Marc's birthday duck feast

Topsham, Devon December 9th, 2005 Since I was a boy, growing up in Berkeley, California, I've always enjoyed duck for my birthday dinner. My mother used to drive across the Oakland Bay Bridge to San Francisco's Chinatown to pick up the duck. I can well remember the steamy excitement of it all, the hectic streets, the noise, the crowds, the restaurants with windows lined with shiny, delicious, dripping, lacquered ducks hanging from hooks. The duck would be chosen, chopped up in a flash with a few dangerous swipes of a cleaver, packed into a paper-and-foil-lined bag, then we'd hurriedly drive back home to devour it.

In subsequent years, and for the last 25 or so here in Topsham, we have somehow contrived to have a duck dinner for my birthday, in various different and always delicious manifestations. As this year's birthday was a rather significant one, it had to be an equally significant duck feast. I originally planned a rather lengthy and complicated menu, but in the end we simplified it to this minimalist duck feast enjoyed at home with our oldest and best friends. Here's what we had:

MC canapés
Champagne René Geoffroy Cuvée Empreinte N/V
Terrine de foie gras with gelatina di Zibbibo
Ch. Le Baradis Monbazillac 1997

Lady Llanover’s Welsh salt duck salad with orange and pomegranate vinaigrette
Loretello Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi 2003
Pasta e fagioli with crispy duck confit
Ch de Sales Pomerol 1989
Magret de canard with Savoy cabbage and aji limon chilies
Cascina Fontana Barolo 1996 (jeroboam!)
Montgomerie mature cheddar
Kim’s famous tarte aux pommes
Kim's less famous but no less sensational lemon meringue pie
Domaine Sauveroy ‘Cuvée Nectar’ Coteaux du Layon 1995
Coffee and petit fours
Grappa di Barolo

Copyright © Marc Millon 2005

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