Have Dinner with Willie Nelson

by: Tai Saint-Louis

Every so often, an opportunity comes into your life that you might not even have thought to ask for. Take, for example, dinner with Willie Nelson — on his farm, while getting a culinary cultural and historical lesson on Indigenous American cuisine.

Just ahead of the Luck Reunion Festival, a food and music festival held in “Willie’s Backyard” in Spicewood, Texas, he and his family will be welcoming an intimate group of guests to join them for a special themed dinner. The 2023 Potluck — which boasts a “three sisters” theme — will feature a menu built around maize, squash, and climbing beans, the three crops universally accepted as the most important crops in Indigenous cuisine.

The family-style feast is set to take place on Wednesday, March 15, and will be prepared by three Indigenous rising stars of the culinary world: Brit Reed and Sewa Yuli (representing I-Collective, an organization of Indigenous chefs, activists, herbalists, and seed and knowledge keepers) and Crystal Wahpepah, former Chopped contestant and owner of Wahpepah’s Kitchen in Oakland, California.

Experiencing this intimate dinner isn’t exactly impossible, but it’s obviously not the most accessible, either. If you’d like to attend the dinner alone, you’ll have to set about $500 aside and hope the waiting list opens up. If you can get a crew together, however, you and three friends can reserve a half-table for $4000, or a full table — which accommodates eight — for $7500.

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