It was a delight to finally be outside and socialize!
While we had beautiful weather in the Netherlands for most of the Spring, many of us chose not to enjoy it because of the COVID-19 risks. But when Nil Duru Lavoipierre of Global Seasons offered to organize a hygienic, socially distanced picnic at the end of June, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity!
About Global Seasons
Nil started Global Seasons out of her passion for cooking for others. But she’s not just cooking for the sake of cooking – she has business and growth in mind for her company.
Her business started to gain traction at the beginning of 2020, but once the pandemic came into full force, it has a huge affect on the primary focus of her business: catering.
So Nil came up with a variety of creative solutions. She started offering online cooking classes through Venture Café and IWNG. She started publishing regularly on her blog about various produce and ingredients. And now that we can socialize a little bit more, she offers guided food tours of the southside of Rotterdam.
But first and foremost, she is a chef.
A Picnic on the Summer Solstice
When I arrived, I saw mostly familiar faces, as well as a few new ones. It was amazing to see how Nil had built her reputation as a chef during the pandemic. If there was anyone in Rotterdam who embraced “Make It Happen” as their life motto, it’s Nil!
When I arrived, I started catching up with the people I knew and introducing myself to the people I didn’t. Sometimes it was hard to have conversations across the socially-distanced circle. But it’s also difficult to have conversations down a long dinner table, right?
Eventually, Nil had to interrupt the flowing conversation to tell us about the menu options.
Everyone was instructed to bring their own plates, utensils, and beverages in order to keep hygienic as well as environmentally friendly. But Nil brought the goods: okonomiyaki pancakes (Japanese cabbage pancakes, but cold for the picnic), vegan stuffed bell peppers braised in olive oil (dolma), and eggplant and pepper ragout (şakşuka).
It was a perfectly light fare for the first day of summer.
As we all dined and conversed, the conversation was about more than just COVID. It was about getting to know each other and the things we value about life right now. Plus, we were all just so happy to be outside!
Phillipe, Nil’s husband and unofficial partner in the business, played a few songs on his guitar as we all sat and digested our delicious meals in the sun.
Meanwhile, it was difficult to tell myself not to get seconds because, while my belly was pushed to its limits, my taste buds wanted more food!
Will we see you next time?
It’s hard to know when we can all gather in smaller spaces with larger crowds. I miss seeing everyone, shaking hands with new acquaintances, and hugging long-time friends! But until then, picnics in the park with Global Seasons will do just fine.