A high class tailgate

6
15
Joined Jan 6, 2015
First, 'allo! I admit I'm not a regular contributor, but I hope I can throw my weight as I am able.

To begin, I'm a home cook in the marvelous region of the US southwest (New Mexico). The topic of this thread is so unique to our area... the Santa Fe Opera has a grand tradition of tailgating! There are folks dressed in jeans, while others are in tops and tails, and ladies in mumuus or ballroom gowns. What would you brilliant professional or home chefs bring to a tailgate to a world class opera?

Since this apparently isn't done in other areas, here are some examples of tailgates at the SF Opera:

Jennifer-Lisa-and-friends-photo-Steve-Collins.jpg


Tail-Gate-Kate-Russell-800x534.jpg


sf_opera_open_night-13.jpg


Tailgating-c-2011-Kate-Russell-2.jpg


The constraints are that there are no heating elements on site, and typically a host must travel about an hour before parking at the opera house. On the other hand, nobody has told me before to not charge up my camping stove.


Historically, I've done chicken salad and pita, duck rillette, salads, pies... I'm just looking for something that will feed fancy people in a fancy way when we're all trucking there with a durango truck and setting up on a picnic table.

In addition, the opera I intend to host for this year is Doctor Atomic:

https://www.santafeopera.org/operas-and-ticketing/doctor-atomic

So of course, anything thematic would be appreciated. But more importantly... what dish would you recommend?
 
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790
308
Joined May 4, 2005
That is the coolest thing I’ve ever seen!

Gougeres would be a good item. You could also make big ones and fill them with cheese mousse or something. You could also split them and use them as a “bun” for a fancy prosciutto sandwich bite.
 
4,769
1,019
Joined Aug 21, 2004
Tea Smoked Duck, a duck breast seasoned with garam masala, then smoked over Earl Grey tea, thinly sliced, served with a grilled pineapple, christophene, and toasted coconut relish and drizzled with a lightly curried pineapple sauce and served in a Belgium endive spear

Grilled Eggplant Skewers, brushed with a spicy Korean marinade of miso, chiles, soy, and sesame, then grilled and served with cucumber kimchee

Glazed Shrimp, shrimp brushed with a honey lime glaze, then grilled and served in a won ton cup with a curried mango sorbet

Coconut Poached Sea Bass, gently simmered in a spicy coconut broth, served in a dim sum spoon on a bed of pan seared bok choy and cabbage and topped with a banana ginger chutney

Spicy Cinnamon Chicken Skewers, a boneless and skinless breast marinated with cinnamon chile oil, then grilled and drizzled with a spicy roasted red bell pepper, coriander, caraway sauce

Shrimp Rumaki, shrimp curled around fresh pineapple, then wrapped with bacon and grilled and drizzled with carrot chipotle syrup

Tamarind Pork Skewers, tenderloin brushed with a sweet spice rub of coriander, star anise, black pepper, sambal oelek, ginger, and lemongrass, then grilled, and topped with tamarind bananas

The constraints are that there are no heating elements on site
A cambro can be your best friend.
 
6
15
Joined Jan 6, 2015
That is the coolest thing I’ve ever seen!

Isn't it marvelous?! I really hope it takes on elsewhere, I just love the idea. The opera usually happens during early monsoon season as well, so you can have a marvelous sunset as you eat, then by the time the opera is on - and it's an open opera house where between the seats and the stage there is a gap open to the outside - there is distant thunder and lightning and all sorts of natural drama in the mountains.

I love ALL of these ideas! I hope I can make use of them, and truck out the camp stove for the hot dishes! I'm trying to think of particularly *atomic* style desserts, like... incorporate pop rocks or something. Or sugar glass stars? Way beyond my comfort zone, but who knows. This is my one chance in the year to experiment and show off a bit while dressing up.
 
2,865
236
Joined Nov 15, 2012
Tea Smoked Duck, a duck breast seasoned with garam masala, then smoked over Earl Grey tea, thinly sliced, served with a grilled pineapple, christophene, and toasted coconut relish and drizzled with a lightly curried pineapple sauce and served in a Belgium endive spear

Grilled Eggplant Skewers, brushed with a spicy Korean marinade of miso, chiles, soy, and sesame, then grilled and served with cucumber kimchee

Glazed Shrimp, shrimp brushed with a honey lime glaze, then grilled and served in a won ton cup with a curried mango sorbet

Coconut Poached Sea Bass, gently simmered in a spicy coconut broth, served in a dim sum spoon on a bed of pan seared bok choy and cabbage and topped with a banana ginger chutney

Spicy Cinnamon Chicken Skewers, a boneless and skinless breast marinated with cinnamon chile oil, then grilled and drizzled with a spicy roasted red bell pepper, coriander, caraway sauce

Shrimp Rumaki, shrimp curled around fresh pineapple, then wrapped with bacon and grilled and drizzled with carrot chipotle syrup

Tamarind Pork Skewers, tenderloin brushed with a sweet spice rub of coriander, star anise, black pepper, sambal oelek, ginger, and lemongrass, then grilled, and topped with tamarind bananas


A cambro can be your best friend.

That is really letting it all hang out.
 

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