I’m making the executive decision to post about dinner with Top Chef All Star winner Richard Blais rather than do a Friday faves post. Sound good?

Good.

I arrived at The Kitchen last night to the scene of a lovely holiday party. Yes, holiday as in thanksgiving or Christmas. Magazines work ahead of time, and I’m definitely not complaining because that makes it a-okay for me to celebrate Christmas in July!

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After a little mingling, we all sat down (I made sure to sit front and center!) and we’re introduced to a representative from Dannon (the sponsor) as well as the man of the hour, Chef Richard Blais!

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I have to say, he was so personable and seemed so comfortable. He had no trouble focusing on his cooking demo and making us all laugh at the same time. I’m sure he’s had lots of practice with all his guest appearances, but it just seemed so natural!

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He cooked us a beautiful holiday meal that was slightly “modernized” by using traditional ingredients to make creative dishes that had been created with Greek yogurt. By replacing some of the cream and fat with yogurt, each dish was modified to be a bit healthier without sacrificing that awesome taste associated with the indulgence of the holiday season.

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On the menu:

Amuse

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Lamb tartare

Appetizers

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Acorn squash soup with pomegranate seeds

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Beet and orange salad with avocado dressing

Main

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Roasted Turkey with “loaded” sweet potatoes and mac ‘n cheese

Dessert

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Panna cotta with clementines, ginger, and almonds

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Egg nog martini

Oh. My. Goodness.

Everything was oh so delicious. There was hardly a drop left when I was done with the meal. It was so inspiring. It makes me want to take charge of a Thanksgiving dinner and create a memorable, secretly healthier meal.

Before I go, I’d like to share my embarrassing moment for the month.

I was chatting with one of the PR reps before while waiting to say thank you and goodbye to Richard and, somehow, the fact that I’ve started a blog came up. She said she’s always looking for new recipes, and would love to know the name. I don’t know if you all know this, but I’m very shy and even my family and friends don’t really know about my blog. I sheepishly told her the name, and on I went to talk to Richard.

Than, as I’m leaving, she says she’ll take a look at my blog. So, Richard jumps in and says he will too. What do I do? I say “no, no, no” and get all blushy. WHAT!

So he says, “ok I won’t.” I immediately feel so dumb because I’m sure he was just being nice, so I calmly explained of course they could check it out, I’m just shy! Oh, brother. =)

I’m well on my way to the beach as we speak! Have a great weekend everyone!

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