful Spring day! It was also a great day for a unique catered corporate boxed lunch extravaganza. As it was super busy during the creating process, I managed to grab a few photos of the trial run recipes.

Thinking outside of the lunchbox is always fun. Sandwiches can be delicious, but they can also get a bit boring. Today’s lunch was a bowled seasoned and sautĂ©ed shrimp in chopped garlic, fresh parsley, paprika, dried parsley, cracked pepper, kosher salt, fresh lemon juice, and toasted chopped pistachios, served at room temperature with herbed and salt and peppered French bread crostini and a bright and springy green salad finished with a smores brownie to satisfy that afternoon sweet tooth.

Don’t ever think lunch can’t be something delicious and special. Nor do you have to go to a restaurant to get that something extraordinary. All you have to do is think outside of the lunchbox.