thoughts, wild kitchen

Looking back over four years of dinners

Tonight is our four year anniversary of our Wild Kitchen dinners, our meals that focus on locally foraged ingredients. It's crazy that’s its been four years! I did the first Wild Kitchen on Valentine's Day in a friend of a friend's warehouse in the Mission. At the time my email list was about 50 people - all friends that I knew from the city - and I sent out the little blast with the menu to them. Two days before the event, almost no tickets had sold. I had bought all the food (spent my rent money and then some), had the location, but no one to eat! I was freaking out when my girlfriend at the time suggested I send it to Mission Mission to see if they’d post it. It worked! Allan from Mission Mission posted it and the dinner sold out! It's interesting to think of what would have happened had it gone another way. What would I be doing at this moment? It's crazy how many pivotal moments there are that I can look back on. Moments where it seemed like everything was going to fall apart, but then somehow, miraculously, it all worked out. Someone appears with just the right solution at the right time, or a location pops up out of nowhere when the one you think you’ll use has fallen through, or just the right amount of money falls into your lap to just barely finish buying the food for a dinner. It really is amazing.

We had two kinds of tickets that night, communal and couple. The warehouse where we held the meal had all these great nooks for couples. The one I remember best was an old speedboat, a two seater, where we sat super friendly couple. I distinctly remember them being really into the event and into each other. We turned down the lights and filled the space with candles. The whole night I was worried that the health department was going to show, and there was even this one guy at the table that I became convinced was going to bust me (in retrospect, I think he was just a bit shy and overwhelmed by the whole scene). At that meal I decided it’d be fun if I got up and talked about the dishes as they were coming out, why I chose the ingredients, and what I found exciting about them. This has become an integral part of the dinners, and its fun to try to relate my excitement to the diners.

It’s been a good four years. It’s easy to lose sight in the day to day, but I think that that is what’s good about anniversaries: more than a celebration of the day, they are a chance to look back and see how far you’ve come.