““[Bill Gates] has been historically one of my best supporters…One of my favorite e-mails he ever sent me…I proposed this crazy project. And he sent back this two-line response: ‘This has got to be the craziest thing you’ve ever suggested. Please proceed.’” ”
Haute Cuisine: Grilled Hawaiian Escolar
The Dish: Fresh, grilled Hawaiian escolar, marinated in lemon juice, olive oil and herbs, garnished with fresh vegetable.
The Caterer: Kahler In-Flight Catering, Rochester, Minn.; (507) 280-6200; www.kahler.com.
The Mayo Clinic's patients include dignitaries from all over the world. Often, while they recuperate, their entourages stay at the Kahler Grand Hotel, which is connected to the clinic via skyways. One such patient was President Ronald Reagan, who came to Mayo in 1990 after a horseback-riding accident. Reagan asked Kahler to provide catering for his private aircraft. Similar requests from other patients followed and, today, Kahler does catering for many private jets. The company fields many special dietary and eccentric requests. Some clients want meals prepared on their own china while others request unique adaptations of popular cuisine. One customer recently asked Kahler to create a dish like one from a fast-food chain but using gourmet ingredients. Anyone for a Kobe beef Big Mac? The caterer encourages such unusual orders; in fact, it has no standard menu. "The service is tailored to each client's needs," said Kahler's Sue Johnson. Besides escolar, popular requests include smoked Scottish salmon and kabsat laham, a Middle Eastern staple made from sautйed lamb simmered with cardamom, cumin, cinnamon and tomatoes blended with rice and served with yogurt.