And what a glorious mess! Wine glasses, corks, half empty bottles of wine, piles of dishes and a fridge filled with leftovers. These are the artifacts that attest to the lively conversations, the stimulating guests, the connections and the pure pleasure of dinner parties.
Last night at the Nomad Chef we had a great group of 23 people from all over the place at the Nomad Chef. As the chef there is little time to talk, but lots of time for eye contact and smiling. I even got some great hugs, something I don’t get nearly enough of and something that must be in the genes of all Californians.
If only I could be a guest and the chef at the same time. I’m not sure which is better. As chef (a kind of glorified title!) I do get to share my love with everyone; my food is my love. But I want to know everyone more, to talk with every single person who came last night (or to any other of the dinners here). There was the group of 5 that included 3 Americans. How did they even find us? One was visiting from San Francisco, a cake chef no less, and the two others have lived here for a year and a half. That shouldn’t seem so strange, but in the 30 or so dinners at the Nomad Chef, I can think of maybe a total of 10 Americans who have come into our glass walled den of delight. One of them was celebrating her birthday and this was her birthday wish – to eat at a secret restaurant. And how lucky we were to be her hosts. There was a 6 foot 4 inch gorgeous young man, the main giver of hugs (although many others later took his lead), who I now know (after finding him on the internet) is a model, converse tennis shoe graffiti artist, visual cowboy and other things. And the musician who sang for his supper, Alex Berger, brought, in addition to his guitar and wonderful voice, 3 friends I am sure I want to stay in touch with. One of these friends is a man after my own heart and founded Wok + Wine. Their secret formula is: 40 people, 40 pounds of jumbo shrimp and 40 bottles of delicious wine! Not sure whether vegetarians are welcome, but it’s all about stimulating conversation – my favorite thing!
So, today I am loving the mess because I feel sorted. It is a reminder of what can happen when you fill a house with great food and great people. The menu was as eclectic as the guests; the fusion of flavor was mirrored in the fusion of personalities and passion. Today I am lucky girl, albeit tired and writing this post to put off the inevitable washing up. No, I think I am writing to preserve this delicious morning-after-a-great night feeling. If only every day could start with this kind of mess.