Supper Clubs — Creating Community at the Dinner Table

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Photo: Glitterinc.com

Photo: Glitterinc.com

There’s nothing that brings people together like a good dinner. It’s why we love supper clubs! Not just for the delicious food but for the ways they can foster community. The process of sitting down around a table and enjoying a meal is about so much more than food—it’s about the experience, the conversation and the camaraderie it creates. Sure, there are many supper clubs out there but we’ve picked a few of our favorites that are doing things just a little differently.

Diner En Blanc

Photo: Facebook.com/DinerEnBlanc.NewYork?auto=format

Photo: Facebook.com/DinerEnBlanc.NewYork?auto=format

Here’s the scene: You’re dressed in your fanciest white clothes, waiting patiently for the announcement of Diner en Blanc‘s secret location. When it arrives in your inbox, you go, joining thousands who descend on an unsuspecting public space with white tables and chairs, a stocked picnic basket and china dinnerware in tow. There you enjoy a picnic dinner surrounded by friends and total strangers, united by your shared refinement, white attire and love for the unexpected. When it’s over, everyone disappears without a trace. Started 25 years ago by a handful of Parisians, today this magical pop-up picnic is held all over the world. Interested? Get on the waiting list or host your own.

Eat With

Photo: Eatwith.com

Photo: Eatwith.com

Eat With provides the experience of an intimate dinner party with friends—the catch is that these are people you’ve never met. An online global community of chefs, food enthusiasts and those seeking to make an authentic connection over dinner, Eat With offers a unique spin on the supper party. The experience varies by host and location—you may enjoy a hyperlocal meal crafted from the offerings of the farmer’s market in New York City or a paella fest in a backyard in Barcelona. Search for upcoming events in your city or request a date with a host you’d like to dine with. If all goes well, you could be enjoying a meal with new friends tomorrow!

Soup

Photo: Detroitsoup.com

Photo: Detroitsoup.com

How about dinner for a good cause? This supper club unites art, dinner and community collaboration. It’s a simple premise. A small donation gets you soup, salad, bread and a chance to vote. During the dinner, four presenters share a potential project they’d like to pursue and answer questions from the audience. Ideas range from art to urban agriculture to education and more. At the end of the night, attendees vote to choose which project will receive the dinner’s proceeds. Started in Detroit in 2010, SOUP was founded to inspire collaboration and empower local artists in the community. The concept has been a great success, spreading across the city, the country and beyond.

Salvage Supper Club

Photo: Salvage Supper Club via Pixable

Photo: Salvage Supper Club via Pixable

Maybe you’re not into the idea of dumpster diving, but what about a six-course meal that’s served in a dumpster? A statement on food waste and sustainability, Salvage Supperclub of Williamsburg offers a high dining experience with foods that are usually thrown away once they’re past their prime. The brainchild of Josh Treuhaft, an MFA at SVA, the monthly popup offered a vegetarian meal that showcased the ways that rubbery carrots and bruised fruit destined for the dumpster can find new life through a little creativity. The proceeds from the monthly event were donated to a local nonprofit. Though the supper club is shelved for the season, there’s a good chance this project will be back when the weather warms up. Keep up with Josh Treuhaft on Twitter at @TheTreuhaft and follow his food waste dinners via #SalvageSupperclub and #EatEverything.

Plate and Pitchfork

Photo: Facebook.com

Photo: Facebook.com

In a world of pre-packaged food, globe-trotting produce and endless takeout options, it’s tough to know where your food comes from. This Oregon-based supper club is working to change that—one meal at a time. Plate and Pitchfork hosts dinners at local farms, inviting guests to wander the grounds, ask lots of questions and enjoy a meal made with produce and foods made on the property, from pork to pickles to parsnips. As the six-course dinner and local wine pairings are served, the farmers and artisans share their stories with the guests, providing insight into food production and the ins and outs of farm life.

Tell Us

Do you participate with any supper clubs? Big or small, we want to hear about them!

 
  • Herbert Read

    I love the concept of in-home dining by Eatwith. I also think that this is so much like MealTango, maybe because I had an opportunity to dine with a host on MealTango in a village rice plantation in India. Would love to try EatWith now. :)

  • Rachel Wright

    Hi Cleopatra! I’m sure there’s something to discover in your neighborhood. Where did you move?

  • Cleopatra Engel

    We use to participate with a dinner club in our last house but since we moved to our new house we have not participated in one yet. Are there any in our area?