Party Tips from Today’s Highline Social Soup Experiment

The Cleaver Company totes these former wine bottles to and from events, filled with filtered water.

We learned plenty at today’s Social Soup Experiment, the first of many communal meals the High Line hopes to host on its elevated train line–which once brought food from the Hudson Valley into the warehouses and food factories that used to line the city riverfront farther south.

We’ll tell you more about the event–which was in part a social experiment about sharing meals as well as a way to promote Slow Food’s $5 Challenge–on our forthcoming NY1 segment on the soupy shindig this Friday. But we wanted to pass along a party tip we learned from Mary Cleaver, the foward-thinking sustainable caterer who runs a restaurant both on and below the elevated city park.

For catering jobs and parties Cleaver takes empty 1 Liter bottles of Bergen Grüner Veltliner, which come capped with metal crowns like beer bottles, and fills them with water they filter back at her catering kitchens. The bottles are then capped with little plastic resealable bottle caps she sources from kitchen supply stores for safe transporting.

That’s tip number one. Tip number two is if you have to feed 220 people at the same time, a big vat of silky farro and bean soup–flecked with rosemary and doused with good olive oil–is a damn good way to do it.

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