Sunday Suppers with Alice Waters
January 26, 2010 § 2 Comments
On Sunday night, January 24th- Alice Waters and Joan Nathan created an evening of extravagant Sunday Suppers that will not be soon forgotten. Generous Washingtonians opened their homes to famous chefs from around the country (and France!) and groups of people dedicated to solving hunger and promoting local food systems.
As the seat sales ($500 each) for the “Sunday Suppers” benefitted DC Central Kitchen and Martha’s Table, I was lucky enough to attend a dinner to speak on behalf of the Kitchen. Perhaps because they know I am doing this year of local eating, or perhaps just because I’m lucky, I was given a seat at the home of Kathryn and Michael Hanley where Jeff Buben and RJ Cooper (of the much celebrated Vidalia, here in DC) were cooking with almost exclusively local, and all sustainable, food.
Fresh, local food has long been a signature of Vidalia- which I had regrettably forgotten until last night. It is definitely going my Where to Eat list.
The dinner was out-of-control good. 9 courses of pure deliciousness. The company was engaging, the hosts gracious, and the chefs inspiring. It was a perfectly refined evening. And then the after-party at Oyamel started and all my politesse went right down the hatch with the tequila. But oh, it was such a good time. I got to talk with everyone from brilliant chefs to progressive farmers.
My darling Bev Eggleston of EcoFriendly Foods introduced me to John Jamison, of Jamison Farm who raises some of the best lamb in the country. Demetri Recachinas, chef and food manager of Martha’s Table, and I had a long and wonderful conversation about our shared future, and how we must work more closely in the coming year to accomplish our lofty goals. Nick Stefanelli, executive chef at the fairly new and well-reviewed Bibiana Osteria, assured me- after rabid questioning- that I would be perfectly safe eating at his restaurant, as he only sources the highest quality local and sustainable ingredients… something I was only too happy to hear. I was also briefly mistaken for Post food writer Jane Black, and I regrettably had to inform the gentleman that sadly, no, I was not. But I was enormously flattered.
I was out until the wee hours, and Monday morning came far too early, but it was all completely worth it. As someone working in both hunger solutions and high-end food sourcing, it was the perfect combination of my worlds. I met Alice Waters (a long time hero of mine) and Joan Nathan, two of the most incredible women in food, and Josh Viertel, the President of Slow Food USA, and numerous other famous chefs, foodies, and hunger and poverty warriors.
It was an incredible night for all involved, and the pure generosity of the chefs, food purveyors, and hosts was inspiring. Sunday Suppers raised over $100,000 for DC Central Kitchen and Martha’s Table. Not too shabby for some simple Sunday Suppers at home.