Thursday, February 28, 2008

Since my birthday falls on the day after Christmas I rarely celebrate. My last birthday was a big one (you can do the math) and it had been 20 years since the last party so I decided it was high time to throw myself a bash, by taking 18 friends to opening day at Santa Anita Race Track, where we were feted in style. On a glorious sunny day, we had a 10 course Japanese feast served to us by our own chef, (beef tenderloin and chicken satay, duck roasted with star anise, salmon with soba noodles, asparagus with wild mushrooms, sushi and sashimi, crab cakes, fried bananas with coconut ice cream.)
They even made me a special birthday cake decorated with horses. As if that wasn't enough, they sent a handicapper to our table to teach some of the novices the ins and outs of betting. I guess it was my lucky day since I bet every race and came home with more money than I started with. With my culinary memoir, Siren’s Feast, An Edible Odyssey, launching next month, it felt like I was truly off to the races.