Damaris Lewis. Damaris is a Brooklyn-born swimsuit model that has appeared in Sports Illustrated and Victoria’s Secret, among others.
Jung Lee. Jung is the co-owner and co-founder of Fête, a full-service event planning and design production firm
Jeffrey Ross. Also known as the Roastmaster General, Jeff is a comedian with a lot of TV and media credits, and has entertained U.S. troops in Iraq. I met Jeff when we both competed on the 7th season of Dancing with the Stars. Jeff got booted off first; I followed a few shows afterward.
When they arrived I served them a glass of Torre Oria Rosado Cava and told them what I had up my sleeve. Everybody was super-fitness conscious, but Jeff didn’t want to eat healthy food. He was proud of his “smorgasbord abs” and wanted to keep them that way. Not only that, he wasn’t much of a fish eater. I took Jeff back to the kitchen; we asked the chefs to fix a few of Jeff’s favorite foods, but to downsize them to fit the healthy theme of the party. Ryan, who is a big fan, said, “Anything for Jeff Ross.” I loved his attitude.
When I heard that Jen was attempting her recipes for the first time, I turned into a quivering mass of Jell-O. I mean, who does that at a dinner party? It isn’t an experiment. With the exception of re-working the calories and fat, she should have stuck to recipes she’s perfected, rather than exploring the world of culinary dishes she’d never tried before. I didn’t want any unexpected surprises on the night of this event.
Well, anyway, here was her menu: Grilled Sea Scallops with Tequila Lime Agave Sauce, paired with Avocado Mousse; BBQ Pork Tenderloin with Rice and Beans; and a Passion Fruit Mousse Trifle. Her cocktail was a Coco Loco Spritzer. I will give Jen this: she tasted her scallops and they tasted like rubber. She did a brilliant course-correction and substituted shrimp instead. I didn’t even know it until later. Jen is a kick in the kitchen. Her Avocado Mousse, which she put in the freezer, froze in its piping bag. Disaster, but she recovered. Good chefs have to improvise on the fly. And since Jeff doesn’t eat scallops this decision worked out perfectly.
Ryan’s menu was: Grilled Sea Scallops with Tomato and Watermelon Salad (good thing Jen had to switch to shrimp or I think we would have all OD’d on scallops); Poached Cod with Cucumber Edamame Puree; and Strawberry Balsamic Parfait with Greek Yogurt, vanilla beans and fresh strawberries. He made Margaritas for our cocktail.