The Record, February 13, 2011
Better Living, The Corner Table
By Elisa Ung
It’s not always easy to date a chef. The long hours, the Friday and Saturday nights in the kitchen – not to mention working on Valentine’s Day is practically a given.
Many chefs fondly remember using their significant others as guinea pigs. Ninamarie Bojekian, a Franklin Lakes chef who owns Ooh La La Catering Co., recalled the excitement of being a French Culinary Institute student cooking for her boyfriend, Danny Mendoza, on Valentine’s Day in 2002.
Bojekian splurged on top-quality ingredients at Dean & DeLuca and served a mixed green salad with seared sea scallops and fresh peaches, dressed with a citrus and basil vinaigrette and paired with a blanc de blancs sparkling wine; a filet mignon with poached dried figs and a red wine reduction, paired with a Cotes du Rhone; and for dessert, melted brie and chocolate on a toasted baguette, paired with an ice wine.
“It was the first time I had ever thought about the harmony between food and wine,” she said. “It was really a fun experience.”