On a chilly Saturday evening, the Duke and I, as well as my dear brother A, were seated at Bentley Pines Restaurant at a Fundraiser Dinner. This dinner (and the silent auction that was also featured on side) was held by the third year fashion students of Polytechnic West Bentley as part of their campaign to raise funds for their graduate runway show at the end of this year. I do believe that my sister, S (who is one of those third year students) told me they were hosting it in one of the ballrooms at Burswood but were in need of a lot more funds – it costs $1000 to just turn the lights on?! Not sure if S was exaggerating or if she didn’t get her facts straight. Mind you, from a business point of view, that $1000 would cover the costs to pay the person (or team) to man the lights, the electricity, the expertise of the person/team, and not to mention, the calculated profit at the end too. It is a business after all, but to the average bear, $1 000 does seem like an awfully large sum, does it not?
Bentley Pines is a live interactive classroom, where the chefs, bar and waiting staff are all students. As a teacher of sorts myself, it is always interesting to observe the teaching methods of other teachers. This evening was no different. The waiting staff this evening were under the careful direction of the student supervisors and all food that was sent out was under the scrutiny of the lecturer.
Unfortunately, I have to admit that I was too caught up in the excitement and chatter to snap up many photos. The only one that I have to show you is that of my entree ( perfectly cooked salmon and mushrooms, served in a parcel of filo).
For mains, we were served chicken with herb butter on a bed of smooth potato mash and a mixture of beans (red/white beans). It took a while until I received my main – the lecturer was very strict on what was being served to all guests and unfortunately the plate that was meant for me was not plated at a high standard and thus sent back to the kitchen; I must commend the lecturer on his his patience. When I finally received my dish, I found that there was quite a scattering of beans. In fact, the beans quite outnumbered the mash and seemed to dominate the plate. If I were the lover of beans, this dish would take my fancy. However, this I am not and so I failed to finish my sides. Thankfully, the chicken was cooked well and the herb butter was well received. Dessert was simple – chocolate brownie tart with a side of berry coulis. Deliciously moist and well executed.
After dinner, the winners of the silent auction were announced. The Duke was ever so sly to bid for a night and bed & breakfast at Wabi Sabi Ryokan, a traditional Japanese retreat in the hills, and he won!
I’ll let you know how our stay at Wabi Sabi Ryokan goes – from what I’ve heard, it is nothing short of amazing!
-The Fine Duchess