Dinner in Blue
On the 1st of September 2011 I reached the magical mythical age of 50. According to the party invite I was suffering from my second midlife crisis, bodily deterioration and feeling blue… Of course that was al meant cynically as, to be honest, I’m feeling better than ever.
Paul and I have been thinking for a long time for the perfect location for our party. We wanted something special and extraordinary. We had already checked out several places but non of them convinced us 100%, until one Saturday we had lunch in one of our favorite hangout places in Heerlen, Restaurant 5.0 on the fifth floor of Schunck, which is better known as ‘Het Glaspaleis’. On numerous occasions we had already visited 5.0 for lunches, ‘normal’ dinners (although we wonder if there is such a thing as a ‘normal’ dinner at 5.0), and several theme evenings. Each visit was extraordinary, both because of the amazing atmosphere and the wonderful dishes ‘food curator’ Jeffrey and his ever friendly staff serve to their guests.
During that lunch on Saturday it was not difficult to make up our minds, this was the perfect place to celebrate my 50th birthday. While we talked to Jeffrey we came up with a wonderful concept for a ‘ dinner in blue ’, an evening which would certainly surprise most of our friends.
Without a single trace of doubt we booked the restaurant for the 3rd of September and sent out invitations. Needless to say the both of us were very exited about the evening.
Here are some photographical impressions of the evening itself. 50, a Dinner in Blue… If you have been there I hope it brings back a smile on your face.
I am a real foodie, love food, love cooking, and of course with good food comes good wine. I spent quite some time in the kitchen preparing for dinner parties I love to do and even after I’m done cooking I stay there chatting with my friends and zipping a glass of wine or two.
A couple of years I followed a cooking course to learn the basics (something I still love to do when traveling) and since then we am trying to improve our cooking skills. Preparing is half of the fun, reading through cookery books, getting inspired by the recipes, and trying to create that perfect dinner. It is wonderful to make my guests feel welcome at ‘An evening with Marc’ the theme I have given to my dinner parties.
The Fat Duck
Dining out is also something else I love. For years now I have been a great fan of Heston Blumenthal, owner of the Fat Duck, world’s second best restaurant. Paul and I had promised ourselves to go there on our 10th anniversary but after we received the big fat duck cookery book we could wait no longer and booked a table (which was not that easy).
We took the train in Geilenkirchen an early saturday morning in May 2009 and made it all our way to Bray, where the Fat Duck is located. After a wonderful and sunny afternoon at the terrace of our hotel (Thank you Rana, Miles and Sean to take the effort to come and visit us) we took a taxi to the Fat Duck where, after a glass of champagne, we opted for the tasting menu. We had high expectations and I can only say they were easily surpassed. Here are just some of the dishes that we had: Oak moss and truffle toast (the table was covered in white smoke and we could smell and taste oak trees), snail porridge , roast foie gras “Benzaldehyde” (to die for), Sound of the sea (the only time I cried during dinner), Ballotine of Anjou Pigeon (this was sooooooo nice), Hot and iced tea (A sensational experience), Nitro-scrambled egg and bacon ice cream (Good morning, we would like to serve you breakfast!!!), and finally a collection of delightful petit fours. The evening was absolutely breathtaking and went by far to quick. Of course this was an extreme splurge, something we had been looking forward to, we were not disappointed…
From the beginning of 1995 till my retirement in 2017 I worked for NATO at the E-3A Component in Geilenkirchen, Germany. The E-3A component is the Main Operating Base in Europe where the E-3 AWACS planes are located. The E-3A component is a multinational operational organization which fulfills an important peacekeeping task within NATO. AWACS stands for Airborne Warning and Control System.
The E-3A’s are based on the Boeing 707. It’s most visible and impressive change is the large, rotating rotodome which is mounted on the fuselage. Although I see the E-3A’s every day I still think it’s an impressive sight. In 1997 I was able to join a air refilling flight which was a stunning experience. I made the pictures you see on these pages during this flight. Isn’t it a sensational view?
Every now and then it’s good to enjoy a good drink, either stirred or shaken (but not before driving…). I really love to make and drink cocktails. There’s a lot of classic and well known cocktails like Singapore sling, Zombie, Screwdriver etc. Maybe you don’t remember how to make them anymore or maybe you simply like to learn some new ones. Of course you can find it on the web, The Webtender will tell you everything you want to know about drinks. You can also try this cocktail which I’ve created myself while I had one of the most beautiful islands in the world in mind.
20 cl White Bacardi, 20 cl Black Bacardi, 20 cl Creme de bananas 20 cl Pasoa, 10 cl Coconut liqueur, 10 cl Grenadine
Put all ingredients in a shaker and add 200 cl of orange juice or, even better, a tropical fruit mix. Add some ice cubes and shake well. Serve in a long drink glass, close your eyes and let your mind drift away to Bali, the island of the Gods (which is pretty easy after a couple of these drinks as they’re quite strong). Enjoy it!
The next one came into my mind while I was enjoying myself on one of the numerous “bounty” beaches somewhere in the South Pacific and looked at the fantastic clear turquoise coloured sea.
20 cl Blue Curaçao, 20 cl Vodka
Pour all ingredients in a long drink glass and add two icecubes. Now carefully pour in a citrus mix (lemon, lime, grapefruit, orange) to create a nice blue, green, yellow wave in the glass. Using a spoon helps to get the desired effect. Again close your eyes, take a zip and you will float to the tranquil Pacific islands.