Our Assemblage Dinner
This fall, as the fading light had begun to creep into the hours normally reserved for late afternoon, the Bacon & Lox Society gathered a few friends in a special place. Our aim? To celebrate 10 years of bringing people together, creative inspiration, and the impact that our ethos of “community over competition” has had in creating a new culture of celebration.
For this event, we took a lot of inspiration from the Lenny Kravitz X Dom Perignon creative collaboration, and the fabulous dinner party photographed in his “Assemblage” exhibit. This paired nicely with a new book compiled by America Ferrera, American Like Me: Reflections on Life Between Cultures. At the Bacon & Lox Society, we decided we would celebrate our own Assemblage, inspired by the very same spirit of friendship, collaboration, and the convergence of creativity.
Part of the reason I think this concept of Assemblage resonates so strongly with me is that I tend to feel most at home when I’m finding and creating connection that doesn’t readily present itself. Finding those almost hidden moments — or creating them out of thin air when possible — has become my favorite pastime! Growing up in Hawaii, we weren’t so much connected by our genealogy as we were to the idea of being “local.” But this sense of locality didn’t solely refer to where we were born. It made us caretakers of the land, and — more importantly — of each other.
I realize now that in creating the Bacon & Lox Society, I was bringing this concept of Assemblage — a work of art stemming from that which is ostensibly unrelated — forward from my Hawaiian childhood.
(noun | as • sem• blage)
1. A collection or gathering of things or people
2. A work of art made by grouping
found or unrelated objects
3. The action of gathering or fitting things together
Honor the Inspiration
I felt compelled to write and contribute my own story when American Like Me was released. Within this collection of accounts from the perspectives of Americans who found themselves living between cultures, I was struck by the raw power of story, and touched by its ability not only to expand, but to evolve culture through connection. When we listen to someone’s story — their struggles, triumphs, and inspiration along the way — we reinforce our shared humanity, that vital sense of community and belonging that’s so deeply ingrained within all of us. When we invite someone to share our recipes and in our traditions, we strengthen the fabric of our own society.
We waited for nightfall to begin our Assemblage gathering, guests climbing the stairs to the second floor and entering into the Fox & Finch Studio, which we had transformed into a magical atrium of luxe white drapes, dreamy lighting, and an exalted communal table.
Duo of Cocktails by Jason Lonigro:
Hendrick’s Gin Martinez served in vintage Nick & Nora glasses.
Spiced fall punch with bourbon, Sherry, lemon oil and black tea served in a communal bowl, vintage teacups.
Once everyone had a cocktail in their possession, we gathered close in a gorgeous lounge created by our own Sarah Petryk, of Allium Floral Design, to listen as I gave a formal reading of an essay about my experience growing up between cultures in Hawaii, as if America Ferrera had asked me to contribute to her book.
An Assemblage of Design
For an invitation that incorporated a bit of allegorical style, Nicole Hutnyk of Rabbit, Rabbit Crew! drew upon themes of new beginnings, togetherness, kismet…and a dash of swingin’ speakeasy glamour. Drawing heavy inspiration from representations of “The Fool” (a major arcana tarot card), Nicole depicted our optimism and belief in the universe and humanity as The Bacon & Lox Society points itself towards the new adventures that lie ahead.
The entire Fox and Finch Studio space had been transformed into a glamorous speakeasy by mastermind Sarah Petryk and her team of creatives (MJ Chiulli, Joseph Moussa, and Omni Great Events): Layer upon layer, texture upon texture — flowing drapes, drippy candles, peek-through openings for movement and delight — Sarah’s vision for this candlelit gathering and draping installation was the perfect embodiment of the new beginnings, illumination, and celebratory vibes that characterized our night.
And, like a crown over our communal table set for 30, Nicole Hutnyk added a whimsical balloon installation made of white, metallic, clear, and swirly orbs, setting the mood for our Potluck of Food Memories.
An Assemblage of Memories
Our dinner party was made up of a meaningful menu of all our favorite food memories!
“Food is Love…”
and “God is Love…”
and, “You are what you eat…”
the Theorem of Assemblage
(Basis for Our Potluck of Food Memories)
Celebrating and amplifying the voices and experiences that exist in between pockets of community and culture is how we make a new culture — one of celebration, of gratitude, and of generosity informed by all of our best aspects. And of course, the best way to create a new community out of a bunch of strangers is at the table, where we share our food and our stories, inviting each other to participate in our favorite forms of celebration.
This way, every time we bring ourselves and our stories together, gathering around a shared table, we reinforce and expand the social ties of our newly-forged community, making relatives out of those who previously weren’t, reinforcing our shared humanity, sharing hope, and finding connection.
Celebration Congregation + Concept | Celebrant Alisa Tongg
Florals + Design | Allium Floral Design, MJ the Stylist, JHM Event Group
Balloon + Neon Installation | Rabbit Rabbit Crew!
Venue | Fox and Finch Studio
Photography | Rob Yaskovic
Film | Solidity Films
Coordinating + Design | Rabbit Rabbit Crew!
Furniture | Fox and Finch Vintage Rentals
Cocktails | Jason Lonigro
Drapes, Linens, Lighting | Omni Great Events
Potluck of Food Memories | Love Bites by Erika, Scott Brewster, Tony Jimenez, Chef Grandon Grimilia, Garrick Brown, Nicole Hutnyk, Elena Tongg Weiler, Rob and Jill Howell, Brynn Monaghan, Kristen Rinaldi, Kelli Hertzog, Cheryl Joubert and Jonathan Velander, Claudia Harmon, Sara Lonigro, Christina Campbell