For the third year now, the owners of Fino and Asti, Emmett and Lisa Fox, have done an employee appreciation party at Fino. I was flattered to be invited to this event before the holidays by Mr. Fox himself. Dai Due did the cooking in the Fino Kitchen, and the meal was outstanding. One of the many things I love about Dai Due, is that on each of their dinner menus, they print the list of contributors of all of the food on the menu. I keep these menus and use them for my own sourcing.
The menu, served family style, was as follows:
Pork Trottter Croquettes with Pickled Radishes and Sweet Bavarian Mustard. These were delicious.
Lime Bean and Mint Puree – I’m not sure this found its way to my end of the table.
Antelope Tartare – Two years ago, I would have taken a tiny taste in fear of what raw meat might taste like, but it was fabulous and I dug in and poked around for a second serving.
Smoked Catfish Terrine – Wonderful
Sweetbread Terrine – Again, something I would have shied away from a while back, but it was delightful.
Arbequina Olives and Pickled Beets – I missed these as I was still eating the tartare.
Poached Beef Tongue with Carrot Top Sauce – This was great, and another of the offerings I might have not tried.
Fried Guinea Livers with Persimmon-Pepper Jam – One of my favorites of the evening!
Oyster Stew with Salt Pork, Smoked Gulf Tuna Bottarge and Pain au Lait. Barrie’s toasted bread in this rich stew was perfection.
Confit Spare Ribs, Kasekrainer and Cider-braised Ham Hocks – Hands down my favorite dish of the evening.
Braised Cabbage, Mashed Rutabagas and Roasted Cauliflower – Didn’t want to, but I loved the rutabagas
The Menu said Veldhuizen Bosque Blue with Candied Mohawks, Jujube Past and Pecan Bread, but what I got was a big spoonful of Pure Luck Chevre and it was mind blowingly good.
I was too full for the Hinkelhatz Truffles and Coffee but I’m sure they were fabulous.
The local contributors were many named on this blog over the past year:
Broken Arrow Ranch
Rain Lily Farm
Mr. Felker (Lake Travis catfish)
Bastrop Cattle Company
San Miguel Seafood
Texas Olive Ranch
Full Quiver Farm
Bat Creek Orchards
Johnsons Backyard Garden
Indian Hills Farm
If you ever get the good fortune to attend a Dai Due Dinner, and I hope you do, think about the sheer time involved in sourcing every single thing locally. Nothing is delivered in the Ben E. Keith truck or from Sysco, or picked up at Restaurant Depot. It boggles my mind.