Halloween at work this year was more of a treat than a trick for those of us who were working that day as we were treated to a specially prepared lunch with food that was out of this world. We've been known to have the occasional potluck or two to mark holidays but had decided that rather than have the standard meatballs in sauce in a crockpot, macaroni & cheese, etc that we'd ask Matt to cook for us.
Matt is an exemplary cook and works with another Matt who used to work at American long before I was there and now has a catering business in Central Village. They do weddings, parties, and events at the local cathedral and are apparently getting quite the reputation for making some excellent dishes. Whereas Matt is an excellent dispatcher and Fleet Manager, I think his real passion is cooking and if he could make a living at it we'd lose him at American in a very quick New York minute.
I think that even more enjoyable to him than the actual preparation was the planning of the menu - and that's saying something because he sounded positively giddy when he was doing the actual prep! It was every bit as good as he had told us it was going to be and is certainly going to make any future potluck lunches pale miserably in comparison!
Lunch started with two appetizers - Jack Daniels pulled pork over a corn muffin with cheese (forgive me, Matt, I forgot what kind of cheese!) and crabcakes with a corn relish that was out of this world. I would have been just as happy to call it good right there but that would have been very difficult with all of the other food that was spread out on the table behind me! The main course consisted of roast pork loin with a cranberry-citrus stuffing, pumpkin tortellini, garlic mashed potatoes with lobster, green beans, and a Fall salad with candied pecans. Last but not least was dessert - a pumpkin mousse with dark rum.
Everything was absolutely delicious and it was rather amusing to watch Matt fluttering over everything like a mother hen! He made sure that everyone had the opportunity to try everything and had no trouble accepting the compliments that he so richly deserved. If anyone went home hungry on Tuesday it was their own fault as there was enough food there to feed twice the number of people that were there. Of course, after lunch most of the schedulers wanted nothing more than to curl up and take naps rather than answer the phones as "enough" was in no one's vocabulary that day!
Good food is an art and Matt is definitely an artist when it comes to preparing it. My compliments to the chef and we are definitely going to have to do this again sometime - I'm afraid that meatballs in a crockpot have permanently lost their appeal!