Thursday, January 12, 2006

File under self promotion

A note to the reader: I've recently been inspired by a friend of mine, who tracks his art projects on MySpace, to do a bit of the same and document some of my own ongoing projects. Those that see me all the time probably already know all the things I'm up to, but then again those people probably hear enough from me and don't need to come to the web to get an extra dose. So to friends and family abroad or to those I just don't get to see all the time, this post's for you.

Two years ago, I helped a good friend of mine, Dave Allen, out with cooking for a Senior High Valentine's Day fundraising dinner. After a year's haitus, the powers that be wanted the dinner back. Dave's a busy guy, so this year I was recruited to play head chef and design a menu for the dinner.

Those that know me well, know that I both love to cook and am somewhat of a perfectionist. So the challenge was to put together the best menu given the constraints that are the kitchen I would be working in, time, money (it is a fundraiser), quality of available ingredients and of course my skill. (Somewhat analogous to an engineering project now that I think of it.) So here's what I've come up with.

Fundraising menu
Click to see full sized version

The menu had to fit into a church bulletin and it also had to be legible, printed off of a Xerox machine, so I tried to keep the layout simple and I didn't have a chance to play with the white space as much as I would have liked to. All in all, I was fairly pleased with the end results. Update: I've also made some changes since the version you see here. I took the unnecessary period of off the 7:00 at the bottom, fixed up the line spacing for the bottom two lines and created a simple back for the insert.

I've also come up with a few little touches for way the food will be presented, but I'll have to wait to reveal those until the actual night. Hopefully, I can grab some pictures from the night and share them with you here as well. I've got Ruth Maendal recruited for decorating the tables and the room, so I've got high expectations for the night.

It'll be hard to pull off, but I'm actually quite excited about the whole thing. Dave and I are already having a lot of fun with it. For a bit of a promo last Sunday, both of us dressed up in suits and sat behind a little booth. Along the front read, "Panel of Experts", and above us hung a sign saying, "Need dinner ideas, romantic advice?" Then of course for every question, our response would be something along the lines of, "Hmmmm, yes, actually I've got just the solution for you. You see, on February 19th we are putting on a romantic dinner..." Most of the married men seemed to find the idea of two single guys offering romantic advice quite amusing. Although, strangely enough, all the women seemed to love the idea and played right along. I'll let the reader draw their own conclusions. ;)

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