In collaboration with Christine Hucal, Golem was a one-night-only evening of sensuous eating hosted by Black Dog Farm. Christine filled the table with handmade ceramics - from cup to candle holder - and I prepared a meze-style dinner for forty.

Menu highlights included wild venison stew, vegetable tagine, U-pick salad, spiced watermelon, dolmas with home-preserved lemon, baba ganoush, seawater sourdough flatbread, and hummus with foraged nettle and seaweed.

For dessert, we had an absolutely unhinged ambrosia with homemade Maraschino Michigan cherries and Lucky Charms marshmallows.

Dishes featured locally-hunted and foraged foods like venison, nettle, sumac, and grape leaves. We purchased locally-grofwn vegetables from Bandhu Gardens, a collective of Bangladeshi women farmers in Detroit.

Along the way, we had performances by Augusta Morrison and Marcus Elliot. After dinner, we came together for a bonfire and shared so many warm, glowing moments.

Room Project Family Dinner

Room Project is a space for women, non-binary and trans writers and artists to work individually and collaboratively. The founders reached out to me to help put on their launch event – a family-style dinner for thirty where members and membership-curious folks could come together, break bread, and melt the ice in the Detroit summer heat.

Mother of Pearl Flowers hosted the event in their garden. They provided all place settings and a rainbow of stunning flowers grown onsite. I prepared shakshuka for thirty, zhoug, salad, and popovers, and we ended the night with ice cream and galettes with fresh local fruit.

I drew a placemat for each guest, which they were welcome to take home. One of the founder’s favorites became a symbol for Room Project, gracing their iconic tote bags.

Space Space Space

SPACE SPACE SPACE was a three-day gathering centering around alternative pedagogy, self-organizing, and exploring ways of disrupting the productions of knowledge within academic structures. The event brought together various Detroit-based/affiliated thinkers and creators leading workshops on a variety of issues and strategies including systems of education within the prison industrial complex, the effects of space on bodies and physiology, decolonization within design practices, and my contribution, community building through participatory dinners. The gathering was held within an autonomous inflatable plastic structure sited on but not within the architecture of the Cranbrook Academy of Art campus in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan.

I worked with Jack Forinash to present three dinners for forty conference participants over the course of the conference. This meal series operated as performance within the space of the convening. Meals were responsive, participatory, and cumulative in nature, sometimes functioning as non sequitir action to get folks into a different mind-space.

No. 1 — BUBBLE  
  • Okroshka, a fizzy chilled soup
  • Bubbly presentation of spinach and cheese tart, beet meatball, and roasted brown buttered and herbed vegetables
  • Jasmine milk tea pudding with boba and florentine

No. 2 — (W) ROY G BIV (B)
  • White – Mystery flavors popcorn
  • Red – Freshly baked bread with tomato and pepper
  • Orange – Carrot ginger and squash soup
  • Yellow – Curry cornbread with turmeric butter
  • Green – Herbed rice with yogurt, crispy spinach, mint, basil, and chili leaf
  • Blue – Rum cocktail with blueberry ice
  • Purple – Blueberry granita with sumac
  • Black – Coconut black rice pudding with caramelized black grape syrup and a dollop of black sesame pudding

No. 3 — Spring
  • Roots “buried in the garden” with viola blossoms and sprouts
  • Bird’s nest spicy noodles with soy egg
  • Chick emerging from an egg (coconut mochi bun with lemon curd and vanilla ice cream)