Dinner at Chez Sordahl

January 27, 2011 · 1 comment

If you ever get an email from us that says, “Hey, are you up for dinner tomorrow night? We’ve got some great pork tenderloin…” check your calendar and come on over. We’ll look forward to your company and try not to burn anything.

If, on the other hand, you get this same message from Chef Rick Sordahl and his talented and charming wife Dana, CLEAR YOUR CALENDAR AND SAY “YES!!!” BEFORE THEY CHANGE THEIR MINDS!

ç They create a lovely sweet energy together, are interesting and informed conversationalists, and share their toys well.  (After dinner we played their PS3 snowboard game: awesome graphics, and much easier on the knees than the real thing on a full belly.)

When you also know that Rick is the executive chef at Amangani (an enchanting Aman resort in Jackson Hole) and has an upcoming invitation to cook at the James Beard House in NYC, and really knows a good pork tenderloin when he sees one…

… well… you understand our enthusiasm. When Chef Rick cooks, people become lost for speech and must resort to banging the table in appreciation.

He once cooked and served duck breasts that our neighbor Scott had shot and cleaned that morning that was so good it gave me the sniffles.

Sometimes it’s the food that makes one cry, and sometimes it’s the laughter.

And sometimes it’s just watching Dana and Rick move as a team in their home that brings a wee lump in your throat.

Their space is full of thoughtful, beautiful, yet accessible and friendly details.

Tableware, lighting, pottery, textiles…

… and a thousand other aesthetic choices that both evoke and invite creativity and spontaneous fun.

The pencil crayons on the counter beside the black truffle cheese plate should be your first clue.

There be magic there. This particular jus magic featured red wine, local huckleberries and secret chef stuff. (I’m not completely crisp on the secret chef stuff — I was kinda focused on the black truffle cheese at the time.)

The bulk of the magic, though, is in the unconscious emphasis Rick and Dana place on entertaining versus hospitality.

It’s the difference between hosting to impress and serving to embrace.

Of course, what shows up on your dinner plate is always a once in a lifetime experience.

And when you step out into the cold winter air after a night like that and see a full moon like this coming up over the ridge of Darby Canyon, table banging gives way to a full-blown howl.

Thanks again, Rick and Dana… and Happy Birthday, Chef!

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