As well as being a wonderful year for KinoVino, 2016 saw the beginning of a very fruitful collaboration with AirBnB, which allowed me to really indulge myself creatively. This is exactly what I have been conjuring up in my mind, 2 years ago, stuck in an uninspiring office job, marvelling over photos of beautiful dinner parties on Instagram, and wishing that one day I’d be the one posting such photos. Et voila! Two years later, I am getting very close to realising my dream (I’d say I am living the dream, but for some reason this sounds a bit too happy-clappy, so I will refrain from giant statements like this). I have been really lucky to be one of the first people to take part in then-pilot programme of City Hosts and Experiences that AirBnB was launching. My proposed experience was of course all about dinner parties: cooking, hosting and decorating. A sort of a behind the scenes of KinoVino, where we’d discuss and lean how to create the most special and memorable dinning experience for your guests. Hosting these experiences is a great joy and what’s more, being part of the AirBnB community, I get invited to host and contribute to some of their special events and private gatherings. So when AirBnB asked me whether I’d like to host a lunch at signature Pantone house to celebrate AirBnB’s collaboration with this iconic brand, I could not believe my luck. Designing a menu and creating a tablescape inspired by Pantone’s new colour of the year? Yes, please! Luckily this year’s colour is very food friendly – it’s green! So my lunch menu came together pretty naturally:
A pea and avocado puree with watercress, cucumber ribbons and a basil oil dressing
A broccoli soup with miso roasted pumpkin seeds
Pan fried cauliflower with pistachio&feta dip and dill oil
A pickled plum crumble with tarragon and yoghurt
When it came to dressing the table, we were really spoilt for choice. It is not an exaggeration to say that Pantone&AirBnB signature house was one of the best locations I have ever been to, let alone where I have hosted a lunch. Decorated by a team of crazy talented set dressers, the space was full of greenery, antique props and incredibly bizarre objects in little jars. It was so much fun taking inspiration from the setting and improvise. The end result was breath-taking (if I may say so myself). So there we were enjoying a complete harmony of flavours, textures and colours in this gorgeous East London location. I hope to live a long and happy life, but if I were to choose a setting for my last meal, that would be it!