Underground dinner

There is NOTHING like a good dinner party. Great food, stimulating conversation, a glass or two or three of wine, and lots of laughter. I love putting together friends and acquaintances from different parts of my life to see what results. It's a bit of an experiment - if they know each other, it can be the same.old.conversations. If they are in the same professions, it can be the same.old.conversations. And if they don't know how to be a good guest (and yes, it IS an art to be a good guest), it can STILL be the same.old.conversations.

You've been to those, right? It's not so much the TOPICS of conversation but the lack of banter, the give and take, the to-ing and fro-ing that makes it fun. Eveyone playing it safe, no one taking a risk and saying what they REALLY think. A little too much vanilla and not enough spice.

I don't remember where I first heard about underground dinners but I loved the premise immediately. Through word of mouth you contact a chef and book a date (these aren't advertised). Invite your friends. You receive an email a few days before with the chef's address - yes, you are going to eat at the chef's home. 

Really glad that I included the tripod box in the photo. Things you see after the fact! Adds a bit of reality, eh?

The chef cooked in his apartment that he has renovated himself. Luckily for his neighbours, he is located above a store so after hours noise isn't a problem (we were a LITTLE bit noisy after a few glasses of wine!).

The food was incredible. He cooked for the 10 of us with no sous chef. It was hands down the best meal that I have had since returning to Vancouver. 6 courses of original, locally sourced ingredients. Each course had its own twist to it.

A nice touch was original local art on the walls. I will definitely do this again!

Do you get together with friends for dinner? What are your secret ingredients for a great dinner party?

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Sandra Harris

I'm Sandra Harris, a food & lifestyle photographer based in Vancouver, Canada who also writes about creativity, art, food, photography & travel. Fan of film festivals too.