Welcome to the first installment of Picnic Basket Banter, a weekly series profiling Philadelphians who are participating in Dîner en Blanc Philadelphia. This series puts volunteers and attendees of Dîner en Blanc Philadelphia into the spotlight, asking a series of questions about their ideal picnic, favorite places in our amazing city and, of course, what they will be packing in their picnic baskets. Follow along here on the blog, Twitter, and Facebook as we highlight someone new each week to gather some ideas and learn more about your Dîner en Blanc Philadelphia dining companions!
Our first Picnic Basket Banter profiles Kathy Gold and Stormy Lundy, two of our esteemed Dîner en Blanc Table Hosts. In this position, they each have the essential job of communicating with guests before the event and guiding them from their meeting spots to the SECRET location on Thursday, August 23rd.
Dîner en Blanc Philadelphia: What is your favorite spot to picnic in Philadelphia?
Kathy Gold: I love Rittenhouse Square–it can’t be beat for people watching.
Stormy Lundy: Franklin Square!
DEB PHL: What’s your perfect picnic beverage?
KG: Very dry, very cold Rosé, and my secret vice, San Pellegrino water.
SL: Strawberry lemonade.
DEB PHL: Who would be the most interesting person (famous or historical figure) you’d like to share a picnic with- living or dead?
SL: Julia Child.
KG: I must have three guests: George Sand, Nora Ephron and Julia Child
DEB PHL: Do you have a favorite picnic memory?
KG: An indoor picnic, in a totally empty apartment in Washington, DC, owned by a senator who had recently moved home. It was July 4th, and the apartment, with a wall of floor to ceiling windows, had a spectacular view of the Washington Monument where the fireworks display was set off. The fireworks were imported from France that year and the pastel colors and shapes were like none we had ever seen. We had raided the pantry and wine cellar (with permission) at Bistro Francais in Georgetown, and ate and drank the best food and wine in DC.
SL: The Danbury State Fair every year with my family–oh that blueberry pie!
DEB PHL: If you needed to put together a picnic basket for two in less than 30 minutes, what would you make/buy?
SL: Super green orzo salad; local cheese and bread; olives; oatmeal cookies from Flying Monkey; and fruit salad.
DEB PHL: What will be on your Dîner en Blanc menu?
KG: Lots of salads and a baguette, I am sure. My basket will be filled with whatever was freshest in the farmer’s market that day. I hope for tomatoes and peaches. Or maybe pissaladiere, or salade Nicoise, or…
DEB PHL: What non-food items are always included in your picnic basket?
SL: A sketch pad, pastels, a blanket, bug spray, iPod, and Kindle.
KG: My Laguiole picnic knife–it has a great blade and a corkscrew–along with a small cutting board. A plastic bag with wet paper towels. I hate sticky fingers!
DEB PHL: If you were planning the first Dîner en Blanc event in Philadelphia what would be your outdoor public space of choice be?
SL: The landing at the Philadelphia Art Museum. As the sun goes down, the view gets better and better.
DEB PHL: What’s your favorite thing about Philadelphia?
KG: The small, secret gardens, tucked away in various parts of Society Hill, Old City and Rittenhouse
DEB PHL: If you were to plan “the perfect day” of things to do for someone who was visiting Philadelphia for the first time, what would their day look like from start to finish?
SL: Breakfast at Pumpkin Market or Morning Glory followed by a walk down to Old City to see the Constitution Center, President’s house and the Liberty Bell. Reading Terminal Market for lunch and people watching, then a walk to the Parkway and Logan Square. The Barnes Collection! Late afternoon or early evening drinks, and dinner on Rittenhouse Square.
KG: On the list would be The Barnes Museum; a walk in and out of the side streets of Society Hill; Reading Terminal or the Italian Market; University of Pennsylvania Museum; Independence Hall and Visitors Center; the Mutter Museum; The Constitution Center; Franklin Institute; an evening drive by Boat House Row. We have too many fabulous things to do and see here. They have to spend at least a weekend!
Chef Kathy Gold is a professional chef and founder of In the Kitchen Cooking School in Haddonfield, NJ. She is also a food writer and food stylist. Her work has been seen in the pages of The Philadelphia Inquirer, Courier Post, and many magazines and blogs. Chef Kathy Gold was honored to be included in First Lady Michelle Obama’s Chefs Move to Schools event at the White House. Chef Gold is the 1st Vice President of the Philadelphia Chapter of Les Dames d’Escoffier, a member of the International Association of Culinary Professionals, and a member of Women Chefs and Restaurateurs, for which she serves as the Local Exchange Coordinator. Kathy Gold has lived in the Philadelphia area for 20 years.
Stormy Lundy is the Director of Special Events at the Reading Terminal Market Catering Company, where she throws parties in the Market for 60 to 2,000 guests after hours that showcase 120-year-old market’s 80 merchants and restaurants. Stormy is a member of Les Dames d’Escoffier International; an organization of women leaders who create a supportive culture in their communities to achieve excellence in the food, beverage and hospitality professions. Its purpose is to provide support to individual chapters and a system for communication and networking. Stormy Lundy has lived in the Philadelphia area for 32 years.
Photo credit to Sean Corbett Photography.