Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Present Day Club - Princeton, NJ

As you may remember reading, we were invited last winter to speak at the Present Day Club in Princeton, NJ.  What made this opportunity so unique was the fact that the person who found us, Ms. D'Amico, just happened across our blog, and after a few minutes of reading, she though that we would be fun to have as presenters at their prestigious Princeton organization.  Needless to say, we were very honored, and today was an absolutely beautiful day to speak to their group.

We had stopped by last Thursday to take a look at the space that we would be presenting in.  The Present Day Club has a gorgeous facility at the corners of Stockton Street and Library Place in downtown Princeton, practically on campus.  We met with Marge and Chef Christine, and took a look at the ballroom, and figured out logistics for our presentation.  Needless to say, Ms. D'Amico and Chef Christine were fabulous, and made sure that we had everything that we needed.

We arrived today, and were greeted by a few of their members.  First we met Ms. Kathleen Fluss, and then we met Present Day Club President Barbara Purnell.  Upon walking in, we went into one of their gorgeous sitting rooms, and spent about a half hour doing a meet and greet with a few of their other members who's names I cannot remember at the moment.  We sat and enjoyed a glass of white wine, and talked about ourselves a bit, and also listened to information about them, about the Present Day Club, and about Princeton in general.  There were several different topics of discussion, and it was nice to hear some little tidbits from some of Princeton's elite.

One of my favorite topics of this conversation was talking about The RIVERLine, and how nice of a resource it is to have.  From here, one of their members started talking about the train in Princeton that runs from campus, to the Princeton Junction NJ Transit station.  This train is affectionately called, "The Dinky" because of its small size.  It's actually funny to see that someone has even created a Facebook page dedicated to saving the Princeton "Dinky!"

From here, we were rounded up, and went into their smaller formal dining room.  I say smaller and formal as I don't want to confuse this with the gorgeous ballroom that we will be speaking in after lunch.

The table was set with nice China, and had a gorgeous centerpiece of fresh cut flower.  Nice name place signs had our names hand scribed in wax pen letting us know where to sit, and it was all done very elegantly.  A server came out of the kitchen and offered us coffee or tea, and just a few minutes later our came out lunch.

Lunch came out, and it was a stuffed chicken dish, that seemed to be pounded thin, stuffed, and rolled.  This was then topped with a gorgeous sauce, and the plate was garnished with fresh carrots with a nice sweet glaze on them.

The flavors in this dish were just what the doctor ordered for an overcast and chilly fall day.  The chicken was very flavorful and tender, and the stuffing paired very nicely.  The stuffing was made from fresh bread crumb, mozzarella, and pancetta.  The flavors from the sauce and the pancetta that topped the sauce was just couldn't have gotten any better, and it was pure joy on a plate.  The sauce was a roasted plum tomato puree, with garlic, tarragon, and cream.  That being said, I would love to get this recipe from Chef Christine, and this would make a great dinner for one of our dinners that we host throughout the year at our home.

Conversation continued over lunch, and everyone seemed to have an enjoyable time.  From judging everyones plates, they also enjoyed their lunches!  This was the perfect portion, and we even had room for dessert, which came out a few minutes later.  This was a baked apple cake of sorts, with a very nice sauce, and this too was wonderful.  In short, lunch was very enjoyable, and our stomachs left the table very happy.

From here, President Barbara Purnell escorted us to the ballroom, which looked to be filled with 60-70 members.  This was definitely a diverse crowd, and we looked forward to speaking to them.  Ms. Purnell read a short introduction, and to the podium we went.

We had a PowerPoint that we had customized to this event, and they supplied us with a laptop and projector.  As always, the PowerPoint wasn't really necessary, but we know how people like to look at visual aids. 

Some agenda items from our presentation included:
  • Personal Introductions
  • The beginning of our foodie adventures
  • The F. Scott and Zelda reference
  • What is a BLOG, and what do bloggers do?
  • What is a “Foodie”
  • What is an “Oenophile"
  • Being a “food critic"
  • How do we choose restaurants
  • How we write our reviews
  • Social media to promote our blog
  • Features
  • Cooking
  • Wine
Once I can figure out how to upload files here, I will upload our PowerPoint, as well as our script.  One thing I will note, is that for the first time, I uploaded my script to the iPad via e-mail.  All I had to do was e-mail the file to myself at the address I have linked to the iPad, and there it was!  This worked wonderfully, was easy to read and scroll through, and it saved trees and paper as well!  Awesome!

From here we did a question and answer, and we were amazed at all of the questions that we received!  All in all, I thought this was yet another successful event, however, you could tell that there were some people in the audience that were not all that interested, but this was their Wednesday activity, and this is what they do every week.  That said, we were not offended in the least, and we never claimed to be that entertaining to everyone!

All in all, we have nothing but great things to say today, and we can't thank the Present Day Club enough for their hospitality!  From Ms. D'Amico for reaching out to us, to Chef Christine for such a great menu, to President Barbara Purnell, and Kathleen Fluss, we cannot thank you all enough!  We had a great day, and we were truly honored to be a part of your weekly luncheon!  Thank you!  -F. Scott and Zelda


John and Lisa Howard-Fusco said...

What an wonderful experience. I'm sure you guys did great. - John

Christine said...

Thank you for your complimentary remarks . I thought that your presentation was well received by the audience. The chicken was stuffed with a fresh bread crumb,mozzarella and pancetta stuffing . The sauce was oven roasted plum tomato puree, garlic,tarragon and cream .It was garnished with pancetta. Glad you enjoyed it and look forward to following you on Facebook .