food bloggers Steve Barnes and Albany Jane take pictures of the food at CCK

Food bloggers dinner at CCK, Albany, NY

How many food bloggers does it take to fill the big table at CCK?

Let me say right now that even though I was an econ major in college, math has never been my strong suit. But, until last week, I figured basic counting was in my range, at least as long as I had enough fingers and toes. It seems not.

Last week, area food bloggers threw a goodbye party for bloggers Alex and Cati, who – drats, drats, drats -- are moving to Ann Arbor. We will miss them sorely. Alex and Cati are one of those couples who do all the things I wish I could do and manage to write about it in a way that doesn’t make me jealous. Romantic multi-course tasting menus and sailing trips. Visits to Cati’s native Mallorca, Spain. The real deal paella.

The idea was simple. Gather a bunch of bloggers together at CCK, decide on a per-person price, and then let Chef Peter go crazy. Simple, I suppose, if your brain is working. But last week, mine was not.

(That is another story, which I will tell you eventually. But, suffice to say, last week was not a good week, and I probably shouldn’t have been organizing a dinner party. But sometimes, when everything else is going to hell a dinner party is the best thing to do. Of course, maybe with the help of someone who can count, but anyway, where was I….)

So as the RSVPs came in, I went along planning the menu. Or, truth be told, trying to plan the menu only to be told by Chef Peter that I should stop worrying and he would take care of it. And somehow I didn’t think through the fact that dinner parties at CCK are seated at a big round table with a lazy Susan in the middle. There is no pulling up another table to add a few more guests.

The party day arrived. I called over to CCK to double check the details and learned that the table seats 10 people. I whipped out my handy-dandy fingers and start listing the guests. I ran out of fingers and start wiggling my toes. This was not good.

food bloggers and friends at CCK

I called back to CCK. Could we squeeze? Eleven, no problem, Chef told me. Out came the fingers and the list. Someone’s feelings were going to get hurt.

I slunk home and confessed to my husband, who was already dressed for the evening. He backed out, gracefully, because he really is that kind of guy.

So everyone started to arrive at CCK and we scooched, and scooched some more and the table filled. Alex and Cati arrived with Baby Nina. Ah, yes, of course they were going to bring the baby. Of course. One more. Scooch, scooch.

Alex and Cati with baby Nina

Then my cell phone rang. The nuclear physicist in the group had been running the numbers and concluded that there were 12 people on the list, not 11.

And where exactly was he, Mr. Brainiac, when I was wrestling with my toes earlier in the day!

Just come on down, I said. Everything will be fine.

I didn’t mention the baby.

When we finally had 13 people getting very friendly around the table, Chef Peter started the show with this.

The dishes kept coming one after the next. Some things I’d requested, like snow peas tips with 1,000 year eggs and my favorite dish at CCK, salt and pepper squid. But most of it was a surprise. Pork belly with dried mustard greens over spinach. Steamed flounder with ginger and scallions. Creamy eggplant in black bean sauce. Chewy chow fun. And just when everyone thought they would faint, he brought out a platter of lobster.

It was a once a year kind of a feast. Lots of laugher and no foodie snarkiness, which is why I love our local bloggers.

All Over Albany's Mary Darcy

Baby Nina was a great sport throughout the long meal. We will miss you Alex and Cati, but we’ll be following your adventures from afar.

lobster at CCK


oh yum...everything looks so good...and all the folks seem very very happy....hope this week is better for you Celina...

Celina, if there is a woman that is capable of doing 10 million things at once, it is you. The dinner was so very fun (and not to mention delicious)!

One of the best highlights had to be the baby carrier knock down. I am still lol'ing over that one. (everyone else: no baby inside it, s'ok!)

A few comments:

1) On picture 1 - Why has no one told me I look like that while I eat? Thanks, "friends." Furthermore, I have chopsticks in my right hand and a fork in my left. I call this eating style "East meets West-- in my mouth."

2) Pfft, my writing abilities make a lot of people "not jealous."

3) On picture 3 - I'm glad MD caught the baby during the baby-toss portion of the ceremony. That means she could be next [wink wink].

4) We had a great time meeting people and the food was incredible. Really. I am still craving those mustard greens and mushrooms and the pork belly was a sin (in a good way; like most sins). Cati has mentioned the Peking duck several times-- right out of the blue. It's like she has Peking duck Tourette's, so thanks for that.

5) Yeah sure, we're leaving, but look around that table-- we are leaving you in great company. This ain't "goodbye" either. We'll be back fo' sho'.

It really was wonderful. Thank you again!

@A & C- If you had known me back in 5th grade gym class, you would never have picked me for the baby toss! We'll miss you and the possibility of knowing you better-- but who knows what could happen. I'm glad we got a couple of good evenings together thanks to Celina. Hope you love your new life in MI. Don't forget us.

@C-thanks for planning another lovely evening. We need to do things like that more often.

Say Something!

I'd very much like you to join the conversation. The only rule: treat everyone else in the conversation with kindness and respect. Comments are moderated so it might take a little while for your comment to show up. Thanks!