Today I’m sharing the second to last set of photos from The Alchemy of Hospitality retreat! These images bring so much joy to me…they’re the testament of true collaboration and friendship and community! A Daily Gathering retreats would be nothing without the tribe of friends and creative people that come together. On this third day of the retreat, along with shared meals and great conversation, we had a baking workshop, a brining workshop, a cocktails & bar cart essentials workshop, and then we surprised our students with a 4-course semi-formal dinner (which I already blogged about here).
Melinda taught our students how to make her perfect croissants at the baking workshop. Students gathered at the dining room table, after a warm continental breakfast (featuring Melinda’s quiche), greeted by gorgeous, handcrafted wooden charcuterie boards made by Melinda’s brother. They mixed, rolled, measured, rolled & measured some more, cut, filled, formed, and baked the croissants. Then, we all sat down for a hearty lunch of croissant sandwiches and Melinda’s magic tomato soup. After lunch, the students sat down for a very interestingly scientific workshop on brining with our guest Chef Christopher Carey. He had them taste different salts, including salt from our sponsor, Salt & Sundry. I love Amanda’s two shops in DC; they’re so perfectly curated! After the tasting, they brined some fish for their Arctic Char Gravlax appetizer.
From brining, everyone moved outside (it was miraculously warm outside for October 31) for a workshop taught by Mark and Laicie Heeley of the JUST launched Holson House. This workshop explored the idea of hospitality as it relates to libations. The idea that an evening of hospitality should begin the moment your guests walk through the door and continue, leaving time for each course and its accompaniment to be enjoyed. They taught students the process of selecting the perfect pairing for each step, how to set the stage for a hospitable evening, and a few simple strategies for how to leave a lasting impression on your guests. Students learned how to make their own bitters and an easy simple syrup, which was later used in their port digestif, which was served with Chef Carey’s dark chocolate truffles. During the cocktails workshop, students received & used Walnut Cocktail Muddlers from our partner, A Heirloom. These cocktail muddlers work so well, and I LOVE keeping it on display on my kitchen shelf. They’ve achieved the perfect balance of form & function!
I have one more set of photos to share from this wonderful retreat experience! It’s so difficult for me to write words to give these workshops & retreats justice! So grateful for photos by Lauren & Rachel at Sweet Root Village that so beautifully tell most of the story for me! Creating these retreats are such a joy for me, and I love helping to teach our students both technical skills and helping them to recharge, build relationships, slow down, get inspired, create beauty, and just be! What a wonderful blessing to call this part of my work!
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