Brussels, Belgium, 2012-05-16 -
Imagine a table from the other side of Lewis Carroll’s Wonderland mirror, to which Alice invites us from her marvellous land. A table made of trees that support the tabletop, seeming to make it come alive. Giving the impression that time stopped between Magritte and Dada, while being very useful, it adapts in to your interior in both length and width, because it is made to measure! Elegant but robust, it matches every interior depending on the choice of wood species. It also evolves with the season, as you decorate it with candles or garlands. Here is a monumental version in oak and beech 10 metres long. In teak for the exterior.
A Dinner Like No Other For more than six months, designer Charles Kaisin laboured to produce a dinner ... from a surrealist dream. And on a lovely April evening, the dream became reality. Each guest wore the surrealist garb of his or her choice. Surprises! Oh, what stunning and outrageous outfits: a bald soprano, a man-in-the-moon with a balloon halo, a Gay Pride pope, a bird-woman, a man wearing Magritte’s bowler hat, red evening gloves painted on skin, a mysterious figure wrapped from head to toe in a black jumpsuit, a man whose headwear was a cage complete with singing canary, a caricature of a schoolmarm with an outsized bun ... It was the schoolmarm who started the festivities by blowing a whistle: “Line up, children! We enter the world of dreams single file!”
A white veil parted to give a glimpse of a long forest-table enchanted by numerous birds flying from branch to branch. A soprano began to sing a duet with the birds – Villa Lobos’s 5th Bacchanal – accompanied by a cellist. Dressed in white, she sang standing on a table ten metres long, whose legs were real trees with branches crossing over its top.
Seated at the table, the guests received a bundle made with a Hermès silk scarf, containing a hollowed-out bread. The bread contained strange dishes: a green brioche with basil to accompany a tartare of bergamot-flavoured salmon and foie gras, covered by a napkin tied with a ribbon in the colours of the Belgian flag.
Then came a wobbling plate, designed by Charles, with an artichoke at its centre. As the guests finished, an opera singer in feathers and hat, straight out of Moulin Rouge, placed a vial in front of each guest, while singing the Poison Aria from Gounod’s Roméo et Juliette. These pharmacy flasks contained fresh pomegranate juice, famous for its antioxidant properties. And eyes continued to pop as the guests peered into a cardboard polyhedron containing a live chick in a straw nest, accompanied by three eggs! Each egg was filled with a different gazpacho: one leek-vanilla bourbon; another, zucchini-coconut; and the third, peas and curry! All nestled in the straw! Incredible, this warm little life, which each guest wanted to cover with kisses.Charles immediately assured the guests that the next day they would be back in the countryside.
And then, unexpectedly, Stephen Salters, winner of the Queen Elizabeth Competition, stood up on the table to sing a Negro spiritual, “Let It Shine!” With his fascinating voice, he charmed the guests. The party continued: after the terrestrial foods came the spiritual foods. Each guest received a vacuum-packed book whose half-open pages formed a letter in their folds. Placed side by side, all thirty-five books together revealed a quotation by André Gide: “Toute chose appartient a qui sait en jouir!” (Everything belongs to those who know how to enjoy it!). Now, all guests were dumbfounded: each book contained a small red ginseng pill. But there was no time to swallow the pill; the next dish arrived, and now the guests put on surgeon’s gloves to eat, with their fingers, a rib of lamb marinated in Asian spices. Like the spinning platters in pastry shops of yore, each plate sat on a turning stand. A cream of balsamic placed in a spiral on the plate accentuated the rotational effect, with a tasty waterzoii with morels in the centre.
And for dessert, a chocolate finger: Charles’s index finger, moulded and gold-leafed by the famous chocolatier Pierre Marcolini. Presented on a plate of chocolate velvet and red fruits, this evocative borrowing made the guests smile ...
An unforgettable dinner, for which the slightest detail had been analyzed and imagined to give it a fairytale quality that only grown-up children could dream of ... Yes, yes, it exists ... here!