The above dish represents more than a tasty plate of home cooked food I consumed while in Paris. It’s a symbol of everything we stand for and write about. It signifies what drives us to explore and what comforts us most. In a word Dinnertime. We write about this a lot. It defines our relationship with food and others in one simple, memorable and nostalgic word. Our supperclub is based on Dinnertime. Our lunch is based on Dinnertime. Our non-eating behavior is even based on Dinnertime to a certain extent. It perpetuates a nightly ritual in which family and friends take a break from the multi-tasking lifestyle many of us are forced to live, and share not only delicious food but conversation. Sometimes frivolous and sometimes deep, these conversations develop us as people more than we realize.
Jim Haynes has been at it almost longer than I have been alive. he’s perpetuated this Dinnertime ritual in his small artists flat off a private alley in Paris’ 14th arrondissement since the 70’s. Behind the large green gate and after calling his landline to be buzzed into the slender cobblestone street, you’re greeted with a united nations of guests varying in age, occupations, styles and reasons for attending such a unique social event.
I attended with my parents, aunt and uncle, bro Tony and, of course, Missus Tasty. Together we walked into Jim’s tiny kitchen and said hello. He greeted us warmly like we were old friends, as he does every guest. We than met Sheamus, his friend and our chef for the night. Most inappropriately he had made chicken curry for tonight’s feast but, this evening is not really about the food. Although it was tasty the people we shared it with were far more delicious. Slowly, but almost by design, we spread out and mingled. We each had a unique and different experience with the people we met. I later found out my father and uncle had been styled by a 50 year old fashion guru. Tony met an NYU student from Brooklyn. Sheamus warmed up to Preethi and told her his life story among other things. Big surprise. By the end of the night we gathered up and walked out the green gates with full stomachs, new stories, fresh knowledge and eclectic friends. Just the way Dinnertime is supposed to be.
This story marks the re-birth of a series we used to call PIE With (People I Eat With). It’s since been renamed “Forked with”. You’ll find our latest installments on the second and last Monday of every month starting this Monday with one of my favorite LA casting directors and adventure photographers in the biz. Besides eating with some of the amazing people we know, the premise is to get a sense of what Dinnertime means to them. Through a short interview we’ll get a peek into their experience and ideas around sharing food and conversation. We hope you find them interesting and insightful as well as fun and amusing. Ohh and if you find yourself in Paris, get a reservation at Jim’s. I promise it worth the adventure.
Jim Haynes Supper Club