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If there were a vegan "secret cafe" event in your city, would you attend?
Yes 63%  63%  [ 37 ]
No 5%  5%  [ 3 ]
A what? 31%  31%  [ 18 ]
Enough w/the vegan snobbery 2%  2%  [ 1 ]
Total votes : 59
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 Post subject: Would You Go?
PostPosted: Fri Dec 07, 2012 5:34 pm 
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If there were a vegan "secret cafe" or private supper club event in your city, would you attend?

I've been thinking about this a lot lately, and I'd really like to organize one in my area.

Anyone here ever planned/attended? Tell us your secrets; show us your ways.

Does your city have a veg culinary tour or meetup of some sort? In a perfect world, what would you want the event to be like?

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 Post subject: Re: Would You Go?
PostPosted: Fri Dec 07, 2012 5:38 pm 
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It would depend. I think I'd be worried about being judged if I didn't know these people beforehand. Or they'd be the type of vegans to promote wheatgrass enemas and I'd have to leave.

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 Post subject: Re: Would You Go?
PostPosted: Fri Dec 07, 2012 5:45 pm 
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Would I attend? It'd depend who had recommended it. I've seen them in other cities and been a bit shocked at how pricey some of them have been, given that they usually seem to be being run in someone's house, don't tend to include alcohol in the cost, and presumably they're not going to be paying tax on it or getting checked out by environmental health or any of that fun stuff, so I'd probably only go if someone I knew had already been cooked for by the people running the club (or I actually knew the people).

In a perfect world I'd like to go to someone's lovely house or venue, be assured they had culinary experience to a certain level (had been cooking dinner parties for x number of years, worked at such-and-such restaurant for a while or whatever), would like them to pair suitable drinks (alcoholic and/or non-alcoholic) with the food, and make something very fancy that it would take me so much effort I'd never make it for myself.

Don't want much, do I? :)

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 Post subject: Re: Would You Go?
PostPosted: Fri Dec 07, 2012 5:49 pm 
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Yes...well mabye. It would depends, I would need a more detailed description of the event.

I am a bit askairt of vegan meetups. I have heard some horror stories. I would want to make sure the people are cool and not like, attack me if I mention that I feed my cat non-vegan treats, or shop at the supermarket.

But I have never been to one, so I would be interested at least. But more info.


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 Post subject: Re: Would You Go?
PostPosted: Fri Dec 07, 2012 5:51 pm 
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Personally, no, because social anxiety and knowing too much about food safety regulations and not being able to afford it, BUT I know other people who totally go to stuff like that. If I knew the person running it I probably would.

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 Post subject: Re: Would You Go?
PostPosted: Fri Dec 07, 2012 6:11 pm 
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linanil wrote:
It would depend. I think I'd be worried about being judged if I didn't know these people beforehand. Or they'd be the type of vegans to promote wheatgrass enemas and I'd have to leave.


Linalil, I like you already! I know EXACTLY what you mean about being judged. I'm 98% health-focused, but when I dine, I like to treat myself to whatever I'm craving that's rich and delicious. At events, I'm definitely more the Prosecco & Cavi-Art type than the wheatgrass enema type (eww).

Check out the holiday guide in my siggy to see what I mean.

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 Post subject: Re: Would You Go?
PostPosted: Fri Dec 07, 2012 6:24 pm 
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dropscone wrote:
In a perfect world I'd like to go to someone's lovely house or venue, be assured they had culinary experience to a certain level (had been cooking dinner parties for x number of years, worked at such-and-such restaurant for a while or whatever), would like them to pair suitable drinks (alcoholic and/or non-alcoholic) with the food, and make something very fancy that it would take me so much effort I'd never make it for myself.

Don't want much, do I? :)



Dropscone
, you described exactly the type of event I want to do. I guess I'm more interested in a culinary tour type of club. I don't want anyone at my house (unless we're REALLY good friends). The focus would be more on meeting great people and enjoying wonderfully prepared (by someone else) food.

Maybe it's too much of a dream, but I miss the NY social scene. I'd love to host an event where people got made up in fancy dress and came out to dine together, diff. restaurant each month, with a specially curated dinner menu. *sigh*

Chicki, BELIEVE ME, I have a few horror stories of my own from vegan meetups & festivals. I'm not into being preachy, and I think that insular attitude is exactly what turns most people off about veganism. Maybe I should be put off organizing an event based on previous experience, but what can I say? I'm an optimist. ;-)

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 Post subject: Re: Would You Go?
PostPosted: Fri Dec 07, 2012 7:00 pm 
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I went to a supper club put on by some professional chefs I know (one former PPKer) and it was great! I guess I'm not sure what you are thinking, but they just set up their living room like a restaurant with seperate tables, so I didn't have to mingle with anyone but my dining partner. I would definitely go to something like that again, I don't care if their pros as long as their a good cook. I'm not so into a meetup idea, but that's because I'm anti-social.

Just be careful with alcohol. My understanding is that in many places you can get around health code stuff by calling it a private party, or by having entertainment and people pay for the "entertainment", who in turn pays you for the venue space. But if you start letting people BYOB or serving alcohol you can get into trouble.

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 Post subject: Re: Would You Go?
PostPosted: Fri Dec 07, 2012 7:19 pm 
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There's a vegetarian club (that is mostly vegans) here that has a lot of meetups at restaurants. We went to the ice cream social and have been to 2 potlucks but none of the restaurant events.

My only complaint about the events we have been to would be that it was kind of cliquey...people generally just talked to people they already knew, and since there's only really one person there that I know, it's hard to make conversation or join in and not feel isolated.

At the last potluck, hubby and I wound up at a table with some vegetarians who simply could not fathom giving up cheese and eggs and chose to talk about that. At a vegan Thanksgiving potluck.

ETA: There were definitely people of all stripes at all 3 events we have been to though...parents with kids, single people, older people, AR vegans, Forks Over Knives vegans, couples, etc.


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 Post subject: Re: Would You Go?
PostPosted: Fri Dec 07, 2012 7:54 pm 
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For vegan food that someone else made? And I didn't have to do the dishes either? Oh, yeah!!!


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 Post subject: Re: Would You Go?
PostPosted: Fri Dec 07, 2012 8:00 pm 
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I do it and you can PM me if you want.

jdfunks and I are writing about it for TOFU Magazine right now, actually. And we're on tumblr (heartichokesupperclub.tumblr.com) and Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/heartichokesupperclub) if you want to take a look but it's not a ton of information.

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 Post subject: Re: Would You Go?
PostPosted: Fri Dec 07, 2012 8:04 pm 
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dropscone wrote:
Would I attend? It'd depend who had recommended it. I've seen them in other cities and been a bit shocked at how pricey some of them have been, given that they usually seem to be being run in someone's house, don't tend to include alcohol in the cost, and presumably they're not going to be paying tax on it or getting checked out by environmental health or any of that fun stuff, so I'd probably only go if someone I knew had already been cooked for by the people running the club (or I actually knew the people).


How pricey have you seen them?

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 Post subject: Re: Would You Go?
PostPosted: Fri Dec 07, 2012 9:34 pm 
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Strawberry, you've been followed on Tumblr. :-) I'd love to hear more about your project. PMing you in just a sec...

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 Post subject: Re: Would You Go?
PostPosted: Fri Dec 07, 2012 9:59 pm 
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yeah, i used to go to electric_claire's


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 Post subject: Re: Would You Go?
PostPosted: Fri Dec 07, 2012 10:50 pm 
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Nebraskalaska wrote:
I went to a supper club put on by some professional chefs I know (one former PPKer) and it was great! I guess I'm not sure what you are thinking, but they just set up their living room like a restaurant with seperate tables, so I didn't have to mingle with anyone but my dining partner. I would definitely go to something like that again, I don't care if their pros as long as their a good cook. I'm not so into a meetup idea, but that's because I'm anti-social.

Just be careful with alcohol. My understanding is that in many places you can get around health code stuff by calling it a private party, or by having entertainment and people pay for the "entertainment", who in turn pays you for the venue space. But if you start letting people BYOB or serving alcohol you can get into trouble.

I wonder if we went to the same one? Was it Brassica or In the Mood for Food?

I've been to a supper club once and it was super fun! It was $50/person and it was like 4 courses + dessert. I think it was BYOB? We didn't bring anything but I might've seen other people with bottles of wine. I know of another one that is vegan only sometimes and it was $70/person.

It was at the chef's house and it was full of both vegans and non-vegans, I think mostly non. Everyone was cool and had their own table but I think there was also a big table in the middle for singletons. Before dessert a musician performed right in the middle of the living rom. I didn't have much social anxiety because I'd already been to a few cooking classes at the same place and knew the chef. Some day I'd like to do something like this myself but it wouldn't be at my house. Maybe I'd rent out a community center or have it at a park.

LaineB wrote:
Dropscone, you described exactly the type of event I want to do. I guess I'm more interested in a culinary tour type of club. I don't want anyone at my house (unless we're REALLY good friends). The focus would be more on meeting great people and enjoying wonderfully prepared (by someone else) food.

So do you want like a restaurant or a private individual? I bet if you called a fancy restaurant several weeks in advance and asked for them to prepare a vegan meal for X number of people, they would be happy to oblige. And then you could tour different restaurants but they'd have to be fancy enough that the chef didn't mind preparing a separate meal for ya'll. I would guess you'd have the best luck forming a group like this on meetup.com. I just joined a local veg*n group on there and everyone has been super duper nice. Some are really health conscious and some aren't but there hasn't been any judgement. We've done two restaurant meetups at vegan places but I've thought about organizing something at a fancy omni place too.

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 Post subject: Re: Would You Go?
PostPosted: Sat Dec 08, 2012 9:57 am 
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when i am in the US, I will definitely go. I will go to any potluck, any meetup, if it's vegan i'm there.

here in BR, i wouldn't go if you paid me, because every vegan (except for ONE amazing lady) i've met has been a frigging offensive judgmental xenophobic wacko.

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 Post subject: Re: Would You Go?
PostPosted: Sat Dec 08, 2012 11:20 am 
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ijustdiedinside wrote:
Personally, no, because social anxiety and knowing too much about food safety regulations and not being able to afford it, BUT I know other people who totally go to stuff like that. If I knew the person running it I probably would.

Yep.

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 Post subject: Re: Would You Go?
PostPosted: Sat Dec 08, 2012 2:51 pm 
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(I don't get the secret part. Why does it have to be secret? If it's secret, then how will anyone ever know about it?)

The Winnipeg Vegan Meet-Up meets the first Saturday of every month at the same vegan restaurant. Sometimes it's 6 people, sometimes it's 40 people. Usually about 20 of us including a core group of regulars. You just show-up, have some lunch, and hang-out with a bunch of cool vegans. Most of them are my friends now, and I admit it CAN be clique-y, but most of us make an effort to chat with people who are new and include them in our fun and friendly banter. And in all fairness, it's hard to have a conversation with 40 people.

But it's not at all fancy. The restaurant is a coop. The cutlery doesn't even match.

We plan outreach events like our annual picnic, as well as other holiday get-togethers and events at different restaurants.

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 Post subject: Re: Would You Go?
PostPosted: Sat Dec 08, 2012 2:56 pm 
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Well I think the secret part comes in when its more like a cafe and people are paying but it's not an actual, official business that has to pay taxes and be inspected.

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 Post subject: Re: Would You Go?
PostPosted: Sat Dec 08, 2012 8:36 pm 
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Yeah, kind of secret because it's not technically legal. It's not the same as a meet-up at an already existing restaurant.

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 Post subject: Re: Would You Go?
PostPosted: Sun Dec 09, 2012 4:31 pm 
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This article seems potentially of interest to people in this thread:

http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2012 ... ntPage=all

Quote:
For the past two years, in a loft apartment in downtown Los Angeles, Craig Thornton has been conducting an experiment in the conventions of high-end American dining. Several nights a week, a group of sixteen strangers gather around his dining-room table to eat delicacies he has handpicked and prepared for them, from a meticulously considered menu over which they have no say. . .

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 Post subject: Re: Would You Go?
PostPosted: Sun Dec 09, 2012 9:05 pm 
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couroupita wrote:
So do you want like a restaurant or a private individual? I bet if you called a fancy restaurant several weeks in advance and asked for them to prepare a vegan meal for X number of people, they would be happy to oblige. And then you could tour different restaurants but they'd have to be fancy enough that the chef didn't mind preparing a separate meal for ya'll. I would guess you'd have the best luck forming a group like this on meetup.com. I just joined a local veg*n group on there and everyone has been super duper nice. Some are really health conscious and some aren't but there hasn't been any judgement. We've done two restaurant meetups at vegan places but I've thought about organizing something at a fancy omni place too.


Hey Couropita,

I'm more interested in hosting a dinner tour, or creating a dining club. Basically, the idea is to partner with local restaurants (veg & omni) to create monthly,exclusively plant-based dinners. The group wouldn't be secret so much as private, simply because I want people to come out & have a good time.

No preaching, leafleting or heated arguments about food politics. Just a group of foodies coming together to socialize and enjoy a fantastic meal that doesn't include animal products. It's fun to get together, all dressed up, and simply enjoy the company of other people.

I think there aren't enough venues where veg*ns & plant-focused lifestylers can do that.

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