I didn’t know of Jim Haynes until I read about him this week in Leo Hollis’s Cities Are Good For You: The Genius of the Metropolis. He’s an American in Paris who, for almost 40 years, has held an “endless dinner party” in his apartment at 38 Rue de la Tombe Issoire in Paris, inviting anyone and everyone, a salon for the world.
There’s no prior screening, no invitations, “Mr. Haynes, 78, said. “I just say the first 60 or 75 that call can come and that’s the mix.
My goal for Second Sundays has been to create community around food like this, albeit with more structure. But structure, which can often be freeing in its application of constraints, can also be limiting, binding, onerous, and suffocating: perhaps it’s time for the structure to go, the strings to loosen, the lid lifted off. Perhaps it’s time to approach this dinner series like Jim does: Open. Trusting. Que sera, sera.
Q. How does your supper club operate?
A. We have a volunteer chef system. I have a Rolodex of 12 cooks. I just call them up and ask who’s ready for the next one. The food changes. The woman cooking this weekend is Russian; last weekend, the chef was Macedonian. The meals are almost always three courses, and there’s always a vegetarian option. There’s a suggested donation of 30 euros, but you give what you want. – Dinner? Paris? Invite Everyone!
John Locke said that ‘trust’ was at the heart of any society; and this notion of ‘trust’ has too often been ignored in the discussions of how to make a happy city. –Leo Hollis
Our last supper club was hosted at Andrew’s house in the Central District, including Andrew, me, Debra, Chris, and Aaron. Debra plans to host our next one (in April). But after that, I’m loosening, billowing, opening this supper club up to the world. Jim has the irresistible draw of hosting in an atelier in Paris and Seattle is no Paris, this is true. But Paris is no Seattle, either. There are beautiful, interesting people where ever you go.
Will you spread the word and cook for us?
Generalized trusters are ‘happier in thier own personal lives and believe that they are the masters of their own fate. They are tolerant of people who are different from themselves and believe that dealing with strangers opens up opportunities more than it entails risks. –Leo Hollis