Fête d’Amour

February 18th, 2012, 6-9 PM

An intimate evening of French food, music, and romance in a warm, relaxed atmosphere.

The NWLA Cultural Center invites you to dust off your rose-colored glasses as their popular Language of Food Series continues on Saturday, February 18th, 2012, with Fête d’Amour. This unique series explores cuisines and cultures from around the world, and the ways in which they maintain an unbroken relationship with traditions of the past.  For this installment, NWLA will host a special Valentine’s-themed event inspired by Parisian cabaret culture.

The cabaret began in 1881 in the Montmartre neighborhood of Paris with the opening of Le Chat Noir, an informal salon where poets, artists, and composers shared ideas and tested new material.  As time went by, other cabarets sprang up throughout the city and began to host scheduled performances of song, dance, and sketch comedy.  The venues brought a new intimacy and informal spirit to entertainment: audiences sat at small tables and enjoyed food and drink while performers worked right in their midst.  Sometimes, the audience even became part of the show!

The afternoon cooking class, from 2:00pm-5:00pm, will demonstrate traditional French dishes, with a focus on taste, simplicity and fresh seasonal ingredients.  Instructor Chef Jacob Wiegner was trained at Le Cordon Bleu in Paris, and previously worked under Chef Philippe Thomelin at Olivar before opening Seattle’s Blackboard Bistro.

The evening event will begin with a cocktail hour, featuring kir aperitifs and a selection of amuses bouches, followed by an elegant meal of traditional French Bistro cuisine. With both meat and vegetarian options available, guests will enjoy France’s celebrated culinary fare in a warm, candlelit atmosphere.  Dinner will be paired with a selection of regional French wines.

NWLA is delighted to welcome French chanteuse Nikki Dee (Nikki Decaires), a versatile, multi-lingual vocalist specializing in jazz, French Cabaret, and Brazilian Bossa Nova. With pianist Karin Kajita and bassist Max Wexler, Nikki will perform classic French cabaret-style songs and a variety of other selections ranging from soft, laid-back dinner music to swinging improvisational entertainment.

Guests will also be swept away by the debut of Les Folies Oui-DB, a troupe of local dancers under the direction of Leslie Larch, former dancer at Paris’s famed Moulin Rouge.  Expect an energetic performance incorporating elements of burlesque, improv, and plenty of audience interaction!

The event will be held at the NWLA Cultural Center in Langley, on Whidbey Island.  Overnight accommodations are available in the Cultural Center’s luxurious Guesthouse.

Cost is $75 for dinner and performances, $45 for the cooking class, or $100 for both the class and evening event. Seating is limited; early reservations are recommended. Reserve at 360-321-2101 or [email protected].

Stay tuned to our blog and Facebook page for details and updates!

Image: Georges Seurat [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons