The crowd at the evening’s One Pot, about 40 people, most in their 30s with expensively shagged haircuts and architectural eyeglasses, certainly seems receptive, sharing the bottles of wine they’ve brought and sitting at candlelit tables. Hebberoy taps his glass and welcomes everyone by saying, "There are no rules," and then reads a lengthy passage from The Supper of the Lamb, a 320-page rumination on the preparation of one dish by Robert Farrar Capon.
"Huh, now I know how to cut an onion," says one diner, a designer for Starbucks, who enjoys two helpings of faro salad with caramelized onion but doesn’t touch most of the evening’s "one pot" item of pork roast.
People fall into easy conversation, and all seem to agree: It’s an unusual way to spend a Sunday evening, and really, there is no place else like it in Seattle. And then it’s 10, and there’s a scraping of chairs, and people gather in the doorway. Hebberoy stands among them, talking up later events and new One Pot venues, encouraging people to swap business cards. He seems comfortable in this skin, no unkind words, only warm handshakes and enjoinders to come again.
As guests nab complimentary boxes of cupcakes at the door, Hebberoy slips away, toward the evening’s dirty dishes, which still need to be bused.