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The past weekend I booked my first EatWith.com dining experience and I have been raving about ever since. Who knew that dining with strangers in a strange home could be so fun and fab? For those of you unfamiliar with EatWith.com (a dining version of Uber and AirBnB) let me explain….. Professional and amateur chefs […]

The post Why I LOVE EatWith.Com! Plus A Discount Coupon For You To Try It too. appeared first on The Mannequin Madness Blog.

Why I LOVE EatWith.Com! Plus A Discount Coupon For You To Try It too.

The past weekend I booked my first EatWith.com dining experience and I have been raving about ever since. Who knew that dining with strangers in a strange home could be so fun and fab?
aa1For those of you unfamiliar with EatWith.com (a dining version of Uber and AirBnB) let me explain…..

Professional and amateur chefs offer to host in a private venue (usually their home but could be a pop up space) a gourmet home cooked meal on a specific date and time for a set price. You look at the menu’s, choose which meal you want and book and pay for it on the EatWith.com website.

Once you book your reservation all you know (besides the cost and the menu) is the exact address and number of people attending. You have no idea WHO the other people are that you will be “eating with” that evening until you arrive.

The number of people at the event can range from an intimate gathering of 6 people to a group of 25 or more. In many cities the host is serving food from their country of origin, so you get a cultural education along with the dining experience.

EatWith originally started in Tel Aviv with the goal of offering tourists authentic local meals in a private residence. Now that it has spread throughout the world, you can find a range of dining experiences. Everything from raw food, to crab feasts, Indian street food – even a “MockTail”Party – an alcohol Alternative Party with custom blended Raw Tonic Elixirs.

My first experience with EatWith was a “Culinary Journey to Morocco” in a swanky sky rise apartment in San Francisco. The chef, Laila is of Moroccan descent and her spouse, Mark is of Russian descent. They are a personable couple (they speak five languages between them) and they are pro’s at getting a group of strangers to connect – even before we sat down for dinner.

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We started the evening with appetizers and wine served on the rooftop of their building which has breathtaking views of San Francisco and these wonderful “cocoon-like” chairs to sit in under heat lamps. (Always chilly at night in SF).

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That is me on the right – the theatrical one who decided to wear Moroccan inspired attire.

Mark and Laila’s apartment is across the street from the Twitter Headquarters and around the corner from headquarters of Uber and AirBnB. It is interesting that being at ground zero of “all things digital” we were partaking in the ancient non-tech tradition of connecting over a shared dining   experience.

Mark lead us in a group ice-breaker to introduce ourselves. This is where we first discovered how much we had in common despite the outward appearance of our differences. Ironically the two couples in the group were both celebrating their respective wedding anniversary’s.

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We took a group photo on the rooftop before heading down to Mark and Laila’s apartment for the meal. The meal was DIVINE and the portions were just right. You can really tell the difference with food that is not just home-made, but prepared with love and passion.

Laila had arranged the dinner table decor as carefully as she arranged the meal, including seating assignments so we wouldn’t sit next to someone we already knew. The conversation throughout dinner was animated and effortless.

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Although this was a Friday night and most of us (except the for two retirees) had worked all day, yet we were soon energized by the dynamics of the group. Some people were more introverted than others, but no one was a bore, or boring. Lots of six degree of separation moments among the group.

I think the very nature of people who are attracted to this type of dining experience, means they are a bit on the adventurous side. When I got married a few years ago in a hot air balloon, the owner of the balloon company said that 80% of his customers were entrepreneurs (like myself) as they think different and have a higher tolerance for risk.

For those of you who are new to my blog, I have an internet business selling and renting mannequins which I started by accident. And it was a business I started late in life – in my mid-40’s which is ancient by tech industry standards which is dominate culture here in the SF Bay Area.

I share this factoid because as much as I am passionate about food, I am equally passionate about niche businesses and especially if they allow people of a “certain age” to generate income doing something that they love and with a flexible schedule.

And EatWith, like many other ventures in the sharing economy, provides revenue opportunities for people of all ages and maximum flexibility. You could sign up to be an EatWith host and earn money for your cooking and hospitality.

Anyway, back to my Moroccan meal with Chef Laila. We ended the evening sitting on cushions in the living room area (with another fabulous view) and enjoying Moroccan mint tea and cookies. Everyone was basking in the afterglow of a fabulous evening, which was more than a meal but an experience.

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The three friends I brought with me gave me the rock star treatment afterwards for introducing them to EatWith and such an enchanted evening. On the ride home we were already making plans for our next EatWith adventures.

If you would like to experience EatWith click on this link and you will get $10 off your first dining experience. While my meal with Laila was a high standard of excellence on all levels, I am certain other EatWith hosts and meals will be just as wonderful. Let me know.

My next blog post will address top 3 concerns people have who are curious, yet still hesitant to try EatWith.com

The post Why I LOVE EatWith.Com! Plus A Discount Coupon For You To Try It too. appeared first on The Mannequin Madness Blog.