A few weeks ago, I was presented with a most enticing challenge: collaborate with four other inspiring California based creatives to create a cohesive dining experience with artist Heather Day’s experimental fine dining concept, Studio Table. The inspiration was method‘s marine inspired Sea Minerals – a theme that is so near to my heart given my childhood spent living by the sea. The task was to 3-dimensionalize method’s fragrance through the lens of five senses, all while letting any limitations and expectations at the door. Yes! Sign me up. I was super excited to be working in collaboration with Studio Table, which was started by Heather, Michelle Wei and Chef Ben Roche as a way to bring together strangers within a community and to encourage out of the box conversations over a shared meal. Like, sunchoke with creme fraiche and caviar kinda gourmet meal. The concept that first came to mind, when brainstorming what I could possibly bring to the overwhelmingly talented table, was to dye a set of dinner napkins with natural ingredients and then embroider each one with guests’ names to use as place cards. It’s something I’ve always wanted to do and this seemed like the perfect occasion to bring the idea to life. Follow along to see how this magical evening came together . . .
Brilliant floral artist Jenn Sanchez came up from Los Angeles to construct the most stunning suspended floral installation made from earth toned carnations and blush roses. Can you imagine dining under a blanket of hanging flowers?! Trust me when I say that it was amazing. She also built an elaborate coral reef made from flowers and dotted the table with barnacles and different varieties of allium. I couldn’t get over how some of the flowers truly represented elements from the sea. Just wow.
The colors of the evening were taken from a piece of work that Heather created specially for the evening. I loved being surrounded by all of the elements in her studio. I have admired her art from afar so it was so lovely being able to get a first hand peek into her process and environment.
The Oh Happy Day team used balloons create an installation to represent the ocean’s waves.
Amanda Holstein of Advice from a Twenty Something made the sweetest gift bags for all the guests that included a DIY salt body scrub, notebooks and pens, and of course, bottles of method Sea Minerals liquid soap!
I dyed a batch of flour sack towels with red cabbage to get that soft, ocean blue hue. I chopped up a head of red cabbage and put it in a large pot of water. After boiling the cabbage for about 20 minutes, I strained the liquid and put it back in the pot, over low heat. The cabbage dye looks purple, but you’ll be surprised to see that it turn fabric blue almost instantly! Drop in a teaspoon of baking soda and the solution will turn green. Add a teaspoon of vinegar and it will turn purple. Science!!! After achieving the right shade, I submerged the towels into the dye and let it soak for about 30 minutes. Rinse, wash, dry and voila! My friends at Lot, Stock and Barrel in LA helped me out by chain stitching everyone’s names into each corner. I love that the towels doubled as dinner napkins and place cards – and each guest was able to take theirs home to use as a dish towel!
What an wonderful gathering of friends, old and new. Thank you to method and Studio Table for bringing us all together.