We attended a really cool outdoor guerrilla dinner for 40 in Yaletown’s George Wainborn Park the other night. It was the very first in a series of potluck suppers called alfresco (vancouver). From our invitation:
A nod to France’s “White Suppers,” the age-old tradition of Al Fresco dining, and public space/art installations, alfresco (vancouver) brings together old friends with new to celebrate great food, public space, spontaneity, and surprise…
In “flash mob fashion”, diners are informed of the date & time in advance, but the location is withheld until just hours before the evening unfolds. In addition to a dish of food, each guest brings his/her own plate, cutlery, and glass – plus a banket and pillow if desired. For our part, we brought a big Okanagan peach and plum crisp, plus several bottles of special stuff. Once the meal was over, everything was cleaned up, stowed, and taken away, leaving not a trace save for a few crumbs.
The purpose – so sayeth the invitation – was to “encourage the use of urban spaces” using food as “the connector”. Unique public locations “are selected to showcase the diversity of our urban landscape and to add an element of street theatre”.
As a test run, I think it went very well. It was a beautiful set up: instead of a standard table arrangement set with linen, we arrived to find a long, low and thin shelf made of some sort of papery accordion material that curved like a mellow wave.
It must have been a discordant sight, as many joggers and cyclists on the seawall stopped and gawked. When the concept was explained to curious passersby, nearly all of them asked how they could be invited to the next one.
The organisers behind the dinners are Rob MacDonald and Scott Hawthorn, respectively the co-founder of jorg&olif bicycles (awesome Dutch-inspired rides) and the co-owner of Gastown’s award-winning wine, cheese, and charcuterie bar, Salt Tasting Room. They’re looking to put together another alfresco (vancouver) supper in August and one again in September.
Should you be interested in attending the next one (and you really should), leave a note in the comments below and we’ll privately pass on your email (the address you submit when commenting) to Scott and Rob.