Our Darling Dinners are back in rotation starting this month. We’ve loved each and every one for different yet the same reasons: our guests! Each time we gather around the table we are delighted and inspired by the wisdom and perspective brought to share. Below we’re sharing one such perspective of attendee Jemma Davis, who found the dinner’s theme of Transition especially relevant for her current season.

From Jemma:

I had tried for months to get a Darling Dinner ticket, but time and time again they were either sold out, or the timing wasn’t right.

Surprisingly, I went online in August to purchase a ticket for Darling’s upcoming Coffee Workshop, having given up on ever attending a dinner in this lifetime, and lo and behold, I scrolled down to find tickets available! I’ll even admit I shrieked a little at my desk. I purchased one immediately and then saw the topic: Transition in Life. I knew it was fate.

I was moving to New York a month after the date of the dinner and was living the life of a nomad until then, so transition was on the forefront of my mind.

Fast forward to September 3rd: Arriving a little early, I walked up to the gaggle of fashionable women gathered before the rod-iron gate of the building, excitedly waiting for the buzzer to let us into the Darling wonderland above. Little groups of us made introductions and exchanged fashion envy until the buzzer sounded.

We flurried up the stairs in heels and booties and walked through the doorway to what I would later find out was Theresa’s loft, where a warm and cozy atmosphere greeted us with open arms.

A few ladies were bustling around in the open kitchen and we all continued to exchange stories of how we discovered Darling Dinners. The evening’s drinks were served out of a gorgeous punch bowl and crostini platters of fig and délice de Bourgogne were devoured off of the kitchen’s island.

Theresa placed the most amazing arugula salad with peach, prosciutto and parmesan on the grand dining table so we started eating and diving into the topic of the evening: Transition.

Part One:  “What is the biggest transition you’ve gone through?”

One by one we each shared our trials and tribulations, from relationships to moves to career changes. Everyone’s professional sector was different, ranging between photography, event planning, maternity counseling, graphic design and non-profit management. But what was remarkable was that given those differences and our very recent acquaintance, I felt an immediate connection and accepting energy between all of us — something that I believe is a nod to the unique environment the #DarlingMovement creates.

…  I felt an immediate connection and accepting energy between all of us …

Interspersed between the lively discussions was the clinking and clacking of our silverware while we gobbled Theresa’s freshly prepared salmon with peach ginger glaze, parmesan risotto and summer squash sauté. The combination of flavors was impeccable, and I’m pretty sure we practically licked all of the plates clean.

Part Two: “What does transition mean to you? And how does transition affect society as a whole?”

I wish I had a recorder to document everyone’s answers, but truthfully, I wouldn’t have remembered to turn it on because I was so engrossed in the discussion that followed.

Transitions are usually seen as shaky and uncertain, but we discussed how many of us found those periods grounding and enriching. One woman said that during the ebb and flow of transitions, we end up being the most grounded in who we are. For myself, I know that during this uncomfortable time in between homes, I’ve finally found my own balance of work, socializing, reflecting, and exploring, and I don’t think I would have done that if I wasn’t in a transition.

We agreed that our society needs to embrace transitions and not see them as challenges or negative hurdles, but as opportunities for growth and support to shine through. However, society begins with the individual, which puts the pressure on us to start embracing transition first before expecting others to do so.

As we wrapped up the conversation, a plum and almond crumble was placed on the table with freshly whipped cream — a pairing I won’t forget.

… to say this evening was refreshing would be an understatement. It was essential.

It isn’t often you find a group of women, mostly strangers, who eagerly sit around a table and exchange their thoughts and life transitions. At least, I’ve found it quite hard to find that in Los Angeles. So, to say this evening was refreshing would be an understatement. It was essential. Essential because I found out that this community exists. That there are other women craving the same things I am: respect, compassion, humor, an appetite for exquisite food, and ultimately, friendship.

We want you at our next dinner! Check the calendar here to see how you can sign up for No. 8.

Photography by Katrina San Juan

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