Walking from the Metro to the opening reception at Art and Soul, I started imagining all the things that could go wrong … rain, too many people at the reception so you can't move without bumping into someone, people I want to avoid are in my face, music too loud, locust descending on The Liaison, no alcohol … any delusional visions that can emerge from operating on three hours sleep after getting in at 2:30 a.m. from Middleburg and up and out for a morning breakfast in DC. Just so you know, on the opposite corner from the hotel on the same side of the street thousands of birds (it sounded like 1,236) were chirping away … so loudly that all my nightmares from Hitchock's The Birds were primed to be released.
Silly me. The folks from Hisaoka PR and Heather Shaw Menis from The Liaison Capitol Hill had it all under control for the opening reception introducing press and hotel friends to Art Smith's Art and Soul and his executive chef Ryan Morgan.
It was easy to get a drink or a glass of wine or sparkling. The crowd was the perfect size … meaning you could walk around and talk and drink and occasionally wave your arms to make a point. I saw friends I hadn't seen in a while … Marvin Rosskopf, Joyce Lavery, Jo-Ann Neuhaus, Amanda McClements, Kelly DiNardo, Sarah Horner, Jean Cohen, Jayne Wise, Nycci and David Nellis, Kelly Morris, Mike Curtin, and tons more. I even made a few new friends.
Art Smith is a wonderful chef, humanitarian, traveler, teacher … and with firm Southern roots. I can't think of any place outside of the South that I have run into boiled peanuts — even if they were slightly firmer and had a splash of heat added. They were no less addictive than the ones I remembered from my childhood. He loved talking about teaching cooking to children in the Arctic Circle with their reindeer dominant diet. In the foto with Art is Metrocurean.