Just as the Internet threatens to suck the last bit of personal connection out of humanity, it's providing interesting ways to bring people together again. Online companies like Uber and Lyft are connecting people who could use a ride with alternatives to impersonal cab services. AirBnB connects weary travelers with homeowners willing to rent out a room or even their entire home. And now a slew of new Internet companies are connecting the hungry with home cooks who fancy themselves as budding restaurateurs.
Earlier this week, NPR ran a story about dining out while dining in, featuring home cooks that have opened up their kitchens and dining rooms to strangers willing to pay the cost of admission and brave unsanctioned dining.
Don't think of this as just another "pop-up" dinner. These events are less formal, are hosted on a small scale in people's homes and tend to have a more personal nature than the underground dinners that rose to popularity a few years ago. They tend to showcase a host's heritage, allowing you to drop in and out of different cultures for a modest cost. And from the sound of that NPR spot, they seem like a lot fun.
Picture walking in the home of two Latin American cooks where you're instantly handed a drink, hot with rum, and a crispy empanadilla. Or the home of a Wall Street Banker turned Hindu monk where you sip on soup and (sigh) water. The possibilities are endless, potentially disastrous and likely fascinating.
The only problem are there aren't any dinners available here in town. Feastly doesn't list any dinners in the state of Texas, and while VouleVousDîner has one participant listed in Dallas he's yet to host an event, and his profile reads like a host who's still figuring things out. EatWith, on the other hand, doesn't have a single dinner listed. None. Sounds like an opportunity to me.
In fact the closest event to Dallas is way down in Houston, where a woman named Alice looks like she's killing it with French and North African cooking. Are you guys really going to let Houston beat us at everything? Get to cooking, Dallas. I'm hungry.