Thanks so much for your interest in Eat My Heart Out’s fall potluck. The potluck will happen in Berkeley, a five minute walk from N. Berkeley BART. The story theme of the night is ‘LESSONS.’ The date is November 29th, beginning promptly at 7PM and running til 11-ish. Already know how it works? Then (1) fill out the reservation and then (2) buy your ticket.
THE SHOW: Eat My Heart Out is a storytelling dinner theater! Five storytellers get up and perform during dinner. Each of the five courses of the meal are edible metaphors of the performances themselves.
At this potluck the audience participants attend as part of a CHEF TEAM. Each team is responsible for the creative design, purchasing, cooking, plating, and serving of ONE of the five courses of the dinner. Team costumes are heartily encouraged.
- You will attend the potluck as part of a TEAM. A team is anywhere from 2 to 4 people, maximum. 4 people is the recommended number!
- Each team is in charge of the design and execution of ONE course of the storytelling dinner.
- Your team is responsible for purchasing ingredients, cooking, plating, and serving your course. Stipulations:
- Your team must prepare a dish that is an edible metaphor for the story you are assigned. In the spirit of collaboration, please be willing to negotiate. For instance, we don’t want five courses that all have tomatoes in them.
- Your team must prepare enough of your dish to serve 40 people (the exact number will be determined once all teams have been assigned and we have a final headcount). Portions can be small (tasting menu size!).
How does this all work? — It’s a lot more than just a potluck. If you have never been to one of our dinners before, you may be unfamiliar with the flow of the evening. Eat My Heart Out dinners have each storyteller go on stage, tell a 10 minute story, and have their story immediately followed by the serving of the course paired with that story. Folks have time to enjoy the dish and chat with their neighbors and then it’s on to the next storyteller. —
The director, Eugene, will put your team in touch with the storyteller whose story will serve as the inspiration for your recipe. You may field a phone call with your storyteller directly or listen to a recording of it ahead of time. At the show itself, since you will have already heard your dish’s corresponding story, your team will get up before your storyteller performs and go plate up a storm in the kitchen while your storyteller is on stage. You will plate enough for the whole potluck and serve it. Think ahead! If you’re not a professional, it might be a good idea to think of ways you can build your plates quickly, with the maximum amount of preparation done beforehand. The last thing you want to do is keep people waiting on your dish! For safety and efficiency, we discourage frying as a means of cooking your dish unless you know what you’re doing / have equipment to do so. It’s messy and the presentation of your hard work can easily be diminished if the timing of the service is interrupted.
How is this all coming together? What is the host providing for us? Eat My Heart Out will provide the tables, utensils, plates, bowls, napkins and beverage glasses for the potluck. Your payment of your team dues covers your share of these costs as well as relieving you of any responsibility for washing the dishes (but if you like to wash dishes and kick it with the director while he washes the dishes afterward, that works too!).
Where is this party happening? North Berkeley, CA. Exact location will be shared with all ticket holders.
How will teams share the costs and labor? This potluck lets the folks who are passionate about cooking, serving, and set up find a way to enjoy the dinner through work trade amongst their team. If you have a crazy good crab hookup or some rhubarb you grew yourself, this could be your big day. Remember – it is UP TO YOUR TEAM to determine how the work and expenses are divvied up. We also strongly recommend hanging out with your teammates before the big day, especially if you don’t already do kitchen work together. Maybe go shopping for the ingredients together, or stalk wild animals in the field. An urban safari would be a good time to hash out how you guys want to divide up the labor, from purchasing to logistics.
It’s also going to be a learning experience if you’ve never cooked for a large group before! Keep in mind that portions can be small (tasting-menu size), so if you want to use a meat or some other more expensive ingredient in your dish you’ll need to talk amongst your team and see how you’ll all be paying for stuff. Keep in mind that your final product does not have to look like the professionally done work you see in the photographs on our website! We founded EMHO with a commitment to creativity in the kitchen so if you want to get crazy and super metaphorical, we encourage it with one caveat – whatever your dish is, it’s got to be edible and delicious!
Right, but how much is this gonna cost me? Attend by yourself for $20. The director will put you on a team. Attend as a team of four (the recommended size) for $60 (that’s $15 a person). It’s a headache for everyone if you sign up and bail at the last minute, so once your team is in it to win it, please keep your commitment. ON TOP OF THAT FEE is the cost of the ingredients your team uses to cook your course.
How will you form the teams? We’ve got a form for that, which you can find at the bottom of this page.
What’s the kitchen situation? Our kitchen has eight burners, a small griddle, and three small ovens that fit half sheet pans. We have a medium-sized commercial fridge where we can keep your ingredients chilled before use. There are two dedicated stations and two additional tables to organize mis en place and any other fancy things you might need to make your story-driven dish come out right. If you are a stickler for working with good tools, we recommend you bring your own special equipment and knives (We will give you a safe place to store them). It is highly recommended that you do as much prep of your course beforehand as possible – it’s a great time for your team to bond. If you are all coming from far away places, you will be welcome to prep in the kitchen on site the day of the event with permission of the director.
“The Catechism” – Jameson, Carpano, Lillet blanc. Author/bartender Joe Trinkle created paired cocktails for our dinner in New York.
What about booze? One of the teams will be in charge of creating a cocktail. Occasionally we have giveaways and free beer from our sponsors. Otherwise, BYOB, especially if the brew comes with a story of its own. If there are some cocktail magicians or home brewers out there looking for some narrative inspiration, let us know in the comments section.
What about the dishes? Who does the dishes? I do them. Keep the kitchen as clean as you can, but once you’ve served the dish, you should go back and enjoy the rest of the meal.
What about if I wanna tell a story? Send me a pitch or ask for an audition! email eatmyheartoutshow [at] gmail.
You can send us questions right here.