MEADOWLARK FARM DINNERS
School bus tripped out as a kitchen. A small team of interns and a master chef assembled for the summer. Local farmers who offer up the bounty of summer. A table set for forty-two with white linen, vintage Limoges, wild flowers, under a stream of small lights. Cocktails with small flowers. Goat cheese from Margaret's eight goats. The promise to cook from the bounty of the field the table is set by, knowing that the menu will change as the wind blows. The site of the dinner’s performance after everyone had disappeared into the night, packed up like nothing ever happened. The only evidence being a full stomach, new friends, memories of a feast, compost as beautiful as a Jackson Pollack, and some pictures that I took.
Veronica introduced me every night to the guests as a storyteller, and made a 43rd plate that I took behind the bus, out of sight, photographed, and devoured. I wanted to take in the view from the fields of the mountains outside of Boulder. I wanted to FEEL the summer. I wanted to explore the light changing with the day and with the seasons. I wanted to get my camera smoked inside the grill, and let it disappear inside a pot of steaming fresh peas.
Veronica believes that having music playing does not allow you to use your ears when cooking, so I sang to myself. Each night I would edit the pictures and send her the most abstract images. My favorites. Surprises. Reflections. Smoky fog. She and her husband Aaron would spend a lot of time with the images, and they encouraged me to follow the path to the images that thrilled me the most. Stephie also whispered in my ear the whole time to do what Joseph Campbell preached, “follow my bliss.” This video is not the “Meadow Lark Farm Dinner Story.” That will come. Rather it is a reflection of a dream I was allowed to explore this past summer. There are no finished plates.
There is no real narrative. There is not even any meat. There were amazing dishes flowing from the huge smoker all summer. This is just part of the story I was singing to myself in the fields outside of Boulder in the summer of 2014.
Thanks to Kira Abelardo who saw the images flowing in all summer, then dug in on this video, her first editing project ever. She was dedicated, persistent, patient, and magically captured the essence of what these pictures are about. Thanks to Veronica and Alberto and the Meadow Lark 2014 team who indulged me, fed me, amused me, and ignored me to dream. Thanks to all the farmers. Thanks to the bounty they grew and harvested. Thanks to the person who invented Borscht. Thanks to my boys who were ok with me leaving. Thanks to Stephie who always ALWAYS insists the work leads to the work. And she is ALWAYS right. I appreciate 4 minutes of your time. I take the privilege seriously.