We are all nomads. If we aren’t moving our stuff from one place to another, we are shifting our ideas and perceptions. A modern nomad, it would seem, is someone in a constant state of philosophical change.
Yet generations ago being a nomad was a state of survival. It was more physical labor than metaphysical meanderings. We carried our belongings on our backs and everything we did during the day was done for one purpose — to eat for survival.
Today there are still nomads among us who think and live only for dinner. These are the culinary nomads who search the world (and internet) for the perfect meal or ingredient. I’m talking of caterers who, like our ancestors, carry their tools and their food with them. They arrive with tents, tables, chairs and entire kitchen in order to produce celebratory feasts in any number of difficult locales. They are the first to arrive, last to leave.
It’s a difficult job, but not thankless in the least. In fact, Pauline Parry, owner of Good Gracious Events, always says that what fuels her each day is the food, the fun and the love. Could it be that simple?
“I know I always say that — it’s about food, fun and love — but for me it’s really more than a tagline,” Pauline says. “They truly are what fuel me and drive me forward. I believe people are successful when they do what they love and I love doing this!”
She’s done so for the past 20+ years. I met Pauline when I was editor of an industry magazine. She was (and still is) a magazine editor’s dream, filled with both design and culinary creativity and the energy to act on all her impulses and ideas with great success.
Today Pauline is at the top of her game. In addition to pulling off the feat of publishing a coffee table entertainment / recipe book (Food, Fun and Love: Party Styles) in less than year, she has spent the past two years traversing the globe, speaking at industry event, consulting with others and producing award-winning events that have introduced new food presentations and underlined her philosophy of food, fun and love.
“It’s about living your passion,” she says. “When I’m not working with clients on their events, I’m thinking of the next party I will host at my home. Entertaining, connecting, trying new dishes, considering every details of the experience… it’s all what I love to do.
“Essentially, I think of what I do as creating a way for people to express themselves to friends, family, and colleagues. I hope that through my example I can show them how to share their passions with others, not hold onto them.”
We are all nomads, literally or philosophically. But now we have the luxury to seek more than survival. We want to pursue and attain our passions and ideals. Yet, there will always be that point in our pursuit at which we settle down, if only for awhile, and take our seat at the table. And when we do, it’s best not to pick at our food. Take the words of Auntie Mame to heart: “Life is a banquet and most poor fools are starving.”
THE FEAST! This al fresco dining experience was created by Pauline and her team at The Simpson House, a bed and breakfast inn located in Santa Barbara. The event was all about the passions of Pauline which she shared with her guests — top wedding planners in Los Angeles and Santa Barbara. The event was a sleepover (!) and was produced with a team of event artists — Rrivre Works, Wildflower Linen, Chameleon Chair, Mille Fiori and Classic Party Rentals.
Photo By Marianne Lozano
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