In a cozy century-old brick home in the Tower Grove South neighborhood strangers and friends shared a November evening in my home.
Hospitality set the tone for “Autumnal Southern Supper”. The night was filled with much laughter, many toasts, enjoyment of live music and people breaking bread together.
After envisioning how I desired the evening to be I realized the menu needed to be created first to allow the party to take shape. I’m not a trained chef, but I can follow recipes well. The courses chosen hail from family recipes, southern cookbooks given to me as wedding gifts and a few recipes from extraordinary restaurants in New Orleans I used to frequent with my family growing up. It was five courses, which walked you through various chapters of my life. My dear friend Amber, who bar tends and serves at the highly acclaimed establishment Olio, created craft cocktails and drinks which paired beautifully with each course. Her creations brought out much merriment from the guests. And my best friend and husband, Aaron, took a break from studying for law school finals to be my sous chef and encourager and to serve courses throughout the evening. I had the best team in the kitchen that night. Here is the menu from the Supper below.
Deviled Eggs, Pimento Cheese, Jalapeño Cornbread
Peach Basil Jam
(rye whisky, Punt e Mes, Benedictine, bitters & lemon twist)
cara cara oranges • blood oranges • grapefruit• pistachios
red onions • arugula • ricotta
(sparkling wine & Crème de Casis)
Heirloom Pumpkin Soup
heirloom pumpkins • parsnips • shallots
thyme • sauvignon blanc • roasted garlic • heavy cream
Southern Pecan, Lazy Magnolia
Slow Roast Pork Shoulder
apples • fennel • hard cider • chilies
sage • cloves • garlic
Creole Shrimp Soufflé
leeks • anise • heavy cream
gulf shrimp • egg whites
Grandmother Earnest’s Coca Cola Cake
What I absolutely loved was creating the atmosphere and the experience each guest would encounter for the "Autumnal Southern Supper.” I had to be as resourceful as possible (financial reasons) and I find creativity flourishes when you have restraints. I wanted the tablescape to resemble autumn dusk with shimmers of light. I thought dark ashy navy with metallic touches would help evoke an autumn dusk. I was in need of linens for the evening so I sewed dove grey linen napkins & a slate grey linen tablecloth for the dining table. I used my everyday Currier & Ives plates (which belonged to my grandmother) my mother’s gorgeous antique French Haviland Limoges soup bowls and my coveted Queen Victoria Herend, HVNGARY wedding china. I’m very grateful for friends lending me their prized pieces and talents for the night. Holly of Maison Everett created gorgeous place cards for each guest on short notice. Her calligraphy is stunning and everyone needs to admire her work. Jonathan Krueger loaned me his late grandmother’s heirloom silver candelabras for the table and those added such elegance and beauty. Dear Carolyn allowed me to use her golden dirilyte settings since I didn’t have enough to complete the place settings from my own collection. So special having friends personal touches around the table. Many thanks to Neil Das for sharing his photography talents. Neil made it possible for you to have the following visual story from the evening. Oh yes, the flowers I arranged with were from Urban Buds. Grateful for the beautiful flowers those ladies grow. And I cannot forget to mention the group Robert’s Aerial Rescue. Those guys are all amazing musicians and it made it very festive having them fill the air with creole, gypsy jazz & blue grass tunes. Everyone was surprised to find talented musicians playing in my hallway as they entered the party!
At the end of the night, guests mentioned they were taking with them inspiration and encouragement to hosts people in their own homes. For some it was their first time to experience a “feast of the senses,” as I like to call it, where I design the space, food & decor for people to experience. I don’t mention those details to say that every dinner or party should be like this, I hope you will be able to have an encounter where your taste buds are enlightened, you feel welcomed around a table, you leave a meal with rosy cheeks and are inspired to open your own home for guests to gather.
I’ve been asked when the next gathering might be and it looks like it will be late spring or early summer when the next Revel & Hearten party will take place. Stay tuned.