i am so excited to share this post with you!!!! before i left LA, i helped host a backyard supper, hunt + gather, with two other lovely ladies- amanda farrand and lauren block. lauren contacted me a few months ago asking if i would be interested in cooking for an underground dinner club. although, the timing was bad because i knew i was going to move, i couldn’t pass up this opportunity, if only to challenge myself. the moment i acquired that backyard i dreamed of doing such things! i quickly offered up my space, and made the girls promise i could cook for the club again when i come to visit LA! the deal was done!
with a few meetings and lots of emails we pulled this beautiful evening together. lauren, conjured up the amazing furniture from Found in Orange County. she also sourced out the vintage dishes and glassware from a place here in LA. i don’t think it could have turned out any better! i am still speechless. amanda, is the space finder, but also acted as the sommelier and overall brilliant source of marketing and information. annie, me, did the menu (with input of course) and the cooking. we did a taste test a few days before the actual dinner just to make sure it would all be perfect. although, a few things could have gone a little bit better for me (namely cooking a million brussels sprouts) the whole evening was a huge success! we each invited people whom we thought would appreciate, enjoy, and give good feed back on such an event. the point is to continue to have these dinners-finding different venues, customers, and menus. an underground dinner club.
brandi welles did a stunning job taking all of these photographs. she even helped us serve, taste test, and was an all around team player! thank you brandi! we also had some films students film a video which will be up on the blog for hunt +gather soon! the smallest of moments, like figuring out how to fit the table into the backyard as it wouldn’t fit through the doorways, were just minor details. it was such a fun and worthwhile evening. in fact, when i saw the photos, i got super nostalgic for my backyard, my new friends, and the opportunities i may or may not have left behind. don’t forget about me guys! i will be back for more dinners!!!!!
we added little elements to the dinner to make it memorable. we picked herbs from my herb garden, wrapped them in twine with a note, and placed them at each setting. lauren printed the menus and cards and created the logo. we lined the stairs with candles and vases. the glow of downtown is never disappointing and wylie boy, the perfect greeter. a fire was started and we served up cocktails in vintage jars and glasses as guests arrived.
to me, the small details were the best part. like the little cards we served with the cocktail, explaining grandma honey’s (amanda’s grandma) bourbon sipping tips. keep your mouth closed while swallowing. it eliminates that burn of the alcohol and allows you to enjoy the flavors vs. the bite. i made a saffron infused simple syrup and we served that straight up with bourbon and a large square ice cube infused with orange peel and juice. as the cube melts, the orange seeps into the drink.
fried sage leaves stuffed homemade ricotta and a honey lemon drizzle
parsnip and apple soup
green salad with radish/ pickled onion/ stilton/dried cherries
flatbread with yams/ricotta-creme fraicher/ green onion/bacon
tender and hearty
pork cooked in milk
brussels sprouts with pecorino and hazelnuts
mustard roasted carrots
orange infused coffee
pumpkin and chocolate shortcake
we also decided to do a little take away for each guest. i whipped up some white chocolate/raspberry scones that everyone got to take home . the next morning the guests had something to remember the indulgence wasn’t over yet!
the three of us worked together so smoothly. lauren added in the humor and creativity, amanda the calming and intellectual qualities, and me, well i just cooked! the guests were so gracious and lovely. everyone made new friends that night and had a nice little backyard LA dinner. ( wow, this makes me miss my LA life a whole lot!)
the evening was truly memorable! we hope that everyone enjoyed themselves and would do it again! stay tuned for more dinners and if you live in LA follow hunt + gather’s blog to stay updated on events.