On kitchen warmings and dinner parties.

To me it has always been clear that a dinner party is about what is said, not what is eaten.

There would always be wine and salad and bread and stew; chocolate and fruit and nuts and sparkling cold duck. But those were just the props — the conduits for funny and real and meaningful conversation; the set pieces of a lively, engaged, lingering old-school dinner party. 

– Gabrielle Hamilton, The Grown Ups' Table

The night we launched the kitchen with a bunch of wonderful people. October 14, 2017. Photo credit: Quiwaan Little.

The night we launched the kitchen with a bunch of wonderful people. October 14, 2017. Photo credit: Quiwaan Little.

To me, it has always been clear that starting Bellflower wasn't really about the chocolate. It was and is about the people. Last month, we hosted about 60 of them. Sixty people whom we've met altogether for the first time or gotten to know better through increased interaction simply because we decided to make good food and share it. 

Examining the remains, I imagined that the Champagne cages someone twisted into the shape of beautiful rudimentary butterflies were formed during a spontaneous recitation of a few lines of poetry. The torn, still-fragrant tangerine peels must have been stacked into neat piles when the conversation turned to the subject of parenting an ungovernable teenager; the cigarette butt crushed into in a walnut husk obviously, in my mind, stubbed out during the heated topic of money.

– Gabrielle Hamilton, The Grown Ups' Table

The remains of this party were empty bottles of bourbon and gin, stacked neatly under the stainless steel prep sink behind Caitlin, the bartender, as Gian and I walked down the alley, through the sodium-vapored shadows on our way to Safeway to buy more. Remnants of laughter caught in the midnight green boughs of the big Western red cedar between our yard and the neighbor's as they misted into memory. Sugar crystals on the concrete floor, fallen from frosted sage atop a chocolate mound on the way to somebody's mouth. The conversations taking place during their deposits I can only guess, but, this being Seattle, surely they revolved around urban, northwest, progressive things, like sustainability, Black Lives Matter, food, I-still-can't-believe-she-lost, and how-on-earth-did-we-end-up-here?  

Flora + Fauna Autumn: sugared sage, candied northwest hazelnuts, and Maldon salt on discs of 70% ÖKO Caribe. Photo credit: Quiwaan Little

Flora + Fauna Autumn: sugared sage, candied northwest hazelnuts, and Maldon salt on discs of 70% ÖKO Caribe. Photo credit: Quiwaan Little

There will be more of these parties with Bellflower at Omfk. Many more.