one pot, two new friends, three hours
i’ve been unable (and not really trying) to escape this underground dinner trend that seems to have every foodie by the throat. is it that the food is better at these events than at a normal restaurant? is it just that we all like to feel like we’re in on a secret, part of a select group that gets to experience something others don’t?
while i can’t deny the fun of being a part of something exclusive, i’ve realized that i mostly love these dinner parties because of the camaraderie that arises from them. you can show up without knowing a soul, but for several hours you will feel a bond with those around you – you’re sharing the same food at the same time, talking about it with one another, sharing opinions and letting the “how did you end up here?” question lead to any amount of personal dialogue.
turns out the same happens with the staff, as was revealed to me last friday, when i showed up at sole repair (a lovely new private dining space behind quinn’s, most recently being referred to simply as “the space”) to help with michael hebberoy’s one pot. my pay came in the form of food and drink, and in the opportunity to wear heels and a low cut dress. the only guarantee about a one pot is that it will be entirely different from any before it or any other dinner you’ve been to. this evening it served as a fund raiser for implied violence, a non-profit seattle theatre company, which meant it was even more fabulously unpredictable.
the upstairs of the space was for those of us who were “working”. after setting the table, my main responsibility was to drink french 75’s and whack vegetables into decent chunks. throughout the evening, pots full of these would be carried down to the stage, where they were then poured out onto a quickly enlarging pile of food. a man was perched high above the diners on a little shelf on which he chopped lemons, only to let them plummet to an ever-growing, ever more stepped upon pile below.
the four-course dinner the guests had paid good money (60 bones, all of which went to support implied violence) for was entirely vegetarian (a green salad, a beet salad, a farro dish, and a parade of cakes to top it off). somewhere around their second course, then again during the third, us helpers were sent to via tribunali to pick up several very anti-vegetarian pizzas. we paraded our prosciutto and pepperoni layered pies, box tops open, around the tables and up the stairs, as the diners paused to gawk, vegetable filled forks paused in the air.
upon my arrival to the balcony at the beginning of the evening, i had been immediately drawn to a duo whom appeared to appreciate sparkling wine as much as i did. we ended up being mutual sidekicks for the rest of dinner and drinks afterward. we exchanged numbers and i feel fairly confident i’ll see them again. sometimes i want a restaurant.
sometimes i want to pick up food or have it delivered. and then there are times when, in addition to being fed, i’d like to make new friends and to see a pie being thrown into a performers face.