Recap of Feast of Fables

"When we no longer have good cooking in the world, we will have no literature, nor high and sharp intelligence, nor friendly gatherings, no social harmony."

—  Marie-Antione Careme

At dusk on February 11, 2017, the Feast of Fables was held in a little bejeweled box in the redwoods. We gathered to witness the power created at the confluence of story, taste, and good company.

Within this magical space, talented collaborators and curious guests gathered sharing in rich stories told through the delicious meal. Every element was woven together into an event that is not soon to be forgotten.

lille aeske fables

A glimpse behind the curtain:

In preparation for this Feast of Fables, Curated Feast founder and storyteller Liz Birnbaum found some of the oldest tales collectively told, and formed them into dishes in collaboration with Chef Amanda Pargh, who then made the tales a delicious reality. Liz also connected with Sarah and James of lille aeske, who have deep expertise in theatre and events, and whose beautiful venue was the perfect space for a multi-faceted exploration of fables. Sarah and James also transformed the space itself with a temporary installation exploring the Four Loves. They created an emotive exhibition which honored both the season and the theme of the dinner with equal intimacy.

behind the curtain

We were so glad to welcome back Carra Duggan of Flowers by Carra, whose talents connected with Viva Flora on this tablescape and chandelier installation. As Liz met with Carra, they envisioned a forest floor, complete with feather and bone. They also dreamed of greenery above reaching down toward the table, which Carra and Sarah executed so beautifully. For the table, Liz hand-frayed each natural linen napkin and embroidered the table runner with a red thread, echoing the concept of a path — like Hansel's breadcrumbs ... or the Chinese red thread of destiny ... or King Theseus' red thread in the labyrinth ... or the kabbalistic talisman of good luck ...

At this Feast, the tales spanned from Aphodite, to Cinderella, to Little Red Riding Hood, and Hansel and Gretel. And each of these courses, while orated by Liz, was accompanied by the über talented Carl Atilano. His musical accompaniment made the whole event an even more elegant affair than what these photos can show.

The guests were dazzled with five courses, each beautifully paired with wines selected by vintage vixen Rae Boghossian, who Liz also worked with once again to pair the drinks to not only the food, but the elements of the tales themselves. 

The Menu


golden cayenne hot sauce + apple
with Folktale Sparkling Brut



little gems + crab + avocado + green goddess
with Forge Cellars Riesling



kabocha + date + bacon + dandelion + pumpkin seeds
with C'est la Vie! Syrah Rose



duck + hen of the woods + fennel + celery root + micro greens
with Painted Wolf Cabernet



dark forest cake + breadcrumbs + moonstones + violas
with Offley’s Ruby Port

We began with Aphrodite's Oyster, and the tale of the Judgement of Paris. Here, we noted the connections between this story and Snow White — and we looked at the golden apple of discord in Greek Mythology, and one word: kallisti, to the fairest (of them all).

Next we looked at Cinderella in her multiple versions in the The Crab and The Laurels & The Shifting of Cinders' courses. We began by exploring the traditional Filipino Cinderella variant, and the tale known as Mayyang and the Crab. We followed that with Perrault's late 1700s version, and finally we made it to Disney ... but she was just the last thread we tugged on from in a long line of Cinderellas we found throughout the world.

Alongside the next course, entitled The Girl and the Wolf, we explored Little Red Riding Hood and the sexy, gruesome versions that were once common tales. We found Granny's ears served as tortellini in the older Italian versions, and decided this tale was a bit improved with a different turn. We made it to the Once Upon a Time version with "Red" who herself turns out to be the werwolf and eats her boyfriend Peter (think Peter and the Wolf). We closed the story of this course by drawing on the storied Brothers Grimm themselves, who were story collectors more than grim and sinister characters. 

At The Heart of the Forest, we finally reached dessert. Here, we got to meet Hansel and Gretel in both their typical form, as well as in a new vantage, from the witch's perspective, thanks to the amazing Snap Judgement Podcast segment called "The Way Stones". Here where we were reminded that the pathless woods can be a character, too, and that the breadcrumbs and moonstones are not of equal utility if you happen to find yourself lost from your path.

Special Thanks to all of our talented Feast of Fables Collaborators!

We could not have hosted as special an event without the support of a stellar team like the one we had for this Feast of Fables.

In addition to those already thanked, we are grateful to Heather Griffith of Live Earth Farm who glued the front and back of house together, AE Letterpress for the gorgeous menus, Kyle Murphy for the stunning photos, and Whole Foods Santa Cruz, whom we thank was our inaugural pantry sponsor! Whole Foods also sent each feaster home with a beautiful olive oil showing a Greek olive oil with Venus (and certainly also Aphrodite), to continue the fairy tale at home.

And again — every bite was pure magic with chef Amanda of Burn Hot Sauce who got a standing ovation. Each course was paired perfectly by vintage vixen Rae Boghossian of Epic Wines and Spirits. The whole event was surrounded by the space and warmth of lille aeske's talented Sarah and James, who provided so much more than a venue. They gave their expertise in event management and their willingness to adapt their space to this vision. That space was enveloped in a wild wood created by Carra Duggan of Flowers by Carra and then filled with music as we co-performed with musician Carl Atilano (reachable at

Thank you all for making this dream a reality!