Gina Buskirk's Perfect Food Day
Photo courtesy Gina Buskirk
Gina Buskirk started Gina's Homemade in 2010 with her husband, Christopher Buskirk. You might have seen her delectable foods at the Old Town Farmer's Market or Whole Foods. If you don't know, Gina's Homemade is where you can get creamy, oozy artisinal cheeses, loads of flavors of crunchy biscotti, tomato sauce, in season fruit preserves and custom cakes. She cooks what she knows and she knows Italian. She grew up in a tight-knit Italian family in Detroit. Her mother and grandfather taught her how to cook and "to make everything from scratch, to use only the best ingredients, and to watch every detail." She has 4 children and has lived in Arizona since 1998. She's not one to take shortcuts, and her perfect food day doesn't take any, either.
Breakfast: My perfect food day starts at breakfast - a late breakfast. I love breakfast and everything about it especially when it is eaten late. I would start with a vanilla latte before getting out of bed. Then after a leisurely morning - something I never have - I would make breakfast for myself. Local farm fresh eggs with their rich almost orange yolks that I get at the Old Town Farmer's Market would get scrambled and served on a toasted whole grain baguette from Bouchon Bakery in Yountville. I would top this with a fromage blanc and scallion spread and have housemade hashbrowns on the side. And another latte.
Lunch: Lunch would find me at Bistro Jeanty, also in Yountville, where I would have their escarole and soft-boiled egg salad topped with warm apple smoked bacon dressing and a duck foie pate with a port poached pear. I would pair the salad with the 2009 Pillsbury Wine Company Roan Red and the foie with a 1973 Château d'Yquem. (This is my perfect food day, right?)
Between meal snacks: In the middle of the afternoon we would sit at the kitchen counter and have a plate of charcuterie and cheese to warm up for the night of epic eating ahead of us. For the charcuterie I would go to Payton Curry a week ahead of time and ask him to bring back an unreal selection of charcuterie. And he would. The cheese would be a selection from around the world - a pecorino tartufato (pecorino with truffles), a blue shropshire, a robusto, the Bermuda Triangle goat's milk cheese from Cypress Grove and maybe a burrata just because I can. The wine pairing would the 2008 Red Stitch Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa.
Early Dinner: Our early dinner (because we are having two of them) would be at the table in the garden at The French Laundry. I would want all of the Thomas Keller classics from the Oysters and Pearls (oysters and osetra caviar) all the way through the Coffee and Donuts. I would leave it to the sommelier to pair the courses perfectly.
Late Dinner: We would wrap up this perfect food day surrounded by my family in my mother's kitchen sitting around the counter where it all started for me and she would make me my favorites - her lasagna with homemade pasta and meatless sauce, eggplant parmesan, and a side of angel hair with pesto because no one beats my mother's pesto. We would wash it all down with a 1997 Gaja Sori Tilden.
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