Perilla and a Cheat Meal

I hate cheating.  I hate taking a cheat meal.  But I had to.  An opportunity to meet Kenji Lopez Alt and Chef Harold Dieterle presented itself and I couldn’t say no.  The event was part of Kenji’s book tour for The Food Lab and it was at Chef Dieterle’s restaurant Perilla in NYC.  There was a 4-course dinner (snacks, first course, second course, dessert).  There were cookbooks for sale.  There were complimentary gifts for buying both books.  There were the personal autographs and the meet and greet.  I couldn’t say no.  There was a cocktail (not okay) – the Perilla 75.  The snacks consisted of 4 items like 4 amuse bouche or 4 petit fours.  The first was a chicken liver mousse (okay) on cornbread muffin (not okay).  The second was baba ganoush (okay) on a cracker of sorts (not okay).  The third was ham wrapped fig topped with blue cheese and balsamic (I didn’t eat this.  I don’t eat ham.).  The last was a shot of curry cauliflower soup with yellow raisins and pine nuts or pumpkin seeds (okay).  I used bread to get every last drop of soup out of the cup (not okay) then my finger to reach what the bread couldn’t (okay).  The first course was a salad with bibb lettuce, heirloom apples, shaved fennel, blue cheese, spiced walnuts, and a spiced walnut vinaigrette (okay except for the cheese).  The second course was served family style: chicken broken into 6 parts and fried twice southern style (not okay), braised green beans (not okay), buttermilk biscuits with honey butter for dunking (not okay), and mashed potatoes with gravy (not okay).  Dessert was a banana & milk chocolate financier with concord grape compote and peanut butter ice cream (not okay).  I met Kenji and Chef Dieterle.  I had both cookbooks personally autographed.  I was invited into the kitchen and took a a picture with both gentlemen.  I had a terrible stomachache the whole car ride home.  Would I do it again?  In a heartbeat.  Meeting Chef Dieterle was a dream come true.  I gave myself 2 cheats, one for dinner and one for evening.  This is my first cheat in the 3 years I’ve been participating in the Lurong Challenge.  I can’t beat myself up but I can go back to eating strict paleo.  I can take Chef Dieterle’s recipes from his cookbook and make them paleo friendly.  I can remember and revel in the memories of a wonderful night and move on.