A few weeks ago Chef Tessa Llebman, who founded her own dining series called Methods & Madness, invited Underground Eats to an intimate dinner party she was cooking for in Nolita. At her Methods & Madness dinners she pairs the culinary experience with an artist/designer to, “explore their artistic process (their ‘methods’) and their inspiration (their ‘madness’).” For this particular dinner that we were invited to, Tessa teamed up with the owner of Home Made, an apartment-turned-event space and gallery that showcases the work of artists and designers throughout the apartment and hosts a variety of special events.
Huy Bui, who owns and runs Home Made, comes from a design background as a furniture designer. He also co-owns a restaurant here in the city. As a total art and design nerd (in the best way possible) he wanted to buildout a space where his friends in the art world could display their work in a seemingly lived-in apartment. Each room is perfectly curated by Huy as he incorporates beautiful pieces of furniture, jewelry, paintings, light fixtures and sculptures. Nearly everything is for sale and soon Huy will be launching an ecommerce site to make browsing and purchasing easier for the consumer.
The dinner we attended with Methods & Madness’s Tessa and the eight other guests acted as somewhat of a trial-run for how Home Made can act as a dining venue. The experience was intimate and cozy (the table could really only fit eight comfortably) and allowed for great conversations to ignite among strangers. Everyone was invited to tour the space and “ooh” and “aah” at the beautiful artwork, from wallpaper to pottery to hanging dreamcatchers.
The table was set by the two women of KNS Design Collective who design custom-made bibs/tablecloths for dinner parties. The concept, called TableClothes, requires every seated person to tie a bib around their neck which then extends across the table and to the opposite person. Each bib/table runner is designed with a black and white image that correlates to a particular celebrity (i.e. Josephine Baker’s sequenced bra, a Salvador Dali tuxedo, or Napoleon’s uniform). The idea is to encourage social interaction through role-play at dinner parties where many of the seated guests may not know each other therefore making conversation strained or difficult.
Once all eight of us found our appropriate seats and put on our bibs, Tessa explained that tonight’s dinner would be presented as six courses, each representing one of the celebrities seated at the table. As soon as we began with the first course of “Pretty Young Things” (inspired by Michael Jackson) of young garlic and chilled pea soup with nettle and flowering chive pesto, black mint and pea tendrils, it was clear that Tessa had enjoyed putting her creativity to work designing this menu.
Look out for future dinners by Methods & Madness and events taking place at Home Made. See photos from the dinner in the above gallery and full menu below.
Michael Jackson-”Pretty Young Things”- Young Garlic and Pea Chilled Soup; Nettle and Flowering Chive Pesto, Black Mint, Pea Tendrils
Salvador Dali – White Radish; Mustard Greens, Sheep’s Milk Yogurt, Hazelnut Leek Ash Vinaigrette, Poppy
Posh Spice – Fluke; Reduced Saffron-Fluke Bone Broth, Gold-Flecked Finishing Salt
Frank Sinatra – Smoked Duck; Rye Berry Salad, Pastrami Pickled Onions, Manhattan Gelee/Jello Shot
Napolean – Roasted Vegetable Napoleon, Short Rib
Josephine Baker – Chocolate Banana Bread Pudding; Bruleed Bananas, Champagne Sabayon