The Modern Dining Table

Words and Photography by Charlotte Palermino

Growing up, I had little in common with my parents. Always at odds, the only thing that would bring us together was food.

Whether it was me sulking around the house and my mom offering an olive branch in the form of some flaky French pastry, or me apologizing for being a brat via fresh made pasta, the one thing that could do no wrong in our family was having dinner together. 

TarteAuxPommes

Without fail, every night we would gather around the table in high spirits. And, as I watched my mother painstakingly assemble meals, I grew to understand that even if my mother wasn’t the most emotive person, she showed her love through whatever she spooned onto our plates. 

For us, food was peaceful communication, and the love and effort my parents put into feeding my sister and I, profoundly impacted the way I perceive meals and eating today. 

When I call my parents in a panic, or if I’m upset, I don’t start with telling them the actual problem. No, breakdowns always begin with “I think I put too much water in the pâte feuilletée.” 

Meals have never been something I do to keep me full, they’re an opportunity to be creative and have fun. They’re a way to find common ground with strangers and friends alike, because everyone, at some point, has to eat.  

Meals and the process of cooking can form deep bonds; they can mend relationships and begin new ones. A good meal, and the dinner table it’s served on, is how you get to know people (and sometimes pets) to show them you care.

In short, if you want to be sure someone likes, and dare I say loves you, wait for a dinner invite.

Meals have never been something I do to keep me full, they’re an opportunity to be creative and have fun. They’re a way to find common ground with strangers and friends alike, because everyone, at some point, has to eat.  

Meals and the process of cooking can form deep bonds; they can mend relationships and begin new ones. A good meal, and the dinner table it’s served on, is how you get to know people (and sometimes pets) to show them you care.

In short, if you want to be sure someone likes, and dare I say loves you, wait for a dinner invite.