Mindful Meal is San Francisco’s quintessential eating experience presented by Front where guest chefs are challenged to interpret the measurement of time through a five-course meal using various ingredients from the different stages of life: seed, thrive, bloom, mature, and decompose. There is an interactive element in every dining experience with a carefully selected wine pairing to complement each course. The Mindful Meal event is held in a large, open venue which serves as a creative workspace during the day and a cozy, communal dining room once a month.
The dinner I attended in March featured Chef Gavin Schmidt, soon-to-be chef and partner of The Morris in San Francisco’s Potrero Flats neighborhood with his colleague from Coi, it is slated to open in April of 2016.
The evening began with a fun, DIY apéritif bar serving Sutton Cellar’s vermouth, a neutral white wine fortified with un-aged brandy, as a base. The cocktail counter was stocked with grapefruit juice, elderflower liqueur, simple syrup, rosemary, mint, cucumber, and edible flowers; I created my own concoction with a splash of elderflower liqueur. It was so good I had to return for a second glass!
Mindful Meal – Course List:
Caviar, quail egg, cured duck egg yolk with charred jumbo asparagus, and Santa Barbara uni
2013 Bengoetxe Txakoli, Spain
Marin Miyagi oysters, Monterey abalone, squid, and dashi vinaigrette
2014 Pinon, Vowray ‘Silex’, Loire Valley, France
Young brassicas with fresh garlic, mature brassicas with aged parmesan
2014 Michel Schlumberger Pinot Blanc, Dry Creek Valley, California
Slow cooked Five Dot Ranch beef short rib, dry farmed potatoes, caramelized spring onion, date
2014 Seam Mourvedre, Enea Vineyard Antioch, California
Nocturne vegetable ash cheese, roots and grains in various stages, 50 yr balsamic vinegar
2012 Di Bertoli ‘Sole d’Agosto’, Passito di Pantelleria, Italy
The last dish was special to me because it was an interactive element where we were led to create our own interpretation of the “circle of life” from soil (a cocoa powder mixture) to ashes (crushed white pepper meringue). I loved being able to take part in this dinner experience through the last course and the cheese itself was so smooth and creamy, it paired perfectly with the 50 year old balsamic vinegar.