As winter creeps back once again, it always surprises us with its intense darkness. The sun fades away now around 4:30pm, if it even comes out at all during the day. Much of our time now is spent with darkness outside the window, reminding us how precious the light really is.
A couple weekends ago, we had another Dinner in the Dark meal to kick off a three part dinner series in our home. We wanted an opportunity to keep thinking in terms of food and design, while sharing these experiences with others. In the hours right before everyone arrived, we cooked food and added another table to the dining room, but I still questioned the dynamics of the whole meal. Many of the guests were new to each other and some were even new to me. Then I reminded myself that that is the beauty of the dinner in the dark. Everyone is a stranger.
We lit one single candle while the guests arrived and snacked on appetizers so that everyone could get a fuzzy glimpse of the other people’s faces. For the meal, we blew out the candle and led everyone to the dining room where the food was waiting on the plates. Everyone dove headfirst into the meal, discussing the ingredients and getting excited when they discovered a new flavor. When creating the menu, we intentionally shaped ingredients to not be easily recognizable. This allowed the flavor to come to the forefront, not the recognizable shape. The darkness also let everyone linger over the table, relaxing and sipping invisible amounts of wine.
Because I had already created a Dinner in the Dark in the workshop, I expected the results in our home would be different. But instead, they had almost exactly the same effect on people. The space was not as unusual as the warehouse, but the guests were still focused on each other and the food—not the environment.
This weekend we had our second dinner entitled Soundscape. Stay tuned for a new post with lots of photos and maybe even some sound bites!