This past February, I had the amazing opportunity to make dinner for 30 with Agathe Snow and her sister Anne Apparu. They have been doing food events for the past several years under the name Chop Shop in Manhattan.
The dinner was based on the concepts of Yin and Yang. Yin foods are darker and cooler in color and temperature. They are the greens, blues, purples, and whites including cabbage, bok choy, white eggs, and popcorn. The Yin attributes are: expansion, upward and outward, vertical, darker, night, more mental, feminine, vegetal, winter, colder, lighter, wetter, Violet, Indigo, Blue, Green, and moon.
Yang foods are brigher and warmer such as sweet potatoes, carrots, squash, and apples. Yang attributes are: contraction, downward and inward, horizontal, lighter, day, more physical, masculine, summer, hotter, rougher, heavier, drier yellow, orange, red, and sun.
After going to a local produce market here in Portland, The Cherry Sprout, and gathering the an array of fresh foods, we separated the foods according to color. We then looked at the different piles and made up recipes by thinking of the combinations of flavors and textures, keeping the yin foods together and the yang foods together.
The guests were divided according to their facial structure as being more yin or yang and sat on corresponding sides of the table. There were placemats with our faces on them to mark our seats with the attributes that make each of us more yin or more yang. The Yin side of the table was set with only yin foods, bok choy and peanut sauce salad, sauteed greens in garlic, caramel popcorn, beer, purple potato salad, and kombucha. Since yin is darker, they had no candles or extra lighting and their plates were darker/cooler in color. They also were served ice in their glasses.
The Yang side of the table had a cajun pumpkin mash, stuffed delicata with apples, garlic, and the stalk of chard, lamb stew, polenta and corn, sweet potato fritters, wine, and hibiscus tea. There were candles as yang is bright and warm and the dishes were brighter/warmer in color. These foods were also all cooked, where the yin foods were mainly raw.
It was so much fun to collaborate with these amazing women, invent recipes, and rely on nothing but our senses for this cooking experience!