There was no more counting down. My 60th birthday had arrived and it was time to celebrate.
My daughter had organised the most surprising thing at her house in Brisbane. My husband and I had flown from our home in Melbourne to join her and her husband, and my brother and his wife for a special family dinner. When we were all seated at the table, I couldn’t help noticing two empty places had been set. It was then that my daughter revealed she had flown my best friend and her husband in to join us.
It was a wonderful surprise and just as we settled down, there was a ringing at the door. I wondered who it could be, given there was no more room for diners.
Imagine how amazed I was to see Brisbane-based celebrity chef Alastair McLeod standing in front of our group. He’d arrived with his assistant chef to cook us all a gourmet dinner!
He is very passionate about food and I found him to be the most engaging guy. He certainly has the gift of the gab, and a quick wit to match! Throughout the evening he shared stories with us and his menu was nothing short of stunning. I held on to it as a reminder of how wonderful the night was for me.
It included spanner crab tartlet, avocado and pink grapefruit; fresh and smoked salmon brandade, caviar and Irish wheaten bread; seared chorizo, almond cream, capsicum jam and garlic crostini; Japanese inspired prawns with lime, chilli and wasabi mayonnaise; roasted Hervey Bay scallops; grilled Tristan Island lobster cafe de Paris with soft herb salad; calotte of beef, wild mushroom, asparagus, black truffle hollaindaise; and a cheese platter with mustard apricots and lavosh.
It wouldn’t have been a birthday celebration without cake, of course, and we ate that with assorted berries and cream. I was thrilled with Alastair and his assistant joined us for dessert and drinks.
The celebrations lasted until the wee hours of the morning. It was the most fabulous, memorable time for me. Just magic!