The beauty of a pop-up dinner

by Tyler F. Thigpen

Skillfully executed among gorgeous blooms, “Flowers” is a hit.

Lafayette’s latest pop-up dinner was the antithesis of a normal dining event in Acadiana. Instead of sausages, smoked meats, and seafoods, the unique fundraiser — hosted by Pig and Plough Suppers — was almost completely vegetarian (with exception of the dessert which featured candied crickets). In place of vegetables, the event was comprised of edible flowers. And contrary to that of a kitchen full of men preparing foods, seven of the eight talented chefs collaborating on this dinner were women.

THE 'FLOWERS' LADIES: from left, Liz Campbell, Katie Jenkins, Kelsey Leger, Brittany Waters, Kara Katschman, Ashley Roussel, and Clair Burton
Photos by Jeremy Conner

The event, appropriately titled “Flowers,” was held at Saint Street Inn April 13 and featured vibrant dishes created by Social Southern Table and Bar Sous Chef Clair Burton and Saint Street Inn Executive Chef Kelsey Leger. Also in the kitchen were Ashley Roussel (Saint Street Inn and Runaway Dish), Liz Campbell (formerly of Saint Street Inn), Katie Jenkins (Saint Street Inn), Brittany Waters (Social Southern Bar and Table), Kara Katschman (Saint Street Inn), and Jeremy Conner (Degaulle Square Bistro and Bar).

Social's Clair Burton puts the finishing touch on the first course.

The meal consisted of six courses — all of which contained flowers — and included dishes such as hot and sour soup made from hibiscus, oxalis, hen of the woods mushrooms, udon, fermented cucumber, and a soft poached egg. No doubt, the dinner was one of the more imaginative (and colorful) events Lafayette has seen.

Keeping in theme with the other Pig and Plough Suppers events and others like Dark Roux’s The Local Pantry and Runaway Dish, all foods were locally grown and produced. The edible flowers were grown and donated by Homegrown Organics of Lafayette and Les Dames de Fleurs.

For total floral immersion, the two florists along with Foxglove Inc. and Collette Anzalone decorated the restaurant inside and out with arrangements available for purchase, and local artists Kristie Cornell, Kelly Russo, and Leah Graeff garnished the walls with floral themed artwork. Dinner ticket sales, flower sales, and art sales benefit the Acadiana Beekeeper’s Society.

SSI's Kelsey Leger

For those who missed Flowers but are interested in attending a similar local foods events, Dark Roux’s The Local Pantry is held the second Tuesday of each month and celebrates its one year anniversary this week. On Thursday, April 17, Saint Street Inn will host another flower themed event called “Arrangements” that will focus on the flora artwork created for the Flowers dinner and feature music by Dylan LeBlanc.