Last June, Shauna Ahern, cookbook author and good friend of mine made a pie. On the spur of the moment she decided to bring all of her Twitter, Facebook, real, and virtual friends together through a virtual pie party.
The goal was to bring a community together through pie, old friends, and friends not yet found. People baked pies, shared stories online with friends, and met new friends. It was a huge online success. More than 1,500 people participated.
Fast forward to October. Shauna’s success spurred an idea in Jackie Gordon’s and Ken Leung’s minds. They borrowed Shauna’s idea but made it a real live event instead of virtual. Jackie and Ken started tweeting and blogging about the event–inviting everyone that they know to bake a pie and gather for an afternoon of culinary delights and great conversation. And their idea came to fruition on Saturday October 15, 2011 at Rodeo Bar in New York City.
Twitter was alive with talk of pies even before the party started. The night before the party and the morning of the party tweets were buzzing about pie—people talking about their pies, how they were looking forward to the event, and tweeting photos of their culinary creations.
On Saturday morning Larry and I arrived a bit early for the party with chicken empanadas and a sadly melted lemon icebox pie. Note to self: When toting a pie across town, DO NOT take one that will melt on the way. Luckily Lily, the manager of Rodeo Bar offered to try to freeze the “lemon milkshake” back into a reasonable facsimile of a pie. And speaking of Rodeo Bar, they were great! Thank you Rodeo Bar for hosting this event. It was a great space with a super staff.
Some of Rodeo Bar’s beautiful and delicious dishes.
Soon, pies of all description—and their bakers—filled the room. There were savory pies, sweet pies, galettes, jalousies, empanadas, and all kinds of beautiful, scrumptious pastries.
For a few moments before people started eating, it looked like the paparazzi had arrived, as people gathered around the beautiful pastries to the sound of camera shutters and flashing lights filled the room with energy and excitement.
Eventually, the crowd was diverted from their photography frenzy by the sound of Jackie tapping on a glass and someone whistling for the crowd’s attention. Jackie kindly thanked everyone for coming and proclaimed, “It’s time to eat some pie.” The sound of camera shutters was replaced with the clinking of forks on plates as the foodies in the room began to make pie carnage. Old friends were reunited and new friends were made, thanks to Ken and Jackie.
When the eating subsided (which took quite awhile), it was time for door prizes. Many door prizes. Everyone gathered around in anticipation of winning one of the fabulous items.
The party started to wind down after the door prizes were awarded and Ken and Jackie again thanked all for participating. And then Lily, the manager of Rodeo Bar, offered hugs to all while thanking everyone for coming to her restaurant. What a wonderful, welcoming place Rodeo Bar is for food lovers of all backgrounds.
And now, I find myself already looking forward to the next Pie Party Potluck Live. There is going to be a next one, right?