When Michael and I were in Montreal a couple of weeks ago, we had lots of time to be inspired by the beauty that surrounded us and plan for our next big adventure. We have started a business on the side called Chef & Shutter. The concept is to hire us for small and intimate dinner parties. We will prepare, cook, decorate, clean up and photograph the event. We want to keep it small and have been testing the market. The response has been positive! Last night we hosted a dinner party for ten and made a practice run of our next 30 person event this fall. The decor was inspired by the harvest season including white gourds, candles and mason jars filled with wild flowers. Citrus water was served in empty label-less wine bottles and there were sprigs of rosemary intertwined in each napkin. Smooth lounge tunes were woven into the bustling conversations and laughter. We started with a welcome drink made of apple cider, bourbon and cinnamon sticks. Various cheeses, fruit and bread were served as well as a prosciutto wrapped pear, watercress, red and yellow peppers and homemade herb cream cheese. The soup was a butternut squash and pumpkin seed blend. Next was beef tenderloin cooked to perfection, leek mashed potatoes, candied carrots and asparagus and a glazed pearl onion. We sipped on various California reds, matched perfectly to each course. Dessert was homemade vanilla icecream and a pear, apple and ginger crumble with a crushed pistachio crust. As always, we took breaks between courses, snapped photos in between and later sipped Lemoncillo liquer to cleanse the pallette. Our guests left with a dinner music compilation that I made for each couple to take home. We have always entertained like this. We are fortunate to now have a house made for entertaining, and amazing friends who always offer to contribute. We had a great night, were left with more wine that we even started with and a very generous gift from our friends. Looking forward to the next leg in our creative journey together. I could not ask for a better lifemate or corporate partner.