The model and philanthropist turned blogger Elettra Wiedemann of Impatient Foodie gathered a crew of talented friends for her latest series: Imagined Dinner Party. In honor of Halloween, she shared the first installment exclusively with Food & Wine: It’s a tale of witches who live deep in the forest, tucked away from humanity so that they can revel in their Wiccan ways.
See the Feast: Inside a Witches Dinner Party with Elettra Wiedemann
What I love about food (beyond eating it) is that it tells a story and it is the ultimate leveler. Think about this: Every single person on the face of the Earth who is, ever was and ever will be, eats, has eaten or will eat. It doesn’t matter if you are living in a huge metropolis or in the deepest part of the Amazon—we are all eating. Having someone tell you about a favorite dish, when they first had it, their memories associated with it, when they like to eat it and how they cook it, reveals a lot about a person. In my experience, simply asking someone “What is your favorite dish and why?” begins a spiral of other conversations about that person’s family, friends, upbringing, travels and adventures. In a nutshell, I love food because it is a wonderful conduit for a revealing conversation.
The spark for the Imagined Dinner Party series on Impatient Foodie came to life when I finished reading a wonderful series of lectures on culinary history by Ken Albala and saw the genius “Meals Interrupted” photographic series created by Impatient Foodie’s own photographer and food stylist, Davide Luciano and Claudia Ficca. Together, the book and the photos got me thinking about how a strong story can be told just by showing what people are eating and how they are eating it. I find this idea absolutely intriguing, fantastically fun and absolutely ripe for a photo series.
For our launch, we went a completely fantasy route and imagined what witches would eat on All Hallow’s Eve. In my opinion, Halloween has become a bit of a parody of itself. Do a quick web search on “Halloween foods” and you’ll probably find a bunch of edibles that look a little cartoonish. Here, we wanted to create something that made people recoil, but was still compelling (like witches themselves), and, yes, entirely edible (even the bugs). In fact, we enjoyed this feast once we finished shooting (and it was all delicious).