At last year's Scruffy City Soiree, the annual Knox Heritage fundraiser, Dennis Perkins, Sam George, Vicki Baumgartner, and I auctioned off a wine dinner we called Four Flights Up--with the plan being to serve a course on every level of the four story townhouse downtown where I live with husband Bill and kitty Caesar. Jim Samples, the winning bidder, his wife Margaret, and six other guests recently came for an evening Cynthia Moxley described from the guests' perspective on her blog, The Blue Streak.
Think of this as our version of "Upstairs, Downstairs" or "Downton Abbey"---Here's what was happening downstairs and behind the scenes. Believe me, the staff had as good a time as the guests.
A few hours before guests were due to arrive, I ran out to Hilltop Vineyard to pick up some bread. Here are co-owners, James J. Molchan and Mory Gomez, with my huge half loaf. Yes, half loaf.
Back at the house, Dennis created the garnishes for the cucumber martini and the gin mojito, which were served during the 1st course--outside in the mews.
I organized the plates, utensils, and glassware needed to serve five courses on four levels.
Sam worked his magic on all the tables--This one in the living room was used for the 3rd course
And through the French doors, another one in the den, also for the 3rd course.
Sam brought orchids for the bedroom, where we served the 4th course.
While the guests enjoyed the 1st course (cheese platter and refreshing summer drinks) we prepped the 2nd course: summer shrimp cocktail and prosciutto-wrapped melon.
As with every course, we saved some leftovers for the staff.
Here is the staff enjoying the leftovers. L to R--Dennis Perkins, Sam George, Vicki Baumgartner, and Cliff Wright, Sam's friend who was visiting from Atlanta and was a great addition to the team. Note the comfy footwear on everyone. Very important when you're running up and down stairs!
We also had some staff wine.
Here's Vicki working on the green bean tepees,
Dennis checking on the summer squash risotto,
and Sam and Cliff garnishing the plates for the 3rd course.
Getting those green bean tepees to stand up just right was a challenge. Great job, Vicki & Sam!
Garnishing the meringue gateau (the 5th course, served on the roof) was much easier.
With five of us working, clean up wasn't bad.
Caesar showed up to help us celebrate another successful wine dinner.
We raised money for Knox Heritage, and both guests and staff enjoyed themselves.
Four flights of foodie fun--that's what we're having.