You may have heard whispers about “secret” potluck-style dining events that take place in Vancouver from time to time. The word on the street was that these meals were organized in a “flash mob” style, with their locations kept under wraps until the last reasonable moment. As someone who is very enthusiastic about food and the concept of shared dining, I knew instantly that I wanted to take part upon hearing about them. Further investigation turned up a few blog posts describing the gatherings, complete with mouth-watering photos of the festivities. I learned that the Alfresco concept was inspired by the “White Suppers” in France, an annual tradition which combines outdoor dining, art installations and public space. My anticipation increased exponentially.
The wait finally came to an end last month when I was invited to the third edition of Alfresco Vancouver. The basic concept was simple enough: “meet, set up, share food and dismantle.” Locally-sourced food and the social aspect of the experience were emphasized on the very concise invitation. I set about planning my dish and waited for the announcement of the location, which turned out to be on the lovely creekside boardwalk at the site of the Olympic Village.
When the day came, approximately 60 of us gathered around a winding Molo Design “soft-wall” table, shared delicious food, swapped stories and enjoyed a perfect evening before leaving the area just as we had found it. I came away with new friends and a full stomach. Needless to say, it was a highly enjoyable experience.
Organized by Rob MacDonald (co-founder of Jorg&Olif and former Marketing-Brand Manager, VANOC 2010) and Scott Hawthorn (co-founder Salt Tasting Room & Judas Goat, partner in Native Shoes and the recently launched Picker Shack Farms in Naramata), the Alfresco events come from a fine pedigree and will no doubt continue to be highly anticipated events in Vancouver.
If you are interested in attending a future event, please visit the Alfresco website to sign up – it’s free!
More photos from Alfresco Vancouver #3 after the break…
All photographs copyright Maurice Li, 2010.