Dinner with Friends
A design-focused, quarterly lifestyle magazine celebrating California's Central Valley, one dinner party at a time.




Like the leaves from the trees, the fall dinner party feature has officially dropped. If you haven’t checked it out yet, head over to the “Dinner Parties” tab and dive in. Or, just click here. ‘Gather,’ our third dinner party, was very personal. Usually we take the lead on crafting the direction and theme of the event to highlight a different group of people in the community. Our first issue focused on dreamers and creatives carving their own path in a digital culture. Our second issue focused on agriculture, and the various ways in which people are interacting with, and championing, local food. This latest dinner party was much more primal—focusing on that inherent need we have to be around other people and converse. We took a much more hands-off approach to simply allow friends to gather and enjoy each others’ company.

At the center of it were our dear friends Forrest Armstrong and Sal Villa. They initially reached out to us about wanting to be involved several months ago. Their style, kindness and involvement in the community made the decision to collaborate with them a no-brainer. Since the meal was a reflection of who they are, they had control of the guest list and creative direction. Their friend Celeste Alexander created the menu. We wanted the feature to capture the simple pleasure of gathering friends for a meal, with no overarching theme or motive.

Photographer Erica Houck captured the mood of that night brilliantly. We love the warmth in her pictures. The images she captured of Forrest, Sal and their friends (and dogs) really told the story of the gathering. Although the hosts went all out with the decor and preparing their home for their guests, the vibe of the evening was relaxed, with guests gathering in the kitchen and backyard before dinner, chatting as food (bought fresh from the Vineyard Farmers Market just hours before) was still being prepared. It was very much like the dinner parties taking place in homes all over the Central Valley on any given night. There just happened to be a photographer at this one capturing it all.

We hope you enjoy it. We hope you look at the pictures and see you and your friends or family. We hope it makes you appreciate the times you’ve gathered around the table for a meal with people you love.

Kendra Gilbert