Natalie’s dinner party went first. She started us off with the ever-popular small bite of food, typically known as amuse-bouche, which means, roughly, “amuse the mouth.” Hers were Prosciutto Wrapped Dates with Gorgonzola cheese. Marcy’s were made sans prosciutto (hey, I’m brushing up on my French here.) Alain wasn’t “amused” or at least his mouth wasn’t. He felt there was too much prosciutto in it, that the appetizer should have been lighter, as if wrapped in a “little cloud.” Beautifully put, and with his great French accent too. Michael, in his great American accent, felt it took too much chewing.
Between courses, Epatha told us she started cooking because she had recently fallen in love. I was touched. The minute you fall in love, the first thing you want to do is cook for that person – OK, a lot of guys may want to do something else, but that’s what I want to do, and you can quote me on that.
Natalie’s next course was Bacon and Onion Gnocchi, which was mistakenly served to Marcy, even though Natalie was in the kitchen stirring up a vegetarian version. Huge blunder; Marcy was not happy. But all was soothed over minutes later when the proper dish came out of the kitchen just in time.
For the main course Natalie served sole, stuffed with mushrooms. It was lightly covered with a white wine Parisienne Sauce and sat on a bed of sautéed spinach. Honestly, it was magnificent. She cooked it with a lot of love.
We were mesmerized by her dessert: Gateau a L’Orange with orange butter cream and a thick, fudgy chocolate ganache on top. Even Leah, the model, savored bite by glorious bite. I asked Julie what her favorite part of the meal was, and she pointed to French nude painting on the wall. That reaction wasn’t boding well for Natalie.
On to Vanessa’s party: She served her amuse bouche, which was raw Red Snapper with habenero and lime vinaigrette. Epatha doesn’t eat raw seafood, so Vanessa sauteed some snapper for her and served it with the same accompaniments.
I was pleasantly impress with Vannessa's calm, cool, and collective demeaner.A great chef has no need to flap their wings.I was proud that she cooked two Haitian dish the Haitian legume along with the braise rib and the plaintain soup. Thank you for representing Vannessa!!! May God bless you.We love you!!!
SO want to try vanessa's Banana Tart, Vanilla Bean Pastry Cream and Rum Caramel Sauce! my mouth watered when i saw it! I need a recipe!
I agree, this is the best show on Bravo. It is inspiring me to get a dinner party movement started in our area.
This was a great episode. I loved Natalie's energy and enthusiasm and I thought it was great to see that she held her own against formally trained Chefs. I have many great cooks in my family. My brother is also a trained chef from the CIA. Truth is you don't need a degree to cook fantastic amazing food. You just need to have a passion for it and Natalie definitely had passion......without the pretention.
To the Sicialian Princess,get over yourself.
I have to say that this is BY FAR my favorite new Bravo show. I love the decor aspect. It gives me a lot of party theme ideas. I am not a chef, so I was wondering if French cuisine is what chefs have to learn first. You're doing a great job. Love your friends. Love the food.
Your show is the best on Bravo, at this time. I love the concept and you have selected my choice as the winner, each week.
Rocco, This is the 2nd show that I watched. I love the fact that you have the celebrity guest for your dinner parties. So far I have picked the same winner that you dind...love that! As a child I watched a lot of PBS television and Julia Childs was one of my favorite shows; so I really enjoyed the show last night. Great format...love the content! Keep up the good work Rocco...see you next week!
OMG-I almost turned the show off when Natalie mispronounced biscotti! She claims to be Sicilian (as am I) and I understand she wants to appeal to a wide audience with her cookies, however, if you're going to sell them; educate people on the correct pronunciation, please!