2 December 2013

Colour and Cuisine
Da Boes & Motley Collective

A few weeks ago I attended an event hosted by Falmouth-based culinary events company Da Boes, in collaboration with “creative folk” Motley Collective. Having no prior knowledge of either company I was a little nervous about what to expect. A little light Facebooking uncovered that Motley Collective aim to create “visually appealing portraits using paint and props”. Bearing in mind the event was entitled ‘Colour and Cuisine’ this was my first clue that I could be in for an interesting evening. It turned out that the goal of the event was to use food to make as much mess as possible. 

Challenge accepted. 

The choice of venue for a mess-making evening was superb – the impressive headquarters of Extract Coffee Roasters certainly has room to house a food fight or two. After meeting our fellow diners, I took my seat at a table covered in a vast white tablecloth which was to be our canvas for the evening. Any concerns about getting our clothes covered in grub were immediately dispelled because a) each person had a huge bib attached to the tablecloth and b) I was wearing a shirt similar to Screech from Saved by the Bell, so good luck spotting a stain on that. It was a relief for those who had made the error of opting for beige however.

Now, looking back on the evening I think one of the biggest surprises for me was that Da Boes didn't use beetroot in any of their dishes. As the food and drink started to appear the only thing I was confident of was that at some point we would be seeing our super-stainy friend, so I’m pleased to say I was wrong. In fact, it was much more imaginative than that.

We began with a glass of fizz (always a winner) into which a pipette of deliciously sticky pink syrup was enthusiastically squirted. This was followed by a set of three science beakers filled with hot and cold soups which it turned out, as well as being really tasty, made excellent impressions of the Olympic rings on the table. I would say that my favourite of the fun starters was a series of shots which when drunk together tasted exactly like a chicken dinner.  (FYI they also tasted like a chicken dinner if you poured them down your bib and then licked it.)

The courses continued interspersed with numerous fizz courses, which was an excellent way to lower our inhibitions further. After the starters had been served by drizzling sauces all over us and the table, my fellow diners obviously felt they had been given carte blanche...a piece of roasted aubergine flew down the table...my Olympic rings were spectacularly destroyed. Inevitably it was only a matter of time before someone drew a penis with the herb emulsion.

The main course of pork with broccoli and anchovy and the brilliant pud (poached pear served with a flask of mulled red wine syrup) were two slightly more reserved moments. Which I think is both a positive and negative. In an evening based around making a mess, if the food is too good, you definitely don’t want to chuck it around. Who’s going to waste pork loin by trying to make a pair of boobs? Obviously, if the food isn’t any good, there’s no point in being there. So it’s a dilemma which actually I think the event managed to solve well by including the soups and syrups.

When I was having my bib mug shot taken, I looked over at the table and the trail of destruction left behind me. The table was covered, and my fellow diners were laughing like schoolchildren. People were licking the last of their mulled syrup from their bib, picking courgette of their face or trying to flick gravy at the person opposite. 

It was a scene so unlike any restaurant or food event I have ever been to, or ever will again. Being encouraged to play with your food and make a mess will awaken the inner child in any of us. So if you see another event hosted by these fab people, I urge you to sign up. I guarantee you a night of great food, good fun, and (most-likely) hand-drawn genitalia.

Now who can say better than that?

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