For reasons I can only begin to fathom, The Ohio Pork Producers Council invited me to participate in their annual “Taste of Elegance” chef’s competition in Columbus last week.
Seriously. Celebrity. Pork. Judge.
There were ninety minutes to go before guests arrived, and everything was running smoothly. The bread was out of the oven, and my pimenton mayonnaise had held its fussy emulsion. Cream had been whipped, spiked with Grand Marnier, and prepped for deployment atop mugs full of warm boozy goodness. Chocolate-Chip cookie dough had been scooped onto parchment and was ready for baking. I had a gallon of cocoa on a low simmer. Ganache for the chocolate martinis was gently holding over a double-boiler. A Tom Waits-ey playlist was already murmuring in the background. I had cleaned the bejeezus out of my apartment, sourced a hat, and was ready to don a blazer. My long-held fantasy of a winter-themed cocktail party for my birthday was about to come into being.