Eastside Road, Healdsburg, September 20, 2009—WE TRY TO HAVE the pastry crew from the restaurant up for lunch once a year during these pleasant weeks when summer moves into fall, and today was the day. I think it turned out to be about sixteen people, most of the present team, a few from the old days, most with significant others. It's a lot of fun; they're an interesting lot. Apart from pastry and restaurant the conversation moves to architecture, art schools, technology, design, books of course; and as the day ebbs away into twilight, and then night itself, and the stars spread across the sky overhead — for it was a balmy evening — and the oldest friends linger, as you'd hoped they would, talk becomes both intimate and unguarded, as it does among such friends. I suppose all this is perfectly ordinary: but it's a gift for which we're continually grateful.
We had bread and cheese, and I made a one-liter-olive-oil aïoli, and Lindsey fixed potatoes and Nancy Skall's delicious Musica beans, and there were sweet peppers and tomatoes. I grilled eleven chicken breasts and five thighs and drumsticks over charcoal. And for dessert, Lindsey made that wonderful Mace Cake, with Alan's superb peaches on the side, and whipped cream. Unforgettable.
Albariño,Sete Cepas, Rias Baixas, 2008; Rosé: Moulan de Gassac, Huilhem, 2008; Chateau la Canorgue, Côtes de Luberon, 2007