The Root Cellar is the vision-turned reality of food cultivator and enthusiast Anna Witham, who's soon to be cooking up another pop-up meal. And boy howdy, am I excited!
For those of you who are not familiar with what a pop-up restaurants is, allow me to enlighten you: It's a fun and delicious concept where what is being served on the menu isn't at a rooted location, but rather the event "pops up" at whatever spot suits the chef. It's a pretty cool idea.
"Seafood Boil!," exclaims Witham when asked what the theme of this particular pop-up will be.
I asked Witham to elaborate on what a seafood boil actually is. I was thinking creole or cajun, but I was wrong. It's neither of those things. "I have never been to Louisiana and I don't feel comfortable identifying this event as either of those cultures," says Witham. "Instead of this meal taking us to another place in the world, I hope it takes us to another place in time, when things were simple and abundant."
Not too long ago there was an objective to dinner—back when people ate in groups and it seemed as much a social affair as it was a necessity of the day. The objective was to feed as many as the table would hold, and that, my dear reader, is an idea that speaks to the chef. "My favorite part is dumping the steaming food on a long table for people to come fill their plates with," says Witham.
What Witham is trying to do is definitely a break from the norm: make us put down our phones or iPads and engage one another as we eat freaking dinner together. It's something so rare, it can almost be referred to as an art form.
As some of you know, Witham has done pop-ups before. Her first "Ramen" theme set the bar pretty high, and very soon Bendites began looking in her direction and impatiently waiting for the next noshable notice.
By now Witham has a few different themed pop-ups under her apron, so this time she's ready to mix it all up with a dig-in-style setup.
Doors open at 6pm on Aug. 5 at the Workhouse, where there will be no shortage of crawfish, potatoes, butter, corn...my mouth is watering already. Can you tell I'm very much looking forward to rolling up my sleeves and getting frisky with some food? I'm never disappointed with the talent and love Witham puts out. "I read up a bit about boiling techniques and strategies...which made me pretty confident," says Witham. "I already know how long it takes to cook the various items in the boil, I can pull it off. It's really fun."
Seafood Boil with The Root Cellar
Aug. 5, 6pm.
50 SE Scott St. Suite 6, Bend
$30 for all you can eat seafood, plus B-Side Brass Band performance