Kitchenorium at TEDxLeam: My Video
Now available to view on YouTube, so without further ado, here it is:
Here is a transcript of the spoken parts:
Kitchenorium is my home-based pop-up restaurant, and it developed out of my love of hosting dinner parties. What happens is my dinner guests book online beforehand, and I prepare a set menu for them. As our guests arrive, we like to offer them some nibbles, so this evening we’re having some nice big juicy green olives drizzled with a little olive oil.
Since we moved in here I’ve been, or we, including Joel, have been doing quite big dinner parties for local friends, and over the years they got bigger and with more adventurous menus as I grew in confidence. We were thinking about how could we turn it into something more…?
The website WeFiFo came along which is the site I use for my ticket sales, and that gave us the back-up to feel that we could actually give it a go and turn it into something.
I think we’ve served something in the region of 275 meals (as at October 2017). We do have a core of regulars who’ve been several times so the actual number of people I’m not sure of.
When we first bought this house all the walls were still up, so we came in and took out the walls, knocked through the living/dining area. I had a plan for the kitchen – how it would go. Joel made a comment at the time about how the kitchen was basically taking over the whole of the ground floor and coined the term Kitchenorium, so when we came to do this, and set it up, that just seemed like the right name.
A lot of people ask if it’s a bit strange having people you don’t know come into your house, but it’s not really. Once they’ve come through your door and sat down at your table they’re almost instantly friends really. It’s really nice, it’s part of what I really enjoy about throwing dinner parties for large groups of people – the chit chat, the camaraderie of everyone.
“Hello everybody, welcome to Kitchenorium this evening. Thank you very much for coming. I hope everyone is comfy, we’ve got extra cushions over here if you need one. I’m just going to run through the menu for you – we’ve got chicken cacciatore with rosemary potatoes, and for dessert we have a ricotta cheesecake with butterscotch sauce. There’s water on the table, glasses, and if you have any bottles of wine with you, we can open those for you. If you need anything else at all just let me know. Oh, and the felt-tipped pens there are for doodling on the table cloths!”
I try to keep a very informal feeling to things – I don’t like formality in restaurants! Sitting together at one or two big tables is quite different from your normal restaurant experience anyway, meeting people that you wouldn’t necessarily have met otherwise, and generally everyone is very polite.
The reviewing on the website – when you come to review us, it asks ‘How was your host?’ and we have one guest who comes quite often, who takes that very, very literally and just puts ‘Well’, as in I was well on the evening, but that’s not really what it’s asking!
I love cooking, and I love cooking for others, and I really do love having people come round to eat my food – I don’t know how else to put it, I just love doing it!