Access to clean water is a basic human right. Unfortunately, 650 million people do not have access to this right. On April 9th and 10th, we hosted #DinnerPartyYVR with Chef Tim Lee, Associate Director of GAiN’s Water for Life Initiative (WFLI) and raised $1700 which will directly go towards providing clean water for 200 people for 25 years.
A Culinary Journey Illustrating Water :
… A Story of Restoration, Dignity & Life.
At Food Connections, every event we host holds a deeper meaning than the event itself. We use food as a platform to bring communities together to achieve a common goal. At our DinnerPartyYVR event on April 9 and 10, each course was carefully crafted to illustrate the very real water challenges in impoverished parts of Africa, highlighting the scarcity of clean water and the innumerable gifts of hope clean water brings to an impoverished community. Guests were presented with a story-telling 4-course meal, created to provoke questions, conversations, and ideas throughout the night.
First Course: The Water Crisis.
Ricotta gnocchi with crispy pangritata, chives and spiced hazelnut dust
This meal was intentionally seasoned with extra salt to provoke an immediate sense of thirst. Emulating the sensation of thirstiness in dry, harsh climates with a lack of access to clean water, encouraging our guests to truly experience how it feels to ‘crave water’ and eventually relishing the availability of water.
“[The first course] looks very dry, like a pile of dirt or rocks. The flavour is fairly robust; it’s meant to be a little dry, so people need to have a drink of water to emulate the thirstiness. “The gnocchi, they look like little jerry cans; they look dirty.”
Second Course: The Water Tragedy.
Seafood Trio, snapper, nori, bonito with kombu dashi broth
We wanted to highlight the tragedy of ‘dirty, polluted water’ with this dish. In Vancouver, we are privileged with the abundance of clean water available at our fingertips. We often forget to appreciate the availability of clean, unpolluted water. For 650 million people in the world, access to clean water is an absolute fortune and gift.
“It’s a seafood trio and it’s presented with chamomile flower underneath. It really talks about the tragedy and the flower and seafood represents the nuggets of beauty that is floating out in the midst of tragedy. [It symbolizes that] the people are resilient. They are vibrant and make it work, but they are still struggling at the same time.”
Third Course: The Water Opportunity.
Pork two ways, vegetable terrine, lavender, potato mousseline sauce
Water brings a multitude of positive benefits. The supply of clean water ignites a domino effect of improvements to the local villages, creating positive impacts in the economy and improving gender and security issues.
“There’s a garden salad in the middle, made of asparagus and green beans and gelee in the middle. It’s cold and simulates a river. There’s some herbs on top to give the imagery of spring, where there’s opportunity budding out. Water comes with opportunities. The sauce is a potato mousseline sauce. [We used] potatoes because potatoes are from the ground and it represents that water is from the ground up. The lavender in the mousseline represents beauty in the spring.”
Fourth Course: Sweet Water.
Poached pear, strawberry riesling gel, elderflower foam
Sweetness is expressed in so many ways.
The capacity of increasing agricultural prosperity is sweet.
The delight of placing children in schools as a result of less time on the road to collect water is sweet.
The stark contrast of drinking clean water instead of polluted water is wonderfully sweet.
With this dish, we wanted to paint a clear picture of the transformational power clean water has on every aspect of the economy and the lives of individuals.
“The whole flavour of the sorbet is supposed to be a refreshing, light, delicate way to finish the meal.”
We feel so strongly about each of the dishes and what it represents. More importantly, we hope that these messages were clearly communicated and expressed so as to spark conversations and ideas on how to improve our world community as a whole.
We look forward to hosting more events that ignite conversations of change, connect individuals in the community, and empower positive action!