Secret Supper: Spring Equinox
By Fran Tirado
Our guests for the first Secret Supper of the spring season found themselves at the corner of 48th and 6th with nowhere to go. It’s a crowded corner, congested with foot traffic from Times Square.
After standing at that corner for just a second, they were ushered by our friendly door staff down into a sunken courtyard, through a set of revolving doors, down a hallway, through another set of doors, and into an underground space transformed into a temporary cocktail lounge decked out with flowers by East Olivia. All senses were engaged as our guests sipped herby drinks by Brooklyn Gin and got their faces painted in technicolor and shimmery powders, so that everyone entered the space with hue and sparkle.
After schmoozing and sipping on gin-spired cocktails, we migrated a level deeper into a delightfully raw warehouse space known appropriately as The Underground, owned by Rockefeller Group. There, choreographer extraordinaire Jenny Rocha and her troupe, the Painted Ladies, performed a fierce and beautiful flash mob number while dressed in extravagant black wire-hooped skirts and structural face masks in an excerpt from their longer piece entitled Battledress. The song was sorrowful, but the dance was filled with feminine power and companionship.
Guests took their seats to find that the first course, by Chef Lucas Sin of Junzi Kitchen, was the table itself. A deconstructed salad started off the evening, with bright orange, yellow, and pink sauces plated onto the table, their corresponding greens nearby. Using their hands, guests scooped the spreads and creams and purées up with fresh vegetables, bringing new elevation to the genre of finger food.
Our friends at Anthropologie curated and designed the tablescapes, which were set with tall candles in every color of the rainbow and springy greenery, as well as a custom photo booth to capture that requisite selfie moment. As the courses continued – a crispy sweet bread roll, a hearty soup, a delicious lentil-and-egg situation – guests made their way over to the other side of the hall to collect their embossed and personalized parfums by Atelier Cologne. The evening progressed in an hourglass shape: starting big, mellowing out, then ebbing back with a bang once again.
For our main course, Chef Lucas inspired a new kind of kinship among guests who embarked on the fantastic and exciting journey of carving eight entire roasted ducks that were skewered with knives and placed with purpose on the table. Each table grouping assigned a carver to cut up and serve the bird, giving tactile, experiential, and even comedic value to the ceremony of the dish.
For dessert, a delicious black sesame, crème anglaise, and umeboshi pickled fruit parfait served in an upright glass, like a digestif, but sweeter and more sultry. As signature for all our dinners, the event ended with an impromptu dance party, as Robyn played and guests shuffled out drunk and merry into the warm spring air.