Once the delicacies have reached one of several grand houses featured each festival year, the chef moves in with his own staff. Homeowners do what they can to accommodate the staff even in a historic home like the Levi Starbuck house, which Mark Goldweitz and his wife, Joyce, have lovingly restored with a fine sense of sophisticated décor with charming seaside touches.
After the fine canapés course, guests were seated at a glimmering table featuring the Goldweitz’s Blue Spode china brightened with yellow rose arrangements created by Goldweitz, who has his own greenhouse in Back Bay. Attentive staff served the first course of Rare Scottish Salmon in a colorful mélange of fiddleheads and asparagus with a red butter sauce.
“It was a delicious imported salmon, with a great bright red color,” says Sisca. “I lightly steam it and butter-poach it on its side so you are only really cooking the bottom, so the top stays nice and rare.” For the salmon course, a major Saint Emilion merlot, 1998 Château Beau-Séjour Bécot was selected, a very compatible choice with salmon. “This wine is very mature at an early age and is filled with black fruit, including currents and raisins,” says Denis Toner.
Sisca notes that he kept the portions for the dinner on the small side, at the request of the homeowner. For the second course, a finely cooked pan-roasted squab with black truffles with seared foie gras was sweetened a bit with figs and morels. “I love squab this way, its not too gamey,” says Sisca. A truly special wine, Château Figeac 1999, was the perfect complement to the squab. “This wine is a great historic property,” says Toner. “The ‘99 is just ripe and ready. This is a lush and smooth choice with an extended finish—it’s just perfect with game birds.”
For the third course, cuts from a Colorado rack of lamb delivered by famed New England purveyor, Kenneally Meats of Milton, was fork tender with just the right touch of spicey mustard encrusted on the outside with a sprinkling of bread crumbs and pine nuts. A 1990 Château Trotte Vieille, offered an interesting mixture of 50 percent merlot and 45 percent cabernet franc to the lamb course.