PoetryReading is an invitation-only fine-dining experience;
like an underground restaurant that takes place in your home!
Do you fantasize about throwing a formal dinner party
but you're intimidated by the prospect of cooking for everyone?
Create your own Underground Restaurant for the night!
Think of attending a Poetry Reading event as a hybrid between being a guest at a dinner party and going to a restaurant. Known by many names, such as underground restaurant, supper club or closed door restaurant, these dining events are usually advertised by word of mouth, and require an invitation, reference or advance approval to make a reservation.
Regardless of what the name, these are fine dining events where guests can enjoy a wonderful meal outside of the traditional restaurant experience. Sometimes there's an event or an agenda, but it can also be to celebrate a landmark, or just as an excuse to get together over good food.
Why go to a restaurant? You've invested so much time and effort decorating your own home, making it comfortable and cozy! At a restaurant, you have no say over the menu, or who's seated next to you. The wine is marked up, the ambiance is out of your control, and your waiter may be eager to sit the next guests at your table, leaving you feeling rushed and uncomfortable.
Underground dining provides a more intimate, dinner-party style experience than a traditional restaurant. Guests are often seated at a common table, and encouraged to interact with each other. Food can be served in any manner the host chooses:
If you like, the chef can come to the table between courses to explain the origin of the food, how it was prepared, and to share some history of the cuisine. The menu is typically set based on an event, cuisine or other theme. All guests would be served the same courses at the at the same time. If food allergies are a consideration, the chef can make an adjustment if given advance notice.
Does anyone read poetry?
The name "Poetry Reading" comes from brainstorming about the kind of event that people would probably not want to invite themselves to attend:
Neighbor: I noticed all those cars at your house the other night.
Did you throw a party and didn't invite me?
YOU: We had a Poetry Reading.
Neighbor: Oh. Okay... Sounds boring.
YOU: No, it was a nice time actually...!
Wherever you want!
A) Your Own Home, where you can stay as late as you like, drink whatever you like, smoke cigars, watch movies, play games, and really relax.
B) Other Venue, such as a community clubhouse, church event room, or other venue with access to cooking/cleaning facilities. A venue like this will probably provide tables & chairs, so all you need is place settings (china/flatware/stemware) and tablecloths, which Chef JoAnna has available for rent, or you can use nice, high-quality disposables.
C) Vacation Rental Home: Should you want to host an event somewhere besides your own home, you can rent a private home through a "Vacation Rental" service like VRBO.com or AirB&B.com. Chef JoAnna has worked with several homeowners who rent their homes this way! You can stay for just one night, or make a long weekend out of it. Most homes can easily accommodate 10 guests for dinner, even though only one (or two) couples would be spending the night. The cost isn't much more than a hotel, but it's a very luxurious option for a special dinner!
"So I get to throw an Ina Garten style dinner party, but I don't have to cook?"
Chef JoAnna is a classically-trained chef who specializes in at-home fine dining. Like the renown Julia Child, JoAnna first attended culinary school in her early 30's, and started cooking professionally soon after. While attending culinary school in Santa Monica, CA, she earned a 4.0 GPA as well as certifications in Nutrition, Cost Control, Culinary Management and Safety & Sanitation.
Chef JoAnna has appeared on several television programs. She was featured in a segment on "BBQ with Bobby Flay" on Food TV, and has also appeared as a guest chef on several reality TV shows, including Kathy Griffin's "My Life on the D-List", MTV's "Next" and on "Survival of the Richest".
Originally from Chicago, Chef JoAnna lived in Los Angeles, where she attended culinary school, then moved to the Nashville area, to have a huge garden, and possibly... eventually... a small farm-to-table restaurant.
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When there's a degustation at a Poetry Reading event, it means that the Chef will be exploring a certain food, or family of foods, in a variety of ways. You might have a meal that consists of several different types of that food, served in many different ways. For example, think of all the different kinds of tomatoes there are, and the various flavors you would get with these dishes:
It's a fun way to take the best of what the season has to offer, and showcase all the ways an item can be eaten! Although degustation is a French term, most Americans will pronounce it deh-gus-TAY-shun.
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