Michael and I recently attended Cultivate, a dinner party tradition established by Hona Watanabe. We know Hona through Sarah Hunt, who told us about the dinner last year, and we've been scheming about how to get invited ever since. When I received an invitation through Facebook, I knew I'd never question its usefulness again.
Hona is passionate about bringing people together to enjoy her recipe experiments with local, seasonal ingredients. People are happy to oblige.
This is what she served:
- Chickpea and buckwheat patties with miso gravy;
- Red cabbage, Japanese greens, white sprouts, burdokroot and green beans with sweet onion sesame dressing;
- Roasted BC potatoes and carrots with mint garlic butter sauce; and
- Macha sponge cake with blackberries, figs and whipped cream.
We were impressed with the food (see above), the hosts (Hona and her helpful buddies), the company (40 guests), the atmosphere (a beautiful Chinatown loft), the vision (100 mile diet, anyone?), the price ($5 plus tip), everything! I hope that Hona has the stamina to keep it up; I don't know many people who could pull off a dinner party for 40 people with such grace.