If I tuck my knees just under my chin, I’m certain that any casual observer could give me a nudge and I would begin rolling. It was a big food weekend.
I had the distinct pleasure of visiting my favorite restaurant for three meals this week. Complement that with a quick take-out from a best Mexican food spot and ice the whole thing down with a pop-up dinner lovingly created by a favorite food blogger. I’m round but Lord, I’m happy.
Inside one of the last remaining Harvey Houses, the Turquoise Room Restaurant dishes out Arizona fare to behold royalty. On the North wall of the restaurant, there are three backlit paintings created by Tina Mion – San Ysidro for the gardens, San Pasquale for the kitchen and Santa Barbara for the building.
The beautiful La Posada hotel deserves a post of it’s own. Purchased as a derelict site in 1999, it’s a true testament to the ability of determined entrepreneurs to create community. Still a railroad stop, the hotel is bustling with activity and this past weekend held the opening of Journey Stories; a Smithsonian exhibit brought to Winslow by Arizona Humanities.
I headed south from Winslow with reckless abandon to Tucson where Kusuma (Kumi) Rao of Ruchikala was holding a pop-up dinner. If you’re not familiar with the concept, a pop-up dinner does just that – it appears somewhere that you don’t anticipate it. We were treated to an elegant meal celebrating the flavors of Northern and Southern India in a fusion of color.
Our five course meal included wine and beer pairings and at the start of each course, a short loving description of our food from Kumi herself.
The other enormously fun thing about a pop-up is not knowing anyone else there and finding ourselves immersed in a slow food community outside of our town. The individuals spoke of markets and festivals and food swaps and we were also treated to jars of mole from Mano y Metate.
I think the most apparent things were the extreme love of food shared by the group but also the passion for feeding others demonstrated by Kumi. After preparing a five course meal for a large group, she still appeared happy and energized.
Check with your local slow food community for pop-ups in your area. Better yet, make sure I have your email as DH and I are planning to host a meal like this once the summer weather is finished.
Now, I’m off for a week of juicing and green smoothies to recover! Thanks Kumi!