Octogenarians Celebrate in Style at Robson Ranch!

Birthday couple Judy and Jerry Mattson

Chef Stephen McVeigh and Shantal Deremo pictured with the three-tables-long charcuterie board!

Diane Kandel

July 11 was the big day for Judy Mattson as she turned 80; her husband, Jerry, beat her in turning 80 on April 10. How could she make turning octogenarian special? Judy pondered and decided to solicit help from Robson Ranch’s new banquet manager, Amanda Robison. Between Judy’s great ideas and Amanda’s keen mind for detail, they came up with a celebration that will be remembered for many years.

The Hermosa Ballroom was reserved and music was booked. Next came the detail work and fun part for Judy.

The first step was to meet with Amanda to make preliminary arrangements. Amanda was swift to grasp Judy’s wants and needs after a brief sit-down. Later, on several occasions, they met with the banquet chef, Stephen McVeigh, to work out the food selections as well as details of charcuterie board placement and logistics.

If you’ve been around Judy Mattson you know she has a deep fondness for charcuterie boards. Actually, fondness is too light a word; fanatic is better. I say that with the utmost respect for Judy! And because of her I, too, have grown to love the art of charcuterie. Charcuterie is described as the art of assembling a wide array of cured meats to be paired with cheeses, assorted breads and crackers, fruits, and vegetables. However, as you would guess, Judy didn’t stop at just those foods. More creative gourmet foods would be added to Judy’s board.

Logistics? Well, yes, because “What’s the best size for a charcuterie board?” Most would think 11”x14” or 12”x18” or even 36” long (or round?). Oh my, a serious decision for Judy! Well can you imagine a 32 FOOT board (three tables long)? That’s what it took to set up all the goodies Judy had chosen.

Of course all these goodies weren’t quite enough for Judy so she added to the list: salmon poached in vegetable stock, white wine and vinegar, cream cheese spread, capers, chopped eggs, onions and bagels, egg rolls, dumplings, and so much more! To sum it up: the food was fantastically displayed and delicious as well. The poached salmon was my favorite of the evening.

Music was performed by duo John Sutton and Julie Casey. As expected, they were a big hit specializing in the Golden Age sound.

Janet Barber-Bennett was the emcee who once again displayed her talent behind the microphone doing a fantastic job with the introduction, telling of jokes, and ending with a birthday toast. Jan, as you may remember, performed in the Robson’s Got Talent show telling jokes that cracked us up!

Open bar, fantastic food, and fine entertainment made for a very memorable evening. The gathering of good friends could not have been better. Hats off to Chef McVeigh and Shantal Deremo! Cheers to the Mattsons for their 80th birthdays. These two octogenarians are proof that life is fun when you live in the fast lane (maybe at a little slower pace). And most of all, thank you for inviting us to this fabulous celebration!