Wednesday, May 25, 2011

The Guest Chef's Birthday Event

My youngest nephew, Oliver, had mentioned to me over the years that he would like to come and work at Nilgiris. "You're too young," I would always reply. "You have to be a minimum of 12 years old to work for a family member - 14 if it's a non family member."

Oliver turned 12 years old today; between us, Bronwyn and I cooked up a scheme to get him to be our surprise Guest Chef this long weekend Saturday. I stopped by their place on Thursday night and invited them all for cinnamon rolls on Saturday morning, as they were going to come out to visit with Dad on the Saturday. Bronwyn said they would be there at 10 a.m.

In the mean time, Caite had designed this ad, which ran in the Three Hills Capital:

When Oliver got to the TH, all that was written on the menu board was

"Happy 12th B-Day, Guest Chef Oliver!"

He sank into one of the Hug's chairs, speechless.

We bustled him back to the kitchen in a minute or two, however: he had a long day ahead of him ...

Ready for the day ...
Soon he was stirring chili and rolling out the puff pastry for the apple puffs.  He whipped up the Skor cheesecake and filled the trays with toppings for both the chili and the banana splits. Right before lunch started, he stuck the ad - which someone had printed off for us! - on the door.

We were ready to start the lunch rush!

William and David, with their parents Lori and Andy, came out from Calgary for the occasion. So did the TH's Andy, who got to renew his acquaintance with a number of dear old friends - Sharon and Vernon, Morley and Donna, Brenda, Don McD, and our family but especially Elliot. Andy and Elliot covered a lot of musical ground as they visited together.

Making the Skor cheesecake
A particular treat for me was that Deborah came in and worked the dining room so I could slip down to the local bookstore with Oliver and Elliot. There was nothing much to be found that would grab the attention of 12 and 14-year-old boys who read extensively, however; so we returned to the TH, to the reserved purple chairs and iced lattes created for us by Deb.

Oliver was supposed to be off duty at 4 p.m.; but people coming in for dinner wanted him to serve them and so he did.

The sous chef and the Chef ... that sous
chef sure knows what she's doing!
Thanks, Lori, for the picture.

What a wonderful day! Happy Birthday to the apple of my eye and a fantastic Guest Chef to boot!

Taking the order for William and Elliot, David and Andy.
Lori's taking the picture ...
Offering toppings for the chili:
mango salsa, sour cream,
guacamole and fresh cilantro

Feature of the day:
Chili with cornbread

Elliot and Andy discussing their
mutual passion, music ...

Stealing a moment with a favourite aunt

So happy to see each other!

Deborah takes charge ...

... so we could have a coffee!

WIth Granny and Aunt Helen
Oliver's B-split toppings:
sprinkles, choc chips, pineapple,
toasted pecans

Supper at the TH ...

We loved having you at the TH;
come back again to work ANY time!


  1. That's awesome! A great birthday surprise:).

  2. What a great day it was. I blush at the honour of being referred to as "the TH's Andy". And, with apologies to my father, that was the best chilli I have ever tasted. Thanks for all -- I still owe for the pear and caramelized onion quiche!

  3. What a lucky boy to have you for an auntie!!

  4. I sure wish we had been around on that weekend, I love guacamole! Maybe you will do it again sometime!!


  5. Edwin - We will!! When lovely Anna Grace turns 12 I'm planning on adopting her as a niece and then she too can be a guest chef! Actually, I think I might have to claim auntie-ship with her a lot earlier than that ...

  6. Thanks to everyone who came to Three Hills and the TH for this event! Oliver was thrilled to be part of it, and having you there was wonderful!


I love to hear from you! Please leave me a leaf to read ...