A few weeks ago I hosted my fourth Secret Supper here in the pacific northwest. It was a celebration of spring, and staying true to this supper's 'Thicket' theme, we held it in a grove of birch trees next to a field at the beautiful Hood River Guest House. Co-hosting along with me were Danielle, Christiann, and Mona and Jaret of Tournant, along with our amazing volunteers Lena, Maki, Aaron, Valentina, Jennifer, Holly, Alex, Emma, and Alanna.
We wanted to do a low-seated table at this gathering for a spring picnic feel, so we made our own tables out of reclaimed doors and used Will Leather Good's Oaxacan woven rugs and pillows for seating. Mica de Marquez handmade and glazed each place setting to match the bright and lush feel of the supper, you can find the plates and bowls for sale on her site. The menu was inspired by a middle-eastern spring, complete with lots of fresh pacific northwest ingredients like peas, little gem lettuces, fennel, and asparagus. We sourced local pasture-raised lamb from Sudan farms, and Mona and Jaret prepared it two ways for the supper. One was roasted whole on an iron cross above a wood fire, and the other was braised in delicious schwarma spices on hot coals. As every course cooked near the flames, enticing scents wafted over to the table as our guests watched the preparation of the next course as they savored the current one. Every plate gave a taste of the freshness and richness of spring, and the lush green canopy made the perfect setting for our seasonal feast.