Monday, September 21, 2009

The First Long Table Dinner

This past Sunday, I attended the first "Long Table" dinner, hosted by Anton and Erin Zuiker. I am not quick to refer to individuals as experts, but I would say that Anton is an expert at building communities and getting people, even strangers, to communicate. Sunday night, he brought approximately 35 people together, some of whom he knew and some he didn't, to dine together and share stories. It worked. All of the tables were alive with conversation and periodically someone would use a utensil and their glass as a bell to announce that they would tell a story to the whole group. Some of the stories included one man's recounting the adventurous day leading to his marriage proposal and another's opportunity to cook for Julia Child.

The dinner was held at 3Cups, in Chapel Hill. I'd never been there before, but I was told that they have an excellent selection of wine and coffee. I didn't explore much, but I'd definitely like to go back and check it out more thoroughly. They also chose the wines for the evening.

We had a Moroccan meal catered by Sandwhich. The main course consisted of stewed chicken, with onions, raisins and saffron. We also had Zaalouka (eggplant) with tomatoes and peppers and beet salad with onions, parsley, cilantro and a light vinaigrette. Additionally, there was a carrot salad with lemon, garlic, cilantro and cayenne. We also enjoyed a vegetable stew with potatoes, butternut squash, green beans and tomatoes. I was pretty stuffed after all that.

For dessert we had cardamom sugar cookies with a lemon cardamom glaze. There were also "Baghrir" pancakes with butter and honey, served with Moroccan mint tea.

Overall, it was a delightful evening and, as it drew to a close, it seemed as if everyone there were already looking forward to the gathering at the second Long Table.


  1. So glad you were there with us, Lenore, and I'm delighted you enjoyed the meal, the setting and the conversation.

  2. Nice write up Lenore. Thanks for recording this!