I'm heading out of town for the weekend; my grandparent's are hosting our annual family reunion and this year we're having a pig roast! So very excited for the pig, to see my extended family, to celebrate Zoe's birthday with family, and generally, to be going "home" (will I ever grow out of calling my mom's "home"?).
For the extended weekend, I'm going to leave you with a few of my favorite photos - all taken by Sweet Root Village - of last month's l'esprit de la mer Kinfolk Gathering in Washington, DC. So far, this has been my favorite Kinfolk gathering to host...everything cam together so perfectly (although we were running around like crazies all day) and I had such fun planing, styling, and hosting.
I'm always at a loss for words when I try to write about these gatherings. I've been hosting these workshops + dinners with Kinfolk for almost a year now and what a tremendous blessing they've been. I've made some incredible friendships, learned innumerable lessons (about myself, hosting gatherings and workshops, preparing food for a crowd), connected and partnered with some of the most generous and exciting brands. The list goes on... I'm always amazed at the amount of people who end up pitching in and lending a hand.
This time around, I could have not pulled this gathering off without a few key people (I'm going to try to be brief). Christine and Anca from Huckle & Goose - they planned the menu (with almost no input from me except "that sounds delicious" or "mmmm"), were a constant sounding board, reached out to local partners, and worked ALL day day-of to help set up, prepare food, run the event, and then clean up. All while Christine was 9 months pregnant. Christine and Anca are the sort of ladies everyone needs to know (and they put together KILLER recipes and meal plans on Huckle & Goose) so if you don't know them, go check out their work and become their friend. The dinner also would not have happened without the ever-awesome Rachel, Lauren, and Rachele from Sweet Root Village. These ladies have been there with me since Kinfolk gatherings DAY ONE. Always willing to do whatever's needed. Always willing to take beautiful photos. Always willing to fill our space with fresh flowers and greens. ALWAYS willing to listen to me for hours and then push me in the right direction. Always full of common sense. And always willing to help set up, run the event, eat in the corner with the "vendors," and then help clean up. So plllleeeaaaase check out their work! And then there's the DOLCEZZA GELATO team. They hosted us in their brand new factory location just north of Union Market. Farrah, their events coordinator was a dream to work with. So very helpful in every way possible. And to Robb and Violeta - thanks so much for letting us use your space, for your scrumptious custom strawberry, lavender and rose water gelato, and for your enthusiasm! Hope to work with them again very soon!
My interns, Bekah and Anna were little helper angels the day of, and were such a blessing to have around. Standby for an official introduction to my interns...coming soon! Ian Reid made a video - to be released - of our gathering. I cannot wait to see his work; it will be fun to relive through his camera! Jennifer from Tonic Site Shop designed our perfect letterpress menus, which were printed by The Mandate Press. After we got the menus back from the printer, we spritzed them with watercolor and sprinkled them with sea salt. The result was delicious and looked like a fresh spray of sandy saltwater. Stephanie Basralian custom-made over 50 ceramic plates for our tabletop. Everyone was blown away with the beauty of her creations. They were simply perfect, adding the most wonderful touch of the sea to our tablescape. Thanks for your generosity and your wonderful talent, Stephanie! And Morgan! It's so fun to work with creative people who so greatly exceed your wildest dreams. Morgan made the giant indigo-dyed sale that oh-so-elegantly graced our space. I don't even want to think about how many hours she spend hand-stitching this creation. All I can say is thank you!
We partnered with a few companies who helped make our menu fantastic. Steve from Sfoglini Pasta Shop came down all the way from Brooklyn to make our entree pasta on site! The handmade pasta stuffed with blue Chesapeake crab was the star of the dinner table! Melinda from Knead and Know baked us fresh baguettes and a fruited/nut spelt loaves. You need to take a bread-making class from her if you haven't already...so highly recommended! Gordy's Pickle Jar donated tons of sweet relish pickle for our baby beet tartare appetizer. And Art in the Age sent us SAGE liquor which we used in our apiary punch (sage liquor, lemon juice, cardamom honey syrup, orange bitters, and soda. Yes, it was delicious). Which leads me to Kirk and Eddie...our bartenders for the evening. Such great guys, and I'm so grateful for the hours they spent developing our drinks, and then serving them!
Everyone got to take home beautiful slate cheese boards from Brooklyn Slate Co. and bags of hand-harvested sel gris by Salt & Sundry. Currently, these are two staples in my kitchen...and I sprinkle the sel gris on almost everything.
Last, these events would be nothing without all the wonderful guests. You are why we put together these dinners. It brings me so much joy to prepare these gatherings and then to share a meal with you. To slow down and get to know you away from our computers. To meet up with you for coffee after. To collaborate with you. To share another meal with you. Thank you for the inspiration, the friendships, and for your support! These dinners would really stink without you!