Jeremy Paredes, Claire Coget and Catherine Alvarez are the amazing team behind At The Brickyard, which is a monthly, invitation-only dinner party located at the backyard of an apartment in Bushwick. We attended July’s dinner party themed after Shakespeare’s play “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.” Just as the lovers of the play find themselves stranded in a forest outside Athens, we found ourselves in the magical backyard, where Jeremy and Claire sent their potions in the form of magical tarts, enchanting sorbet, and mesmerizing birdseed bread with honeysuckle butter. Lovely Catherine played the role of Puck, enchanting us with the magical capabilities that food has when consumed as an overall aesthetic experience.
Aesthetic meaning applied to all the senses is the essence of a good dinner; transcending just taste, a dinner party is a multisensory experience. It is an experience that lasts in time and lasts in memory like the lingering taste of the caramelized garlic tart with rosemary, thyme, goat cheese and gouda that produced an echoing “Mmm…” amongst the tables. To provide this kind of experience, the food needs to be prepared with passion. For both Jeremy and Claire, cooking has always been a passion. Jeremy grew up in his grandmother’s kitchen, helping her cook meals for their family, as he told me in an email after the dinner. Years after he moved on to college in VA, his passion for food and serving delicious meals morphed into hosting 100+ people parties in his house with his roommates. Claire has had “a bunch of odd jobs,” as she describes them. From working at Christie’s Auction House in London and NYC to being an office manager for the tourism bureau of Fairfax county in VA, “but everyday I would come home from my desk job and spend hours making pasta or layer cakes or ice cream or anything else that sounded challenging,” she described in an email.
Preparing the meals for At The Brickyard sure is a challenge. Every dinner carries a different theme and everything from the decoration to the way the food is served is different. Claire’s luscious backyard with fresh produce that was used in the meal, along with candlelit tables and richly simple floral decorations, transported us to that magical forest outside of Athens. The stage was set and we were sat at a table with four other people who were strangers at the beginning but with whom we were exchanging warm embraces at the end. Warm food and great surroundings made for a convivial dinner and we found ourselves in entertaining conversations with the other people dining with us.
I could write poems about the deliciousness of the goat cheese tart and the ricotta ice cream bonbons. However, dinners At The Brickyard are best described by the fact that entering Claire’s apartment and seeing the whole team prepping as you walk into the backyard is like a gustatory portal to another world. This world changes monthly, taking its attendees out of the ordinary and to an unforgettable dining experience.
And now the best part: If you wish to attend the next At The Brickyard dinner, send an email to atthebrickyardATgmail.com. $50 ticket admits one, every dinner is recorded with great Instagram photos with the hashtag #AtTheBrickyard.
Also check out more work of our photographer Yaz Rosete.