Saturday Night Sips with Alice Waters

First off, let me say, I love a spontaneously planned weekend and this was exactly what it was. On Tuesday afternoon, my friend Kate, also a student at the CIA, mentions to me before class that Alice Waters was going to be hosting an event in Washington DC over the weekend. Immediately the wheels started spinning and I knew come hell or high water I would not miss an opportunity to meet one of my idols. For the past four years or so, since I started cooking, gardening and reading more about green living and Slow Food, I became very well acquainted with her work. Just this past November, I finally got to eat at Chez Panisse, which was one of the best meals I had ever eaten.

Joan Nathan and Alice Waters


Through sending numerous emails and talking to various people, not only did Kate and I get to meet Alice Waters, but we both got opportunities to volunteer in the kitchen. This thing started when Kate got the heads up about this event from her former collegues, one of which happened to be a featured Chef at the event. Saturday Night Sips and Sunday Night Suppers is an annual fundraising event to benefit Martha’s Table and DC Central Kitchen (DCCK) it is hosted by Joan Nathan, Chef Jose Andres and Alice Waters.

Me and Chef José Andres, whom you might recognize from his PBS series Made in Spain.

For those of you who are not familiar with Alice Waters, well, if you shop at a farmers market or get your produce from a CSA, if you buy local and organic than you have Alice Waters to thank for that. She is the mother of the local food movement, and owner of the world renowned Chez Panisse, in Berekely, CA, which will be celebrating it’s 40th Anniversary this August!

Since Kate, was working the event, I had to brave the Saturday Night Sips cocktail reception alone, which I am not going to lie was quite intimidation. Some of you who have met me might find that hard to believe. The party was graciously held in the home of Greg Nelson and Jose Cunningham, which was one of the most gorgeous homes I’ve ever had the pleasure to enter and guests were free to roam their three story abode in the Dupont Circle area. Each room focused on a different DC Chef, who prepared nibbly bits for the night. I would like to make it known that I had brilliant oysters, which I think I had one time before many years ago, when Angel and I first got married… almost 11 years ago and we were both not impressed. On Saturday, I had raw oysters with kimchi and well, I had two… the chef commented that if I didn’t tell him I was an oyster novice he would have thought I was a pro. I skillfully slid that baby right in my mouth and it was absolutely wonderful.  Unfortunately, when I went back for what I thought would have been thirds or fourths… they were gone… (insert frowny face)

 David Varley’s Toby Bay Island Oysters with Kim Chi and Citrus Soju

One of the highlight of the evening was when our hosts addressed the crowed. Listening to Alice Waters talk about the food revolution that is taking place in our country nearly brought me to tears, if I hadn’t been wearing non-waterproof mascara, I would have let them flow.

Alice Waters and I

Here’s the food menu:

All the chefs in the kitchen

Nibbly bits from Rick’s Picks

Don’t forget the drink menu:

Owen Thompson of Café Atlantico shaking up a Beyond the Pale

I would like to say that my weekend ends there, but there is so much more. Through a Chef at the CIA, I managed to get in contact with Alice Waters‘ assistant, who helped me find a volunteer opportunity working Sunday Night Suppers.  The event organizes intimate dinner parties in homes of notable DC residents. I will be at the home of celebrated cookbook author Joan Nathan, also at the table… yes… you guessed it Alice Waters.  Chef Samin Nosrat and Christopher Lee created the fabulous menu.

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Author: caseyangelova

Eating, Gardening & Living in Bulgaria www.caseyangelova.com

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