Tonight my wife and I attended a benefit for the Creative Growth Art Center in Oakland featuring a menu designed by Alice Waters and music by Kronos Quartet. We’ve donated annually to Creative Growth for many years and purchased several pieces of beautiful art there. For over 32 years Creative Growth has offered fantastic creative opportunities for adults with developmental, physical, mental and emotional disabilities. In the first photo you can see some of the art created by Creative Growth students. In the next two photos you can see some works by Judith Scott hanging from the ceiling.
The menu included (I’m guessing on the contents of the appetizers that were passed around):
- Fava bean spread on toast
- Green garlic and goat cheese on toast
- Fried artichoke with a cream dip that I think contained dill
- Acme breads and sweet butter
- Slow roasted wild salmon with frisÃ©e, pickled beets and citrus vinaigrette
- Soupe au Pistou – Provencal vegetable soup with lamb shank, garlic, and basil
- Strawberries with crÃ¨me fraÃ®che ice cream and sugared cookies
The food was wonderfully complemented by Murrieta’s white meritage, red meritage and zarzuela from Livermore Valley. Everything was great, but I was absolutely blown away by the Soup au Pistou. It’s one thing to prepare a soup like that in a restaurant with a professional kitchen, but to prepare a dish that stunning in a makeshift kitchen to be served almost simultaneously to about 300 people is quite a accomplishment. Very fine work by Olive Green Catering. Also, thnks to Monterey Fish Company, Murrieta’s Well Winery, and Prather Ranch Meat Co for donating food and wine for the event.
After the meal, Kronos Quartet performed for about 40 minutes. The second piece they played was composed by John Zorn. I think it was from The String Quartets. They also performed a piece by an India composer that was hauntingly beautiful. The final performance was a magnificent rendition of “Flugufrelsarinn (The Fly Freer)” by Sigur RÃ³s. You can hear Kronos perform Flugufrelsarinn for yourself on the NPR website. It’s the last song in the first hour of the show.