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Eating at someone's home

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When I was a kid we would sometimes go for Sunday dinner at a distance relatives house. They were Italian and the women (an older woman and her daughter) would wake up really early in the morning and prepare a meal for their family that was spectacular. Is there a way you can pay to go to someone's home for a home cooked meal - like an ethnic meal such as Italian, Portugese or other group that is known to have good food? I was thinking that it would be the coolest thing - more exciting then going to a restaurant.

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  1. You might have a better chance if you barter. Another alternative is to select a theme and hire a chef for the night. One drawback is you wouldn't get to meet some great new people (besides the chef), and then there's the question of authenticity, ugh. I think it's time to get a wider and more ethnically diverse circle of friends. That always works well, (for me at least) and an invite soon follows. ; ) Chef ---> http://www.chef4thenite.com/

    1. In old world tradition I do Sunday Suppers at my house every other week. It was a way for me to share my love of food, friends and family and meet new people. People came the first week and were encouraged to bring others.

      Now, we've morphed into three locally well known chefs, a wine store owner and a bunch of food hacks (me included) who enjoy a great meal together. It also opens up many more chances to get to see other/traditional cooking at other locations.

      Food people begat food people.

      1. ha!
        that DOES sound like the ultimate food experience.

        The only way I have found to do this, is to be very very nice to my friends with food-oriented families. If you look pathetic enough, you will eventually be adopted.

        1. I am thinking that with laws governing commercial kitchens, this would not be possible unless it's an informal arrangement. In other countries I know this does exist. For example dining in a private residence in HK (called Private Room Dining) is all the rage.

          1. In California, there are several Basque style Restaurants. I occasionally get the "Sunday Dinner" experience there.

            1. I am thinking I saw an article in one of the food mags in the past year where there was a service that would arrange just such a thing for you. It might have been in Saveur. The service would pair you with families in a number of cities throughout Europe for a fee.

              1. Start a dinner club. I think a lot of chowish boards have areas for members who want to set this kind of stuff up. The catch is, you'll have to welcome someone in your home too.

                1 Reply
                1. re: piccola

                  I've been a member of one for many many years. If anyone wants some tips or pointers or suggestions I'll be glad to share our groups guide lines and how we work.
                  cgrover@kiva.net

                2. That would be a wonderful experience. There are plenty of foodies that you could feasibly organize something like that here.

                  It is, however, a common practice in Italy. Many tourists participate in this program. http://www.homefood.info/

                  http://www.chowhound.com/topics/396306

                  1. I realize this is an old posting but it's worth a shot. I live near a University in California and I love to entertain and cook. In Mexico I helped my mother open a "Fondita" where she serves lunch out of her house. She has "regulars" that come to eat her wonderful cooking. The setting feels like a home away from home for the people that eat there and the conversations are always fun. Dinners are like extended family for my mom. I would like to set up the same type of thing out of my home in California. Any ideas on how to advertise?

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: Trenzas

                      I'd check out local health codes before advertising, if I were you. Once you got that squared away, then get the word out at your local UC campus. At my university, one professor's wife used to cook Sri Lankan meals every week and deliver them to her clients, but it may have been an informal arrangement, as she didn't advertise (think it was all word of mouth). There may or may not have been the local health dept. involved. Not exactly your planned situation (you want folks at your home), but you might want to start with a few known regulars and let them take care of the advertising for you!

                      ETA: you might want to start a new thread with a clearer subject line. I'm sure you'll get more (and better) advice that way.

                    2. Not sure about going to their house but you can ask them to cater for you, not even talking about a chef here but just a good home cook who does a specific ethnic food. I did this before.