Susan Feniger and Mary Sue Milliken Go to OC, Show Real Housewives that Mexican Food is for More Than Just Pool Parties | Squid Ink | Los Angeles | Los Angeles News and Events | LA Weekly
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Food in Pop Culture

Susan Feniger and Mary Sue Milliken Go to OC, Show Real Housewives that Mexican Food is for More Than Just Pool Parties

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Fri, May 6, 2011 at 8:00 AM

click to enlarge Susan Feniger menu planning with Micah and Peggy Tanous. - BRAVOTV.COM
  • bravotv.com
  • Susan Feniger menu planning with Micah and Peggy Tanous.
Did you see Mary Sue Milliken win the Elimination Challenge on Top Chef Masters Wednesday night? Of course you did. But did you also happen to see her and Susan Feniger on the last two episodes of The Real Housewives of Orange County? We didn't think so.

OC Housewife Peggy Tanous and husband Micah tapped the pair of chefs and owners of Border Grill to cater the annual private dinner party they hold at their fabulous Orange County estate. By Peggy's own admission, she didn't really care about the food, she just wanted to be able to say she'd landed celebrity chefs. This fact became all too apparent when she and Micah met with Feniger to discuss the menu.

Wait, Feniger and Milliken do Mexican food?

This discovery made Micah in particular rather uncomfortable, as he had something more upscale in mind for the menu, saying that Mexican food is more like "pool food." Pool food. Can't you just serve surf and turf, Micah wanted to know?

Then came a total curveball. "How about fried Oreos for dessert?" Micah suggested. Right. Because that's so upscale?

"No...that wouldn't fit." Feniger told him.

We were actually quite impressed with Feniger's ability to talk him down from the ledge. The chef guided the Tanouses through a tasting and while Micah was resistant at first, Feniger said that he eventually came around on the Mexican menu. "It took a while to get him there, but by the end, he was loving it," she told us on the phone.

Feniger and Milliken ended up serving ceviche with plantain chips, chickpea tapanade, skirt steak, and for dessert, tres leches cake. No deep fried lunchbox snacks anywhere to be found.

According to both chefs, the guests at the dinner party received the menu quite well. This was surprising, considering that many of the OC Housewives that surrounded the table were once guest judges on the second season Top Chef Masters, and at least at the time, their palates were not all too adventurous. "We were pleasantly surprised that people were eating," Milliken told us. "Those who were at the table at least!" she said. "At one point, a lot of people were disappearing."

Yes, that was true. OC Housewife Alexis Bellino apparently felt she couldn't handle the party and decided to cry in the bathroom for 45 minutes. Another Housewife comforted her, and two others stood outside the door eavesdropping and giggling.

This was a dinner party and not a junior high sleepover, right?

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