Our Spring Seder was a Shabbat supper inspired by the freshness of Spring, the traditions of Passover, and the thoughtfulness of plant-based eating.
Our airy, light-filled venue was MINKA, a center for wellness and holistic living whose name means “home of the people” in Japanese.
MINKA’s mission is to promote the inherent magic already present within nature and to unleash the power of human potential. In other words, the perfect venue for a meal celebrating fresh food and freedom.
To begin the evening, we sang three traditional Shabbat blessings. First, we covered our eyes and chanted the blessing over the candles; when we opened our eyes, the warm glow of Shabbat, the Day of Rest, sparkled in front of us. Next, we raised our glasses and blessed the wine, a symbol of joy. Finally, in lieu of challah (it was Passover!), we blessed the matzah and got ready to dig in to the main meal.
Spring Seder Platter
Apple and rhubarb walnut charoset, rainbow carrot hemp seed tartare, Spring egg and whipped fava bean puree with meyer lemon and smoked salt, Spring crudite with bitter herbs and citrus, matzah crisps
Spring Market Salad
Spring lettuces, cured egg yolk, shell peas, tarragon chive vinaigrette
New Potatoes and Spring Peas
with karpas and parsley-green garlic-dill gremolata
Savory Matzah Kugel
with roasted spring vegetables, paprika crème fraïche, parsley
Sour Cherry Apple Passover Kuchen
Organic Red & White Wine
selected by Brooklyn Wine Exchange
Our Passover-style entertainment was a series of short live stories about freedom and liberation.
The central requirement of Passover is to re-tell the story of the Jewish people escaping slavery in Egypt. We are explicitly invited to add our own voices to this ancient story. The Haggadah, the Jewish text we read at the Passover seder literally means “the telling.” During the Passover season, we all become storytellers par excellence.
We invited three wonderful people to share their own stories of freedom and liberation with us. Their tales were like a loose adaptation of the Haggadah that spoke to the world around them and us today.
Our first storyteller, Jay Miah, told us about his father’s emigration from Bangladesh to New York City and the special relationship that the whole family had with Streit’s Matzo, which employed Jay’s father. Yael Eisenstat shared some of her experiences as a former CIA analyst and special advisor to VP Joe Biden and admitted how liberated she feels now that her career is no longer a secret. Finally, Michael Rothman, founder of Fatherly and a proud supporter of The Moth, made us laugh and cry about the cross-country bike trip he organized in his aunt’s memory.
In our storytellers’ honor, we donated a portion of the event’s proceeds to The Moth – give their podcast a listen!
The afikomen is the matzah that we set aside for dessert at the Passover seder. Typically, someone in the family hides the afikomen and the leader of the seder has to negotiate to get it back in order to complete the seder. At some point, gifts are promised in exchange for the matzah and all is well.
This time, everyone got an afikomen present! Our guests reached beneath their seats, Oprah-style, and found envelopes taped to their chairs with Arq swag inside. A few lucky attendees had golden tickets in their envelopes, too! They won a recent issue of Selva Beat, a copy of Molly Yeh’s new cookbook, a Beyonceder mug, and Ariel Tidhar’s mazel tov gift card and Oy Vey! pin. These gifts were nestled inside brightly colored, theme-appropriate Bag the Habit bags, which are reusable shopping bags using 100% eco-textiles.
If you couldn’t make it to our Spring Seder but are enchanted by the idea of a delicious, plant-based meal, you’re in luck! Here’s the recipe for the Spring Carrot Tartare on our menu.
All photos by Elena Mudd.