Last Leo Roar! A Cooperative Birthday Celebration with Great Friends

by Melissa on September 10, 2011

I usually don’t get to celebrate my birthday… in the sense that in recent years my birthday has usually consisted of dinner out with the husband and his parents.

When my dear friend, Patricia decided to put together a collaborative birthday shindig for all of her fellow Leo friends, I was ecstatic. Because Patricia knows how to throw a party, and this one may have been one of the best.

The location at Guy T Gunter Appliances was gorgeous, and that may be an understatement. It was the perfect place to host a party for a big group of foodies, complete with a kitchen stadium. Iron Chef demo, anyone?

So what kind of food blogger would I be if I didn’t agree to do a demo at the birthday shindig. Besides, I thought “hey, what better way to do my first demo than to cook for 50 people.” Go big or go home, right people?

We decided on sticky rice with mango. Which was pretty perfect. It’s a very simple recipe that seems fancy, and it just so happens that mangoes are my favorite fruit.

I will go ahead and apologize for the lack of and scatterbrained nature of these photos. I’m kicking myself for not getting a great shot of the space that we were in, more glamorous shots of all the incredible food and photos with new and old friends at the event.

Doing my first demo had clearly turned me into a big ball of nervousness.

Thank goodness Paul was there to lend a helping hand. Note to self: Make him help out more with the cooking at home.

Once I got over my obsession with trying to perfectly style about 50 of these little cups of mango sticky rice, production of them went fairly quickly. A few people asked if I was a professional chef. I’m guess I didn’t look as clueless and nervous as I was feeling – ha!

Recipe for the sticky rice with mango can be found here. Slight changes to the garnish: Instead of garnishing with mint leaves, toast some black sesame seeds and sprinkle on top.

Professional guest chefs working away in the kitchen. I was preoccupied with stuffing my face full of delicious food and wine, but took a break to catch a quick shot of the steam in action in the kitchen area.

Chef Joe Truex gave us a preview taste of a new menu item for Watershed, Shrimp Ragu with Benton’s Bacon. If this is any indication of what the menu will be like at the new Watershed location later this year, I’ll be the first in line.

Look at that shrimp, pulled less than 48 hours ago out of the Gulf, driven up to Atlanta from Mississippi and served in this amazing dish.

That being said, I had the pleasure of meeting Alan and Thomas, owners of new Atlanta company, Sea Candy, they will be sourcing and providing the freshest of fresh quality seafood from the Gulf of Mexico to restaurants in Atlanta.

Patricia didn’t forget about entertainment for this birthday celebration. Joel from Lethal Rhythms was on hand providing music for the evening, best DJ in Atlanta and maybe the region. I would know, he was the DJ at our wedding two years ago.

Here he is with fabulous Suchita Vadlamani.

Aside from the fabulous food, beautiful location and awesome music it was great seeing friends again: Jay, Patti (check out Patti’s writeup on the event, she got shots of the beautiful space), Brandon, Shyni, Cara and I’m sure more that I can’t quite remember due to the five glasses of wine that I had that night.

What an absolutely incredible event! You’ve outdone yourself again, Patricia!

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Regan @ The Professional Palate
September 12, 2011 at 10:46 am

Looks like a wonderful time!


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