Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Salon I, Photoless For Now as We Move to Salon II

The first Food on the Dole Salon was, by all accounts, a great success. I was joined by a group of lovely people from varying backgrounds to cook and eat together, with the goals of connecting otherwise strangers, sharing great discussion over well crafted food and, of course, picking up some solid cooking knowledge to be put to use at home. Yours truly led the group over a menu focused on roasted chicken (the rest being filled out by what was looking good in the market that day--tough in the winter in Chicago, but nevertheless--I got most of the food at Fresh Farms); we worked together in the kitchen, sharing stories and perspectives on food, then sat down at the table to continue talking with each other until well after dessert was served. It was, to me, an ideal Salon. The menu was:
  • Homemade Epi Bread, Aged Cheddar, Volpi Cacciatore (a salami, aged and aged, loosely meaning "fox hunter"
  • Watercress, Herb and Beet Salad, Herb Vinaigrette
  • Roast Chicken
  • Bacon Wrapped Rosemary Onions
  • Smashed & Fried Garlic Potatoes
  • Plum Tart Crumble, Black Dog Gelato
Unfortunately, I was too focused on the food and the guests to take any photos, though I do have a sneaky friend who has offered to come and do so one of these times. I suppose the focus is on the event itself, rather than reporting it; a dilemma that will work itself out as the Salon ages. I was pleased that we had so much perspective at the Salon; I believe that one of the things that will make it successful is the variety that guests offer. I've said it before: any level of cooking knowledge is welcome.

Moving on , I'd like to announce the second Food on the Dole Salon: Saturday, March 26. This six-seat Salon will be focused on the gems of the sea; whether the main dish is a rich seafood stew or whole roasted fish remains to be seen. The requested donation is $50; if you are interested in attending, please email me at hughamano@yahoo.com. Interested in future events? Email that same address and I'll put you on the F.o.t.D. mailing list, which will announce future events. More information on my thoughts behind starting the Salon Series can be read in this article with The Onion A/V Club.

A warm thank you to the members of the first Salon--you brought immeasurable energy to this project, and I hope to see you at another Salon!