As my last days at Palantir were dawning, I didn't want a big send-off or a party to celebrate my departure. I just wanted to cook alongside my beloved team one last time. The perfect opportunity came up when my Pastry Chef, Jenna, suggested we do a chef's table for my family and friends. I've never been able to cook for the people I care most about in a fine-dining format like this, so for me, this was a huge deal. 

I remember the younger me would have went nuts and made it a point to put 3.4x10^6 components on each dish, showing off multiple techniques, and cramming as much of my ego down my guests' throats as I could. I've learned a ton of new cooking skills while at Palantir, but the most important lesson was, basically...not to do that. This menu is an exercise in restraint. There are only exactly enough ingredients as necessary, and no more. Most dishes with no more than 5 components, and some dishes made entirely from scraps of ingredients used in other dishes. 

Sprinkled in between my menu was a dish from each of my chefs, who each made one dish that reminded them of me in someway. My boss, Dan Watts, who really knows wine country, paired each course with his selection of wines. Waiting and serving the tables was the great white Mike, who has the best sense of humor, and an excellent taste in good music. The result was one of my favorite menus we've executed so far, all done in a uber-minimal, make-shift kitchen inside of a corporate office.

A special thanks for my team for helping with this; this was extra work for them on an already busy week. I'm forever grateful for the awesome people I've had by my side and the amazing amount of talent I was blessed with during my 4+ years here. I'm gonna miss it all so much.

CHEF TEAM : Winson Duong, Kali Mulligan, Jenna Ricks, Norman Nicolas, Ryan Brown, and Mike Leitzell

PHOTOGRAPHY : Tom Nguyen, White Donut Productions

1 Comment