When Noise Pop and chef Blair Warsham's graffEats come together, you know it's for something special. They've collectively hosted a handful of well-attended (read: totally sold out) “Covers" dinners over the past year, and are about to debut another: A Culinary Tribute to Serge Gainsbourg.
As in events past, this one – which takes place in a secret location Sept. 8 – quickly sold out of its 50 dining spots. And again, the organizers made the decision to add another date, the same dinner will also be served Sept. 7. The basic gist: Warsham creates a meal based on “covers” of famous dishes around the world from the global collective of celebrated chefs. Noise Pop matches interesting covers songs to each course.
The focus on the adored yet boozy troubled, larger-than-life French icon (and lover to Brigitte Bardot and Jane Birkin) came naturally. “We were discussing the idea of playing with a more focused dinner and musical theme and Serge Gainsbourg came up immediately,” says Noise Pop's Dawson Ludwig. “He's French, which is an obvious culinary dream, he's sensual, he's a revered musical figure, he's prolific, plenty of artists have covered him. He embodies so much of that sensory indulgence that we're going for. And we are all big fans of his.”
An example of the pairings at next week's dinners: Cappuccino de Foie Gras et Truffes de l’Ete from José de Anacleto (L’Hotel Million Albertville, Savoie), paired with Arcade Fire's cover of “Poupée de Cire, Poupée de Son.” Says Ludwig: “We chose this song because of how lush it sounds, this dish is very rich and decadent so we wanted to pair it with a song that has big over-the-top arrangements.”
And another: Tarte Au Citron by Gerorge Perrier of Le Bec-Fin paired with the song “Je T'aime (moi non plus)," covered by Cat Power and Karen Elson – “This dish is ridiculously sexy. 'Nuf said.” C'st vrai.
If you miss out this time around, there are two more Covers dinners lined up this year: Oct. 6 at the Treasure Island Music Festival Pop-Up Shop in North Beach and then on a winery in St. Helena in November. “Beyond that we are tackling them one at a time,” says Ludwig. “We hope to do at least five or six a year.”
Here's the sexy singer, doing his thing: