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Eat with your hands

This was a collaboration with Molly inspired by her observing the sheer joy that young kids get from eating with their hands.

When she suggested the idea to me, I knew that I wanted to do two things. I wanted to share my love of eating salad with one's hands, and I wanted to recreate the Alinea chocolate bomb dessert

We served the entire meal directly on banana leaves, something I learned from randwiches (and only later learned is part of a traditional Filipino feast called Kamayan), to further the feeling of elevated messiness.


  • Bread and Butter(board)
    • Molly surprised herself at wanting to make such an insta-worthy dish as a butterboard, but it was a delight. We asked people to bring breads and ended up with so very many breads. One of the great joys of this course was in the very visceral "breaking of bread" that had to happen with no utensils in sight.
  • Salad!
    • This course was my baby. It went off even more beautifully than I could have imagined. The leafy greens made a mountain ridge down the middle of the table, and dressing it with oil and vinegar and crunchy nuts felt like playful magic making.
  • Main
    • A show of how good a cook Molly is. North-African spiced tofu and potatoes with pickled vegetables served with crepe-like pancakes that people could use to scoop up the main course. Not that far off from an Ethiopian-style meal with Injera.
  • Dessert
    • My homage to the chocolate dessert at Alinea that takes over the entire table at the end of a 20+ course meal ... everyone was too full on butter and pancakes by this point to indulge in too much of it, but I was thrilled with how it came out. We put down wax paper squares and covered them in pre-cut frozen cubes of ice cream, smashed meringues and cookies, and chocolate and caramel sauces. All improvised and came out


  • The rolls of pre-cut wax/butcher paper sheets that grocery stores sell are amazing
  • Refrigerator-temperature chocolate fudge does not squeeze out of the corner of a zip-loc baggie like in a Hershey's commercial, but instead comes out looking like ... something rather unappetizing.