Sitting down to dinner is a tradition that has slowly been lost over the years. Whether that is sitting down to dinner with your family or breaking bread with your friends and acquaintances. Jade and I have dinner with each other all of the time, but sadly rarely have the time for coordinating dinners with others. This comes from being introverts and also from pure tiredness from working so much. Dinner, or Supper rather, is a lost art.
I used to have family dinners all of the time when I was a kid. It was a requirement in my maternal grandparents’ house and holidays at my father’s side of the family always included dinner and a giant side salad to go with every course. Gathering for dinner was a sanctimonious ceremony where we would share our lives with each other while enjoying the bounty of our hard work during the week.
We were thrilled when we were invited to take part in the first Secret Supper by our friends Eva Kosmas Flores of Adventures in Cooking and Christiann Koepke of Portland Fresh. It took place on a warm Saturday evening, at the residence of Suzanne Fuaco, the head of Pink Slip Jam. As guests arrived, we were served the house signature cocktail, ‘The worker bee,’ as well as amuse bouche of an assorted charcuterie and cheese board, with some the most delectable butter I had ever consumed. We stood in awe over the brilliant decor and curation of the party, especially the what seemed like a mile long dinner table. Once we were called to dine, we took our seats, strangers next to strangers, friends next to friends, loved ones next to loved ones. Some were from out of state, some even from out of country. It was a veritable smorgasbord of people, all chiming with brilliant conversation about current events, life stories and chitter chatter about which cracker was crunchiest.
The supper began with a first course of chilled blueberry soup with vanilla bean creme fraiche and edible flowers. Some people get afraid of the concept of an edible flower. I am of the school of thought that if it is on the table, I’m going to devour it. As the sun began to set, grilled peach halves were served with maple infused mascarpone cheese and slivered almonds. This was all paired with the Willamette Valley wine selection of a 2013 Alchemist Chardonnday, as well as roman candle bread, black pepper compote butter, fennel compound butter and infused parsley olive oil.
The main course was something I personally have never ventured to make myself, but I have to applaud them for flawless delivery; spatchcocked grilled chicken with plum compote, a side of mixed greens and roasted seasonal vegetable. I knew it paid this evening to be friends with the cook because I got a literal half of a chicken. I was quite content not to mention in awe by how juicy, and perfectly prepared the chicken was. This was pair with a 2013 King’s Ridge Pinot Noir and a 2014 King’s Ridge Pinot Gris, both of which complemented the chicken and its sides excellently in different ways. I definitely mixed my red and white this night, but this was one of the rare occasions that it didn’t blow out my palate, but only enhanced everything.
The final course was desert which was a stone fruit galette, expertly baked and browned to perfection, with a side of cream and vanilla infused sugar. This was paired with Stumptown Cold Brew and/or Steven Smith meadow tea. I’m usually not one for infused anything, but this sugar was to die for. I could have eaten spoonfuls of it alone and been happy. The galette and cold brew were just what I need to shake of my wine and continue to take in the beautiful evening. This was one of the best meals I have had in ages, and if given the chance, I would do it all over again in a second.
If you would like to partake in one of Eva and Christiann’s secret suppers, check in on Eva’s dinner page for the updated schedule coming soon to purchase tickets to these awesome events.