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Chicken or Beef? Neither, Thank You


WINTER
BY MARCUS SAMUELSSON of MERKATO 55
COST OF FOOD:$250 per person

Hors D’oeuvre
Scallops with harissa mignonnette and winter-melon granité, radish cups filled with jerk pork-belly and green mango, and shrimp piri piri.
“Serve the scallops in cocktail spoons—and make sure they’re not the smaller sea scallops. Set up a station where cooks sautée the shrimp to order; the smell would be incredible. Or pass them on trays with skewers placed in a winter gourd.”

First Course
Warm butternut-squash salad with watercress and cardamom-glazed duck breast.
“The standout ingredient in the salad dish is the cardamom. It gives the duck a lovely aromatic nuance that goes well with the sweet, warm squash—perfect for the cold weather.”

Second Course
Snapper wrapped in banana leaves.
“You don’t want guests to feel like they’re at a banquet, so choose a presentation to keep them guessing: Use a large banana leaf on the plate and have a gorgeous piece of fish inside.”


Third Course
Venison with mustard seed, truffle orzo, and roasted orange and purple beets.
“The beet salad is spectacularly colorful, and venison is extremely sophisticated and not fatty—definitely a black-tie dinner dish.”

Dessert
Warm chocolate cake with pomegranate glaze and spiced wine.
“People do still want to see the big, tiered wedding cake—but you’ll want to provide a dessert alternative. A three-ounce chocolate cake isn’t too big or rich, and pomegranate is in season. Valrhona or Scharffen Berger chocolate is best, or Callebaut from Belgium.”

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