Something unique happens when you invite strangers to eat with their hands and drink from the same porron. I felt an immediate connection when the chefs laid down the grilled calcots and asparagus and hands dove in scooping up the charred vegetables and dipping it into a romesco sauce. Of course I wasn’t partaking just yet… I was taking photographs. But I could feel that everyone was happy and connected. And then the porrons came out filled with Abacela Rosè. It was a sight to see. Strangers were pouring wine into people’s mouths, laughing as it drooled down the side of their cheeks. In the informational email they told us not to wear our Sunday’s best and they were not kidding. Black charred hands, orange colored sauce and wine stains were everywhere.
This special dinner series titled “Salt, Fire, Water” was put on by Jacobsen Salt Co. To start the dinner series off they had a classic Catalonian celebration or a Calçotada Feast. “The Calçotada is a traditional Spring ritual in Catalonia, Spain. It is a messy, hands-on culinary celebration of calçots – a special variety of spring onions that are grilled until blackened, sweet and tender, then peeled, dredged in romesco sauce, and eaten with your fingers.” Viridian Farms supplied the calcots for the dinner. New Seasons Market and William Sonoma were wonderful sponsors. After the grilled calcots we enjoyed a Clam, Chorizo and White Bean stew with a salad and a lovely vinaigrette using honey from Bee Local. Fresh bread was from Ken’s Artisan Bakery. And the last course, the best course, was a Petit Gâteau Basque from Måurice.
I ran into some old friends that I hadn’t seen in years. I made new friends and chatted with strangers. I sat across from Damian the owner of Bee Local and heard all about how he took one bee hive and turned it into a wonderful business. (I got to try the honey too! I liked it so much that I took a jar home for myself and sent one to my mother.) Damian passed around a beer that uses his honey with everyone at the table. That’s the kind of evening it was; simple, shared and excellent. I hope you enjoy the photos.
While I photographed most of the event with my digital SLR I also took a few snaps with my old Minolta X-700. Yes, film. I think it’s interesting to see the difference between digital and film so I thought I’d post these bonus photos. Oh- and the light leak… no it’s not fake or added in via Photoshop. That is 100% photographers error. Someone opened the film door with out rolling up the film… I won’t name names. It’s a happy accident though.