Q & A: So what is Participatory Dining, anyway?

When Jen & Anne started The Kitchen two years ago, they knew they wanted to use this beautiful space to create something really special.  They wanted to give patrons a unique dining experience and they wanted to bring people together over delicious meals, prepared with love.  Keeping those ideas at the heart of everything, they developed the concept of a Participatory Dining Experience…but what does that actually mean?

Good question!  And one that we get asked all the time.  So why don’t we go through the experience together.

o   Your company has decided to plan a Participatory Dining Experience at The Kitchen for a team-building exercise, and also to celebrate an excellent quarter.  Your boss tells you to look forward to a fun event where you will create your own meal together with your co-workers.

o   You arrive the night of your event and are so excited!  You walk into the doors of The Kitchen and immediately find a charcuterie board filled with delicious meats and cheeses.  You nod your head to funky music while you fill your plate and order a house-developed specialty cocktail- this should be fun!

o   Your group arrives and you spend some time chatting and anticipating what will come next.  You can smell delicious things cooking and see tables set up with various pre-measured ingredients, kitchen utensils and recipes.  Anne & Jen come out to greet your group and explain what the evening will look like.  You will split off into groups and each group will tackle one course.  There is a salad, entrée, side and dessert; you decide to be on Team Dessert!

o   Your group gathers around your station and you meet your Kitchen Liaison who will help you through your recipe and get you anything you may need.  After reading through the recipe, your group feels ready to dig in!  You follow all of the instructions, using the pre-measured ingredients and kitchen equipment at your station.  You finish up and your Kitchen Liaison pops your dessert into the oven.  Time for a fresh drink and another trip to the charcuterie board!

o   As you chat with co-workers and enjoy your drinks, The Kitchen staff is plating your meal.  When everything is ready, you are invited to sit down and enjoy the meal that you have prepared with your co-workers.  You are so excited to see your dessert come out- and it’s delicious!  You enjoy hearing about how each group put their course together.

o   After the meal is finished, you realize that you spent a great evening getting to know your co-workers better, and even learned something about how to better communicate with them in the workplace, all while enjoying delicious food and drink!

This is a pretty typical example of what a Participatory Dining Experience looks like at The Kitchen.  Of course, these experiences are not limited to team-building activities for companies.  We get all sorts of groups in our space, from bachelorette parties and weddings, to camps and school groups; from networking events and business meetings, to tourist groups and families- we even do public dining events that anyone can sign up for.  The possibilities are endless!  We love to work with groups to create unique and inspiring menus, centered around the preferences of the group.  As always, we are here to answer any questions you may have and to make your event the experience you are looking to create!

We hope that this example gives you a better idea of what a Participatory Dining Experience is all about and that you’ll join us for an experience of your own!     

Our next Participatory Dining Experience is the Harry Potter Potluck Dinner Party on September 26 at 5:00 PM.  Sign up today!






Photo courtesy of Nicole Pallante, blogger at A Local Choice.