We've been writing about it for a while now, sharing all our preparations with you, talking through it, brainstorming. After months of planning and development, the evening of our Argentinean tango inspired 3D event came and went.
And it went very well! Things ran smoothly and calmly, there were no major setbacks, and everything fell into place gracefully.
The idea to use Argentinean tango as inspiration dates back to the time, when Natalie and her husband took tango lessons with Victoria and Federico. Natalie fell in love with the dance - not only its incredible romance and beauty, but also its mechanics.
Tango is designed to showcase the allure of the woman, while the man is the one responsible for the leading. The dance requires a great amount of intuition and sensual connection between the partners.
Elena of Wholistic Inc. generously hosted the event in her beautiful house. We are very thankful for having had such an accommodating venue and amazing hosts.
Fruit and Root salad ingredient prep
Natalie tried to capture the mechanics of the dance in material form, when making the center pieces for the tables. She found two-necked chemistry flasks, which resemble the anatomical heart, and filled them with pomegranate juice - something we used quite a lot in cooking the dinner. The single rose acts as an arrow through the heart, while the fizzling dry ice and small candle at the base complete the allusion to chemistry, the kind that happens between two people. The rose also refers to that moment in tango, when the man dances with a red rose clenched between his teeth.
Preparing the dessert plates
The guests participated in the preparation of two courses - the Fruit and Root salad and the Flatbread pizza.
All elements marked with our three signature brushstrokes, this time in white, pink, and red
In an attempt to draw a parallel between cooking in couples and dancing tango, we decided to turn the act of topping the pizza into a bit of a game. Natalie has talked about her first dance class and learning the tango walk, where she was to blindly follow the lead of her partner by walking backwards. That's where the blindfolding came in - the ladies, momentarily sightless, prepared their pizzas by following their partners' verbal directions. This was a fun way to prove that it does indeed take two to tango.
Flatbread pizzas just out of the oven - one per couple
Projected on a large screen behind the dining tables was the 1997 film The Tango Lesson. In short, the film is about two people falling in love over tango lessons and the conflict of leading roles in both life and dance. The projection contributed to the theatrical atmosphere of the evening.
Roasted Pepper Lasagna
Victoria and Federico gave an unforgettable performance between the courses. We are incredibly thankful to them for such an important contribution.
Irina making perfect hearts with pomegranate reduction on the Yerba mate infused Sunchoke soup
For party favours, we made raw chocolate bars. They were wrapped in vintage music paper, dated 1913. Cecil Macklin's Tango is the Dance for Me is the featured song, and the words 'Tango – it makes your heart glow' were strategically placed at the center of the chocolate bar.
The proceeds from this event are directed to Jamie Oliver's Food Foundation.
Of course, none of this would have happened without our amazing sponsors and friends.
Whole Foods Market in Tampa for donating all the ingredients. Special thanks to Maria and to Amanda and Jessica for making the drive all the way from Ft. Lauderdale.
Elena of Wholistic Inc. for being a lovely host.
Howard of Rent-All City Inc. for helping us achieve a unique dining setting.
Irina Bilka of Salon Lofts for our pretty hairstyles.
Victoria and Federico at Atelier Dance Studio for the unforgettable performance and inspiration.
Anastasia M. for the great photos.
Ziggy for the video.
Masha, Zhenya, Irina, Yana, Larisa, and George for the great support in and outside of the kitchen.
Our husbands Ernie and Max for all their hard work and love.
To all our guests for such a magical evening.
Yerba Mate Infused Sunchoke Soup
Fruit and Root Salad
Roasted Pepper Lasagna
Valentine Dessert Plate
Ice Cream Trio of Rose and Vanilla Ice Cream, and Pomegranate Sorbet, Rose Mille Feuille