Monday, April 13, 2009

Afternoon Tea at the Four Seasons....# 2

Some of you might remember that last year, we took the Atlanta Gluten Free Dinner Club to the Four Seasons Hotel to enjoy their Afternoon Tea service, gluten free style. While it was nice to be able to have gluten free scones and bread - the items were from Whole Foods Bakeshop and of course did not compare to the gluten versions served at Park 75. This year we went back and were treated to much better offerings, though they still have a ways to go on the bread....

To start we had homemade gluten free scones with all the trimmings. They were the best scones I've ever had - not the best gluten free scones - but the BEST scones period. Some of my members were worried that we had been given the wrong scones and some commented that they were better than the gluten version served here. In fact our scones were triangular in shape while the gluten scones were round.
Next out came the tea sandwiches...egg salad, cucumber watercress, smoke salmon with caviar and chicken salad. The fillings of each sandwich were amazing. However, some in our group were sure the bread was from Whole Foods. It looked like and tasted a little like the WF bread - but it was made in house. It was better than WF bread actually, but it still tasted gluten free. I am not sure why they don't use a gluten free bread mix so we can have REAL tasting bread but I guess since they are world class Chefs - it would be considered improper and unacceptable to use a mix for anything. But they might consider that if someone is a world class Chef - they are probably not trained in the art of gluten free bread making.....get some Tracy's Treats Outstanding Oat bread mix and call it a day. It's soft, fluffy and tastes like....well, very good bread.

Last but not least we had the dessert plate. It was fine and most members raved about the cheesecake lollipop, blueberry meringue and chocolate pate. But for me, really nothing compared to the scones. I've had scones in some pretty hoity toity places and no gluten scones come close to those we had last month at Park 75. Chef Christopher is the pastry Chef and came up with the recipe for the scones and the bread. Everyone agreed that if he made the scones he could make excellent gluten free bread. But I doubt he has the countless hours it would take him to do so. Unless he's opening a gluten free bakery, there isn't a reason for him to perfect a gluten free bread.

It's worth the drive into town just to have these amazing scones....I brought one home and slowly heated it the next day. It was amazing and not the least bit stale...unusual for day old gluten free goods. Thanks to the staff at Park 75 for hosting another fun event for our dinner club. I'm sure eventually we'll be able to rave about the gluten free bread there too. And remember, I'm always available for test tasting...

*The lone photo above shows the fantastic scones slathered with Devonshire cream, raspberry jam and lemon curd. None of my other photos came out at all, due to the lighting in the space and my overzealous flash.

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