Food Among The Flowers

One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well.
— Virginia Woolfe


I agree. And, if you're wondering who I am, my name is Leslie Montana and I'm the artist featured on this website. Food Among The Flowers is inspired by the times we live in, much like my artwork.

Exquisite Paintings on the Nature of Flowers is a body of work based on a sophisticated visual analysis of nature's frequencies = LOVE. Ongoing, and now in phase two.

 

Few things are better than enjoying life with friends and loved ones. Nourishment happens on so many levels, and food is just one of them.




Some backstory, my qualifications

It might comfort you to know that I'm the former co-owner of a successful restaurant and catering business called Blue Sky Cafe, New American Bistro that was active in the early 1990s. Serving the NY/NJ metropolitan area, our highly sought-after dining experience started as a dream and an experiment that grew exponentially from inception.

Around that time, I owned and operated a busy design and advertising agency that I eventually closed to open my studio gallery down the street from the restaurant. I was also on the board of the Arts Council in Essex County, teaching art at Essex County Community College, and venturing into computers, which provided cutting-edge design possibilities that had never before been seen. Busy and demanding times.

At Blue Sky Cafe, we mostly hired professional chefs and staff. However, I know my way around the kitchen and have had the privilege of hosting and managing many events. My interest in food, arts, culture, health, and community, has always been prominent. However, some of my priorities have changed since the early 1990's.

Change is here, more on the way
If you're reading this, you'd probably agree that we are on the edge of big changes that are exciting, scary, and possibly quite challenging. With all that in mind, I offer you Food Among the Flowers to help balance the stress, and bring us together in ways that make us happier, healthier, and stronger. Nourishment is critical and it happens on many levels.

It's 2024. What's cooking?
The menu for Sunday Dinner's will depend largely on what's available at the markets, and how much is donated.

Food Among The Flowers - Launch

The Sauce Connection - Menu no.1
A standard Sunday menu item at my family home in NYC was always a slow-cooked meat sauce. Seasoned meatballs, usually beef and pork, simmered for no less than 3 hours in tomato sauce — it often brought neighbors to our back door. My mother was known for welcoming them, always finding room for one more at our table. Understandably, I served this classic and flavorful dish over pasta for the launch event of Food Among the Flowers. It's a stand-alone dish, easily a meal in itself. With it, I served zucchini parmesan, a green bean/potato/chickpea melange, a salad of tender mesclun greens, and my signature rosemary potato focaccia. An appetizer of pizza greeted guests and for dessert, cream-filled pastries and a cinnamon-cocoa babka. All from scratch. Spending the evening in each other's company was fun, and nourishing on many levels. I'm grateful that such a wonderful group of people showed up for this first event. :))


Gluten Free Tapas - Menu no. 2
From the May 5th dinner, see the menu here.


Eclectic Elements - Menu no. 3
Our 3rd event, and the buzz is on.
Highlights from the June 9th dinner to come.


A good appetite is important for good health. Dining well with friends, even better.

 

Getting ready
In preparation for each event, which I hope to offer monthly, I'll be on the lookout for the freshest, most alive, vital, and clean produce can find. If it's not FDA organic, but I know the source and it's unsprayed and basically organic, I will consider it. The number of people who donate to fund the event will determine what I'm able to purchase and how much. It's going to take some planning and coordination but will all come together the day of with some element of surprise for all of us.

Stone Soup. Have you heard of it?
There's a special kind of magic when everyone contributes. Do what you can. Give what you can. Options in the drop-down menu when you sign up allows you to donate more than the minimum suggested amount. Your donations help fund this project. And if barter is more your thing, get in touch with me to see what might be possible.


Your Support and Participation

Space is limited.
 Request an invitation and join the waitlist.


There's a lot that goes into preparing for Sunday Dinners, and it can't happen without you. Many thanks in advance for your generous support.

• Minimum suggested donation $20.00
• Marigold $25.00
• Tiger Lily $35.00
• Almond Blossom $45.00
• Sunflower $65.00

Note: If you are raising and/or have access to animals and products from pasture-raised, organically fed, ethically treated, non-GMO, cleaned, and ready to cook, please consider donating your raw food product. You can even have things shipped directly to me from your suppliers. Produce, animal, or fresh vegetables, especially during the growing season are welcome. Contact me to coordinate.


Our Peer Group
This event is not open to the general public. You know what I mean, and you know who you are. We're all different but on the same page with what matters most. Knowing who our peers are is naturally supportive. It makes us stronger.

Come join us for Food Among the Flowers, Sunday Dinner.

I look forward to seeing you there.

— Leslie Montana