Pairings, a Film & Interview with Shanti Medina
This season we joined a unique dining experience Shanti Medina calls Forks & Vinyl. Enjoy a glimpse of our gathering…
…and a few responses from the Creative herself, Shanti Medina…
DAWN ASHER: What inspired you to start Forks & Vinyl?
SHANTI MEDINA: Like most good things, the idea of Forks & Vinyl came about during a late night in the kitchen, covered in flour, blasting music and thinking about falling in love. Seriously. “Sleeping Lessons” by The Shins came on and I thought, “This is what falling in love sounds like.” The thought caught me by surprise, but I started asking friends and strangers, “What does falling in love sound like?” Which led to “What does falling in love taste like?” Through a series of conversations with friends, and conversations with myself while stuck in traffic, I arrived at the question “What does this song taste like?”
I was blown away by how a combination of notes could remind me of the acidity of tomatoes. Or how the bass line and vocal tone could translate into smoked salt. How a melody could trigger the idea of late night diner food because you forgot to eat for all the right reasons.
My friend Monica, an amazing thinker and one of the most intentional people I know, helped me turn this idea into something tangible. She opened up her home to twenty or so guests and invited them into this experience by asking them to bring a song to share. I crafted the menu, they ate course by course, song by song, and in between courses, they shared songs that they brought.
My friend Franco suggested that the next time around I should invite each guest to bring a dish and a song. Forks & Vinyl gone potluck? That meant that I had to allow other people to take my heart/brain/soul child and run with it. What if everyone brings pasta? What if nobody gets “it”? Eventually I got over my worries and that is how Forks & Vinyl collective was born. And thank goodness it was – it’s far more interesting and fulfilling to sit at a table with you and hear and taste your stories than to be in the kitchen fixing up the next course and missing the magic.
DA: Anything you were pleasantly surprised by in this featured dinner?
SM: Can I be honest? There’s something wonderfully uncomfortable about a Forks & Vinyl collective. It’s impossible for people hide. I mean, we’re sharing food and music - two powerful things that evoke memories and emotions. If you try and leave things unsaid, someone, dear friend or stranger, will usually find the nerve to press in and ask about it. I don’t think I’ll ever stop being surprised by that.
There was also a distinct romance to this dinner – a little bit of heaven on earth. Even the dirty dishes seemed romantic, it was proof that we had been there and experienced something together. I was also pleasantly surprised by how quickly we washed those dishes.
DA: How can we live out a little bit of Forks & Vinyl every day?
SM: Aside from the obvious – eat beautiful food, listen to amazing music, call me and tell me what falling in love sounds like to you - what if we let our daydreams last a little longer? What if we stopped hushing those questions and asked them instead? What if we allowed our day to day to become a little more whimsical by discovering the right song to go with that very moment? Whose every day couldn’t use a little more of that?
Many thanks to filmmaker Brenton Fosner for his huge collaboration on this featured Forks & Vinyl dinner.