One of my favorite films of all time is Chocolat starring Juliette Binoche and Judi Dench. It has all the elements of a perfect story—food, love, sex, religion and politics. There’s a scene in the film of a dinner party, where friends gather to laugh, eat incredible food and enjoy each other’s company—enjoy life. It’s perfection in all its imperfect glory.
I’m fortunate enough to be part of a ‘dinner club’ of sorts; a monthly gathering of like-minded, art-loving friends who gather together under the roof of an historic, rough-around-the-edges, pink hotel. Every month, our gracious hosts choose an artist to honor with a specialty menu, with food items reflecting the life and personality of the chosen artist. Our two hosts, a fine artist and a culinary artist invest hours of their time in creating magical evenings to share with their group of friends, of which I find myself luck to be a part of.
Past dinners honored artists such as Pablo Picasso, Cole Porter, Henri Matisse, Gertrude Stein and many others. We’ve been blind-folded, intoxicated and completely satisfied with food and friendship. This month’s dinner honored the first living artist, a local painter and artist extraordinaire, Edwin Kayton.
I’m fortunate to have talented, eccentric friends who have the drive and expertise to pull off such monthly fetes. Yet, even for those who may not know professional chefs and artists, gathering with friends around a table to share a great meal and lively conversation is food for the soul. In times of such antagonism and negativity, the more we feed our soul, the better. Cheers!
Edwin Kayton Art Dinner Menu
An Opening Amusement – A first course cookie and Coca-Cola (with rum) Ed’s favorite
Antipasti – Fried Lemons with white bean puree (Echoes of the past becoming subjects of new discoveries) Sweet Onions, Brodo, Parmigianino Reggiano (Traditions and perfect textures), Bread, Anchovy, Butter (Non conceptually mind boggling. Just rare art wherein tough and justice prevail), Smoked Kampachi, Seasonal Pickle
Secondi – Lobster Fra Diavlolo (Speak of Italy, Speak of Art and Eating, And they feed…each other), Oyster Zabaglione (Image and likeness, like life, art is a chance encounter), Sorbetto – Ocean Puslane (The greatest joy on Earth consists of inventing the world the way it is without inventing anything at all).
Primi – Belito Misto (500 years of tradition can pass in the blink of an eye, and then in the morning, it becomes clear–we have to make art) Apple Mustardo.
Dolce – Salumi di Cioccolato, Fruits and Cheese
Our hosts, Kira Kamamalu and Chef Hamilton (Fancy Pants)
Good friends, good food