San Diego's creative community has grown immensely over the past couple of years and two such co-founders, Erwin Hines and Jamuelle Zamul, started a series of gathering experiences that has been gaining attention as of late. Crafted Experiences hosts a group of creative individuals to gather every month for themed dinners that allow everyone to share ideas and perspectives with the goal to break down cultural barriers. For their 9th dinner experience hosted at Sandbox, the theme was about vulnerability and we each shared a vulnerable moment over a simple 6-course meal that was prepared by a guest chef, a transplant from the Philippines.
From leaving family and friends to starting a new career in a different country to simply going to a dinner and sharing ideas with a bunch of strangers, these are all vulnerable moments that were shared in a place where we all felt acceptance and empathy. After attending the dinner, making new friends and sharing about my own vulnerability, I caught up with co-founder, Erwin about starting Crafted Experiences and his goals surrounding building a community in San Diego.
Photography by Kimberly Motos
What is Crafted Experiences and how did it get started?
Crafted is a pop-up experience series where perspectives, ideas, and industries come together over conversation. Crafted started very organically. My buddy, Jam Zumel and I were having a conversation about bringing people we were inspired by from different industries together for a round table. We realized food would be the best way to engage and help break down barriers between individuals who don't know each other. With that, we realized we wanted to do it in a space that is industry agnostic so the focus would be the conversation and not a cool restaurant. As we began to add all of the different elements, it organically turned into a dinner series with each part designed to encourage conversation. While the experience is headed by us, BASIC, the agency I work for, is the force behind it.
How do you come up with the themes for each dinner?
Each theme is tied to the overall focus of Crafted. To spread empathy across various industries and communities to strengthen the idea of having a seat at the same table. Each theme is actually a component of empathy and an invitation to learn and grow.
How does it feel to be a part of a growing community of creatives in San Diego?
This is exciting. San Diego has always had an amazing creative community but people are starting to come together and collaborate more which is helping to create a lot more movement.
What did the food and drink menu look like? What was the hit dish or drink from that night?
Jopet Lanzar was our guest chef that night and his menu was based on a home-cooked meal taught by both his mom and grandmother in the Philippines. The 6-courses consisted of Curry (lentil cakes, coconut curry, pickles), Wrap (bib lettuce, pork, jicama, peanuts), Tomato (tomato, ginger, melon, alliums), Barley (lemongrass, asparagus, yolk), Belly (braised pork belly, lentils, pickles) and Coconut (pistachio, muscovado, rice). The Belly was probably the hit dish from the night as it was perfectly paired with a sweet dessert wine. The meal was paired with a few beers from DTLA where he currently lives.
How does one get invited to your dinners?