Tonight marks the birth of a new way of eating. It is dinner as collaborative spiritual journey, a way of knowing our selves and each other as much as the dishes. In the tradition of the Italian Futurists, we put the soul before the stomach. Unlike the Futurists, we celebrate our humanity rather than Italy’s sovreignty.
For this particular dinner, we have enacted the following rules:
- Bring a dish and a ritual with which it is presented and consumed
- You cannot feed yourself or drink from your own cup
Details are entrusted with the guests.
Sit under the sparkling cloak of isolation with your guide. Pine sap is burnt; smell it. Close your eyes as you are guided through an imaginary space. Imagine an object is given to you. It is priceless, critical. Do not name it. Draw it. Your guide will reproduce the image on your face. Your guide will feed you a single slice of cucumber with creamy cheese and herbs, concluding your journey.
Mirror Melon Boats
Cut melon into quarters, boatwise. Separate melon from rind with knife. Insert mint between melon and rind. Top with feta. Place on small mirrors on top of a mirrored table. Eat melon and reflect.
Don surgeon mask and nitrile gloves. Sections of baguette are torn with gloved hands and spread with pungent French cheese. Remove one glove, reversing it around the bread to enclose it within the glove. Tie the glove shut with colored thread and hang from the rafters. Diners will wear surgeon masks while plucking and peeling the gloves, removing the masks only to consume the bread and cheese.
Candied pecans are tossed with brightly colored chunks of fruit. The bowl is seated next to a pile of fresh mint leaves. An assistant crushes the mint leaves in the palm, then places the palm under your nose while feeding you fruit and nuts.
Marinate tofu cubes in coconut cream, rum, and soy sauce. Braise cubes in a pan and sprinkle with allspice. Cut a slit in each cube and insert fillings with character: raw ginger, raw garlic, pickle, habanero slivers, and grape halves. Take care that the fillings cannot be seen from the outside. A server selects a flight of cubes to feed the diner. The diner describes their palatial journey from cube to cube. The server accepts responsibility for the meal, despite not knowing what the diner has eaten.
The Ritual of the Engineer
(To celebrate ascendancy from novice to journeyman engineer)
Spread hands with thumbs touching, in the shape of an eagle. Picture the head of the ascendant engineer under your palms. Imagine your hands bursting into a permanent flaming halo over the ascendant’s head. Pass around large steel nuts. Smell the steel, then place a nut over the pinky like a ring. Consider its weight. Consume toffee.
Bite cookie. Tell the first embarrassing story that comes to mind. Select one of two designated elaborators to retell the story: either as a hollywood film, or from a heavenly altitude.
Fruit Sushi with Dancing Tray
Roll berries in fruit leather to make bite-sized sushi rolls. Place on wide metal tray. Start music. Balance tray on head while bellydancing as partygoers remove sushi bites (see photo at top for example).