The Times Are Changing
EatWith and a Thai Popup
I receive a lot of emails alerting me to new food-related businesses. Most of them aren’t of much interest to me, either because they’re outside of the scope of what I cover here and in New Orleans Magazine, or outside of the scope of my interest, generally. Now and again I get one that intrigues me, and that was the case when a young man contacted me recently about an outfit called EatWith.
The young man in question is “Chef Tuck,” a New Orleans native and engineer by day who grew up in a food-loving family. His pitch is simple. When people come into town and ask where locals eat, we normally send them to restaurants. But most locals, of course, eat more often at home. So why not set something up where a local chef can invite people into a home and cook, essentially, a small dinner party?
Before I gave it any thought, it seemed to me the service would work better if marketed to locals, but then it occurred to me how often folks from elsewhere planning a trip here ask me for advice on where to dine out. If the EatWith organization can get the word out to some of those folks, I think there’s a market for it. I can’t vouch for chef Tuck’s food, as I haven’t tasted it, but I can say his home – where the first event will be hosted on August 5, is beautiful and that he has a second, small kitchen in a room just off the pool and very near his wood-burning pizza oven. I was jealous, sure, but then I realized that even if I don’t have a refrigerator large enough to hold an entire hog, two ovens and a six-burner range with a flat-top griddle, it’s enough that we come by our “Bless This Mess!” sign honestly.
Anyway, the idea is not just to host tourists and give them a good meal. Tuck’s plans include giving them written recipes for everything he cooks, and doing the cooking in his open kitchen, which, if I didn’t mention it previously, also has a long, marble bar that seats six comfortably while also providing a view of the cook-space. The event is going to be part lesson and part dinner party. As you can see, if you follow the link above, the price is $39 a person, which seems pretty good for a four-course meal plus passed hors d’oeuvres. Beverages – at least alcoholic – are not included, but seemed to me to be encouraged.
I’ll be curious to see how this thing turns out, so if you go, please drop me a quick line and let me know what you thought.
In other news, there’s a fairly new popup in town, and it’s cooking a cuisine that we don’t have enough of in New Orleans: Thai. More, these kids are not making the kind of Thai food we do have in town already; they’re aiming for the kind of food you get if you actually go to Thailand and eat like a local. They’re called Sattah Regional Thai, and they’ve got a couple of events coming up in the next week. This Friday they’re at 323, an event space in Algiers Point (at 323 Verret street, actually). Then on Saturday, August 6, they’ll be at the French Truck Café, on Dryades street.
I am hoping to get to one of their popups before long, because the images of the food they’re putting out look like the sort of things I dream about when I’m not dreaming about flying, winning at competitive sports games and that one dream where I am naked except for a very uncomfortable wool sock and I am very much not winning a sports game. You know the one.
My goal is to write about Sattah again in the not too distant future, after I’ve checked their food out. As before, of course, if you’ve already had the chance, please give me your thoughts.