If you’re in Florida – either full time or visiting, please pay attention! LAST. MINUTE. STUFF.
Ever dream of escaping reality? If only for few hours? To forget about the annoying boss, the omnipresent politics, family’s disputes, or anything else that bothers you at the moment? To escape the stress, sit down with bunch of complete strangers, share gourmet food and wine, fascinating stories, exchanging ideas or experiences from different parts of the Earth, and not having a care in the world?
Years back, when I used to sell wine for living, I earned a trip to Spain hosted by wineries whose wines we’re selling. Among the best in Spain. It was just 5 of us whose sales results earned us that privilege (me being the only woman). Not a tourist trip in any stretch of imagination, we didn’t do a lot of sightseeing.
Instead, we’re invited to wineries we already loved, often to their private dinner table and shared their wine and absolutely stunning food they prepared for us at their homes. We toured vineyards, touched the soil the vine grew in, and saw firsthand how the wine, we already admired, was made. They treated us like celebrities.
Few winemakers invited us to some best restaurants in the area (like a Michelin star restaurant in La Mancha, a fantastic steak house in Madrid, or unforgettable del Asador Alameda in Rioja). The last one, owned by a chef couple, Esther and Tomas was a specially fun.
Tomas personally cooked a custom menu for us, then sat down with us to enjoy it and the entire evening a cigarette never left his lips. (OK, so he took it out for this picture). It literally hung off his lip until the end of dessert, when they brought cigars. Yes, I had one too, funny you should ask!
Yet some of the most beautiful memories that don’t fade away are those moments spent at the winemakers’ homes. Sitting around a long table, sharing local, sustainable and unforgettable courses, prepared by winemaker’s wife and few helpers. They knew which food complimented their wines the best. It was a long wine tasting complimented with multiple courses.
We tasted food some of us never had before, eager to try everything, lost in conversations about wine, food and life, despite the fact that most of us didn’t speak Spanish and the winemaker didn’t speak English. With the help of translators, we all had unforgettable evening, made new friends and didn’t feel like leaving even after several hours (I’m sure their politeness stopped them from kicking us out sooner).
I think about this often. We formed life friendships at that table. We felt like a family with people we never met before. That’s what wine does to you (kidding). I can’t go back to Spain anytime soon but I can re-create that feeling at my own table. I’m a chef, with serious addiction for delicious food and wine (I’m spoiled so it got to be good!!!). At my home, we have the privilege of natural ambiance of tropical paradise we now live in (Florida) and multiple wine coolers filled with delicious supply.
All I need is bunch of complete strangers that have the same desire in common. Escaping the reality (at least for one evening) and getting lost in conversations with people you just met, from different background, heck even from different part of the world. Like those popular secret suppers behind the closed door in Buenos Aires, or in Asia (or >shhhhh< some I know off are in New York).
Would you like to be invited to the very first intimate Chef Vera’s Secret Home Dining Table in South Florida?
Because it’s in a private home, there are few rules you should know about if you want to apply for invitation:
- Are you adventurous and open to try different things? Please don’t apply if you’re dieting or only eat chicken. Use your judgment – if you’re complete vegan it’s probably not for you. If you worry about not liking something, rest assured that there will be array of alternatives offered. Don’t worry – nothing out of comfort zone (no liver, monkey’s brain or anybody’s testicles) OMG did she just say that aloud?
- Are you easy to be around, and friendly to engage in conversation with other people? You’ll be exposed to diverse group of different backgrounds, age, sexes and experiences. Couples and/or singles. Small group – 8 people total.
- Like in the old days, we ban politic or religious discussion. Our goal is to enjoy well-deserved fun evening, not make someone feel awkward, unwelcome or offended. You can get enough of it daily on FB !!
You don’t have to be a wine drinker, but it’s preferred. I want to compose it as a wine dinner but rest your kidneys; other alcoholic or non-alcoholic beverages are available. Not that we discriminate abstainers or something….
- You’ll receive lots of info ahead of time, but I’ll announce the detailed menu of the evening when you arrive.
- We’ll share the food family style, just like at someone’s home, around one big table.
- If you have allergies, special dietary requirements, we can address that during our introduction communication. I’ll do my best to accommodate special requests regarding your dietary needs but I’ll have limited ability if it affects the menu in major way. It would be nearly impossible to accommodate dietary requests that were not expressed ahead of time.
- Everything I prepare will be organic where possible, and sustainable always.
- Count on the evening taking longer than “usual dinner” at the restaurant, min. 3-4 hours.
- Each dinner will start at 7:00 PM and we ask you to arrive half an hour earlier if possible, so you can get to know people who’ll dine alongside you.
- For a security reasons we’ll want to get to know you better to consider your application so if that’s something you’re not comfortable with, please do not apply.
- The hosting house is small in size and nothing fancy but full of heart, charisma, ambiance and character. I’ll do everything in my power to prepare an unforgettable wine & dine experience and fun company. As far as the total experience, that will depend on everyone sitting at the chef’s table.
- Unlike at your mommy’s house, we’ll not ask you to help with the dishes.
- You might want to consider Uber or nearby hotel.
If you want to be part of the very first Chef Vera’s Table – a behind the closed door wine dinner, you can also contact me directly at: firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include subject line: I want to be notified about your next Chef’s Table!’
There are just 6 seats open at the intimate chef’s table and it’ll be gone fast! First dinner coming up this Friday!
When you send your inquiry, please let me know a little about you (your social media link), which day would you like to attend, and I’ll send you all the details about the evening, and some questions to answer so we can consider the invite. Sorry, if it sounds little bit like TSA but I’m sure you understand we’re inviting strangers to our home and want to make sure that the group of guest will be a good match to enjoy each other’s company. And, to make sure that we address any possible allergies or potential dietary issues ahead of time.
I am sooooo excited to make this happen!