Monday, July 18, 2011

Benefits and Dinners and Cilantro

I had a lot of really amazing food this weekend.

On Friday, my friend Justin took me and my sister out to Amp 150 and we had did the 4 course Chef's Choice, which turned out to really be like three small dishes each course, so a total of 12? It was a just a lot of food, and it was all really great, but I'm not going to give you a play by play about edibles today. The important thing about Friday is that we were all just dressed down and we hung out and there was no sense of having to act a certain way or look a certain way or be certain places. Just sit around, talk about shit, eat a lot of food for a long time. The chef Mel kept coming out to sit and talk with us about tattoos and pigs. It was wonderful.

Saturday I went to the Veggie U benefit, which is a charity event with famous food people who you can ogle and tons of restaurants giving you little plates and so much wine. Camilla and Sarah and I got all garden casual skirted up and drove out to Milan. In the car on the way there I said "I wish Veggie U wasn't a thing I actually like a lot, because now I can't go there and be snarky." Which, you know, is how I might normally approach something like this. I mean, there were limos present. At a farm. This is a thing about luxury items as you get older though, you know people at them and you like them. Also here's a hint about how to pick which fancy events you should go to: does the event mirror in structure something you might be doing with your friends anyway? Getting way too dressed up and dancing to a bad DJ? Bad. Eating food in the backyard getting drunk? Good. We accidentally parked in the VIP lot, cause we were sort of lost and this guy just waved us into a spot, so...okay. The best part about that mistake is that we got to ride in a golf cart from the lot to the event. The guy driving us I think got a kick out of us being so excited about the golf cart. Lesson 1, when you are at a fancy event, you should never try to act apathetic about being in a golf cart.

Then followed hours of us eating and drinking. The food was all great of course, but the cheese and the cakes and the miniature bottles of champagne we drank with straws were definitely the highlights. I am a simple girl. If you give me a tiny bottle of bubbly that's all mine, I'm won over instantly. The big tent was very equalizing, since all the fancy people were just as drunk and sweaty as us, it was in the 90s and sweltering in that thick rich Ohio farm kind of heat, which is a long way of saying humid as hell. We said hi to lots of people we knew. We looked at people's clothes, and instantly hated the beautiful girl in the green dress who was not sweaty at all. There were fans with water misting through them at the entrances, and these spots became prime real estate that people were greedy about. Mister Wars. One lady actually told my friend Allison that "you only get one turn at the mister" in an effort to shame her into moving along, which I wasn't there for, thank god. Cause my response would have been to ask her very specifically how long she thought one turn should be, and then to time her. And she probably would have gotten huffy. I agree, don't park yourself in front of the fan in a way that will block everyone else, but if I'm standing a respectful distance off, then fuck off lady. Let's see, what else happened? I really really wanted to slip off with my mini bottle and wander around the farm and take pictures and hang out with the staff and see the place really, but I didn't cause that would have been rude and they were busy. I was talking to this one cute chef who had just gotten a chance to be away from the table, and then Lee Anne Wong from Top Chef came running over all excitedly and totally cockblocked me. I didn't really mind, mostly I like being able to say that last sentence. There were adorable little kids running around in carrot costumes. All these old frog faced ladies kept cutting the Jeni's ice cream line, and Camilla gave them the stink eye. Every savory dish I got had cilantro garnish on it. Every single one. I like cilantro, but it was my enemy by the end of the night. Cilantro, you and I have to have a talk about the difference between a garnish and a weed. Finally we hit our wall of chocolate and beef and all the vendors only had red wines left, and people were dancing around in the leftover dry ice. So we left, and while waiting for our golf cart back, finally had a chance to make fun of rude rich ladies who were upset that they didn't get the next golf cart and yelled about it. Everyone else though, all the volunteers and the chefs (and most of the guests, the ones who weren't yelling at golf carts or pointedly not making eye contact with you as they cut lines), were so nice and I snapped pictures of flowers and made eyes at the police doggie hanging out at the entrance.

I don't know who that older guy in the blue shirt is, but next time I go to one of these things, I'm partying with him all night. Always find the people who are just as amused by the dry ice as you.

I ended the evening proper at 1am on a porch in Ohio City drinking beer and talking to bike kids about what you call someone who lives in Columbus, since you can't call them Columbians. Best suggestion was Christophers.

The takeaway today is that the point of really good food is not that you eat lots of it, but that you eat it while enjoying yourself with people you like immensely.


  1. I loved this. Every bit of it. Bite. Every bite of it? Whatever.
    Also, as we age, we realize that some of the luxury shit is really cool and fun to get to mess around with at times. It's just the truth. Which is not to say we need to do it all the time but when we can? If it's fun? Why not?

  2. Yum sounds delicious! I also love a mini bottles of champagne... I love champagne in general, but in little bottle with straws it's even better...also another good name for people who live in Columbus would be Busers :)

  3. It was a fun (but hot) event with lots of yummy food! Nice running into you at the fan area. :)

  4. I hated her but in an admiring way.

  5. Wow... you hang at all the most swell events!

  6. That dry ice looks amazing. My next party, I'm totally doing that.


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