Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Won't You Stay for Tupper, Dear?

Our mothers have always been ladies with the utmost in social graces - why, they taught us genteel Gastronomistas everything they know. But sometimes we wonder how on Earth they did it without modern technology - how do you invite friends over for a last-minute cocktail party without a mass text message? And who has the patience to hand-write invitations to dinner, let alone buy a book of stamps? Our social - and gustatory - lives would be dead without Facebook, Twitter, and email.

But the concept of a social network is nothing novel. Why, just look at Tupperware. What began long ago as a direct sales scheme for housewives to earn some independent income quickly became a storied opportunity to convene, commiserate, and engage in a bit of commerce.

With this notion in mind, we attended the incredible Tupper Club party in the penthouse of the Setai residences on Fifth Avenue the other night. The prescribed theme for the evening was “The Art of Conversation,” and instead of Jell-o molds and artfully preserved leftovers, Tupperware called in the big guns: recent James Beard Award winner Chef Michael White of Marea. We went armed with eager appetites and witty repartee.

As expected, the food was spectacular - Chef White cooked to impress. The loveliest surprise of all, though, was the company. Between bites of succulent Nova Scotia lobster dolloped with milky burrata, we traded names and stories of how we lucked into the invite.

Over the second course, we easily confided to the young journo beside us that we wouldn’t kick that Shrimp and Calamari Cavatelli off of our plate any day.

By the time the veal loin with pancetta cream sauce arrived, we had plans for a group pizza crawl through Brooklyn. The end of the meal saw us washing down bites of Rhum Baba with Oddero Moscato d’Asti and reminiscing about the avocado-green Tupperware vessels of our youth.

Remember that durable pitcher we used to fill with Country Time lemonade to shill on the corner? Sure, we were looking to make some extra candy money, but we were mostly hoping to catch up with our friends and neighbors, to convene and commiserate. Isn’t that what Tupperware is all about?

In that spirit, we left the Setai with full stomachs, a bevy of modern plastic vessels, and a group of new friends to invite over for dinner. Of course, we’ll have to find them on Facebook.

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