Posted by: michellelowrey | May 7, 2009

Fun with Dick and Jane

One of the things I cherish most about our cooking club gatherings is the intimate human connections made over our love of great food.  Bonding and connecting through food is one of life’s greatest gifts, and sharing a fabulous meal with people that really understand and appreciate what they are eating, is such a fun experience, and is what keeps me anticipating every upcoming cooking club event.  Those connections spill over in so many other aspects of what it is to be human.

I had an experience, not at a cooking club event, but at a restaurant dining with some girlfriends that brought home for me what I love about sharing good food with friends.

I had the pleasure of eating at Michael Chiarello’s restaurant Bottega Ristorante in Yountville last weekend with some wonderful girlfriends.  The food is refined Italian, and is just  delicious.  The polenta with caramelized wild mushrooms in a balsamic game sauce made us all swoon at the table, as did the hand-cut tagliatta pasta with fava bean and pecorino pepato.

At the next table  from us sat a couple in their early twenties, they were very quiet and reserved.  Our table….. let’s just say that we were enjoying our wine, the food, each other…. and were the opposite of “quiet”.    It started to unnerve me a little how there was very little conversation coming from the couple, but it was what I saw next though, that made me fall in love with them.  The wife took a fork full of her pasta, and very lovingly gave her husband a taste of her food.  He swirled the food around in his mouth, closed his eyes, and swooned.  I swear, he actually swooned!  He then grabbed his camera and took a picture of his dish, a plate of grilled octopus with braised potatoes.  It was like he was taking a picture of a great work of art so he could study it for later.  My foodie friend Bonnie and I who were both watching the couple gave each other a knowing glance, “they get it”, our eyes said to each other as we watched the exchange between the two sitting next to us.  It was then we realized that  fellow foodies were in our midst, that we pounced.  We had to know everything about them, where they lived, their favorite places to eat, why they were there, etc.

Turns out, they were newly married, and drove almost two hours from their home, just to eat at this restaurant……they drove there just because…..  During the course of the night we  were sharing our thoughts on each dish, even taking bites of food off of each others plates.  Two tables of strangers had instantly become friends.  The waiter who was enjoying our table exchange, even brought us a wood-oven roasted whole white fish with Meyer lemon and roasted asparagus to try….for free!  How cool is that?

It was a great night, spend with like minded people…. sharing a moment over a meal, and one of the reasons I love my cooking club, because it reminds me that eating and bonding over food, is one of life’s great pleasures.

The couple that sat next to us were Richard and Jane, and although I knew I would probably never see them again, I asked if I could take their picture, so I could remember them, and the great night we shared.  Thank you, Richard and Jane for sharing a little piece of yourselves with us that night, we raise our glass to you!

So how about it our fellow cooking club friends?  Do you have any food bonding moments that you’d like to share??

Dick and Jane

Dick and Jane



  1. There is something about Just walking into a Great Resturant like Bottega and looking at the LINE Cooks GOING at it.. and the excitement and Smell of every Chefs dream to Create a Dish that they can already Taste before it hits the plate.
    That is what gives us Foodies like myself and Michelle
    the Best Damn Rush ever…
    Yes I get It !!!!!!
    And I just Love It!!! And The Couple we met GOT IT!!

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