Padma Lakshmi

Padma Lakshmi reflects on Ted Allen's party, and the difficulties of catering for a crowd.

on Dec 14, 2006

Add to that, starting by gently asking Betty and Marcel to put their differences aside before it became an issue, was a great show of leadership on Sam's part. It was wonderful that since they decided to do so many dishes everyone had a chance to realize their ideas. Marcel seemed particularly excited to be at work, saying how he was planning to work flat out and give it his all. It was nice to see that positivity, passion and pride on display. And the team had much to feel pride about. Their table looked exquisite, it was a festive, bountiful cornucopia of colors and flavors and had all sorts of tasty morsels that would easily satisfy a wide variety of palates. The table was always full, the food was always hot. Also, the presentation was stellar. The garnish ingredients were never superfluous. They always worked as a component of the dish (as a sauce for instance), and they were colorful and done beautifully, on the same level as some of the most well regarded professional caterers I've been exposed to. I remember many of the items to this day, and I had quite a lot of them if memory serves. I didn't even notice that they went with "lower ticket ingredients." All I tasted was succulent, yummy food. And it kept coming and coming.