A few weeks ago, I went online, found a stranger who can make North African food, and paid her and her husband to make dinner for me and a few friends.
|Photos by Kaitlin Steinberg|
|Alice and Carlos (right) invited James and Angela (left) and me to their home for a north African dinner.|
It's not as weird as it sounds.
Alice and Carlos had created a profile on EatWith.com, a Web site that invites people to connect through dinner parties all over the world. The site started in Israel and Spain in 2011 after co-founder Guy Michlin found himself eating at the home of locals on a vacation in Crete. He spent four hours with the family and some friends they invited for the occasion, downing Cretan food and liquor and talking about everything from the Greek economy to where the locals eat. When the evening was over, he began thinking about how much the experience of traveling is enriched by interactions with people in their own privates spaces.
"When I returned home [to Israel], I shared my experience with my friend Shemer, and we began to envision a global community of enthusiastic guests and passionate hosts." Michlin writes. "We imagined a website where users could discover amazing hosts around the world, delicious homemade cuisine, and recount their stories of unforgettable experiences."
And so EatWith was born. In August of this year, the site expanded to the U.S., after becoming popular across Europe, Asia and the Middle East. Most of the EatWith hosts in America are in New York City, but there are several other home cooks spread out across the country, including a couple right here in Houston.
And that's how I ended up arriving at the apartment of people I'd never met, ready for a feast.More »