by Jennifer Barone
A night of poetry + food was a thought seed in our minds for well over a year now and turned out to be an amazing and luscious night of verse. After the night was over we were asking ourselves "Why did we wait so long?" — in retrospect, we have no idea!!! Let's do it again!
There were a few auspicious moments that finally lead to the fruition of a delicious dream called "Passion Food." First, the idea was sparked from our love of food, of course! Second, there was the coming of the Autumnal Equinox, a perfect time to celebrate the harvest, to reflect on the year, enjoy the fruits of your labor and express gratitude. Third, the Red Poppy was pleased with our organizational skills from the Neruda anniversary party and were gracious enough to allow us their space and were very excited to help us organization and present it to the community.
With the universe on our side, what could go right? Everything! Not only did we have the support of the Arthouse, we had very enthusiastic and amazingly talented artists and poets ready to bring their best work and try their hand at some culinary skills for the audience.
Here were some of the highlights:
Jennifer Barone, your host for the night, went and cooked up an Italian family-style feast of the senses with poems highlighting her favorite ingredients from her dishes of mozzarella caprese (with orange tomatoes) and vegetable pasta. She opened with a poem about feeling like a tomato, the history of pignolis (pine nuts), basilico (fresh basil), and a very sultry poem about olive oil being poured over delicacies and lovers alike, wink, wink.
Jacques Korn, a fresh face on the open mic scene, a videographer / film maker and a man who truly loves French delicacies such as chocolate pearls and sweet baguettes! He completely charmed the audience with his "salad in three parts" and brought samples of the food he read about with a side of passion!
Adrian Arias, local artist and poet, who we were lucky enough to have been introduced to at the Neruda event, made his famous, fresh ceviche, which he prepared while he read in Spanish ("the bilingual part of the evening," as he joked) and passed it around for everyone to taste. He also made an ice cream dessert and ripped apart a strawberry like the poster we designed. He is a visual artist after all and he's also as sweet as his dish.
Guinevere brought a fresh fruit salad to which she phoned her Mom to see if she was supposed to add lettuce to it! Bad girl! But luckily she did not, and luckily for us she took a totally different spin on the theme and compared her lover to a piece of cold, leftover pizza laying in the fridge. She had us in stitches and made us smile till our face hurt.
Ingrid Keir brought a lovely setting of fresh pomegranates and a heaping bowl full of Nutella - the best chocolate hazelnut spread that we're lucky to find in the United States! She read some of her recent farmer's market poems and gave a dose of chocolate sweetness to the audience, topped with some cookies too. (I dipped my finger in the Nuttela, I couldn't help it!)
Steven Kopel was so enthusiastic about our food theme that he just made our night. He brought along tons of fresh dates, fruits and even bowls, plates and toothpicks for people to nibble with. Not only is he a "blatant wordsmith and a peddling poet (on his bicycle he means)," he's a very rare gentleman. He livened up our set with his unique brand of wordplay that made us blush, think and giggle.
Pablo Rosales just had to read about rice, as well as bring three different types of Philipino rice dishes that were nothing short of delicious. He also brought up four beautiful glasses and read a poem by Neruda about red and white wine.
Charlie Getter closed out our night, along with a giant pan of homemade macaroni and cheese that was licked clean. He read about his lover's sweet onion salad, which we found out was written with tons of sensual innuendos in mind. He also read about Paris and other travels with a nice glass of wine in his hand.
If you were to ask me, I would have liked for the night to keep on going it was so much fun. It was sexy, sensual, funny, quirky and most of all unique because of the people that were in the audience who were so gracious and the performers who were so into it. Maybe one day, we'll get to do it again!
One last thank you to everyone who showed up to perform and to listen, you made our little dream an amazing reality. Thank you to Todd, Meklit, Casey and Lorilyn at the Red Poppy Arthouse for helping us put this event together and allowing us to inhabit your magical space.
|Jennifer Barone, host|