Combining the taste of sought after wines, contemporary art and the search for new culinary trends. In the background is one of the most striking and romantic cities in the world: Paris. For Samantha Barroero and Linda Grabe, the creators and curators of Flying Dinners, their objective is just that: guided dinners dedicated to contemporary art and wine production, which host 20 enthusiasts at a time who are eager to be led into a world of discovery of nourishment - both for the body and mind.
Samantha, artistic director of the Brownstone Foundation has developed a keen awareness of international art production, which allows her to create ambitious cultural projects all over the world. Linda defines herself as a "sommelier-éthyliste", and has followed her passion by turning it into a profession; she's become a sought after sommelière who is entrusted with the creation of the wine lists for many Parisian restaurants, as well as those in the rest of France. On her website www.lindaboie.com she offers and sells handpicked wines from wineries (even small ones) in France, and her new business “SOS sommelière” is a type of "urgent care" dedicated to Parisian restaurants that don't have a sommeliére on hand.
"Research" and "discovery" are the two words that pushed them to create the Flying Dinner experience. "I worked for years in restaurants as a sommelière, and I always heard people talking about taxes, money, jealousy or about their envy of others. Attending one of the FlyingDinners means having the chance to share a deep intimacy of thought with 19 strangers, rather than that of daily life - which has increasingly become the topic of discussion at the dinner table. The location is never the same. It may be at an old brasserie on a day that it's regularly closed, a private apartment or an art gallery. As an appetizer, as the first of the wines is poured into glasses, people get to know each other. Meanwhile, the surrounding works of art evoke and set the scene for the first comments on that which will be the evening's theme. The artist introduces his or her own work in a way that it may start a dialogue with another guest whose background lies in different areas than that of artistic production or wine. We invite sociologists, anthropologists, architects and writers, who serve as a counterpoint to the artist's words."
Together with art, the wine is the other featured star of the dinner. "The wine isn't just a nicety in the background, it rather follows a path that leads to the themes of discussion - like during the presentation of Stefan Nikolaev's art, a Bulgarian artist who has displayed a series of skulls/ chalices/sculpture which explores the idea of "transformation" through objects or famous slogans that become popular luxury items - my choice of wines alternated between persistence and disappearance, in presenting wines dating from 1921 to 1964, such as Château Léoville Las-Cases 1921, Maury 1929, Château Pichon Comtesse 1937...”
The food is entrusted to the care of chef Gilles Stassart, whose protean concept of "everywhere anywhere restaurants" (already renowned for NOMIYA, his temporary restaurant on the Palais de Tokyo's roof) fits perfectly with this type of experience. To take part in FlyingDinners, you'll want to book in advance directly through the website. All you have to do is contact Linda or Samantha, and “Les FlyingDinners s'occupent de tout pour vous, le temps d'un soir”.