Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Secret Supper of Annapolis

Secret Supper: sharing a passion for good food and good conversation. A sort of sociological experiment, bringing a group of strangers together for a meal in an unfamiliar place, whether it is a private home, an alley way, an open field. The idea is to create a unique alternative to eating out in a restaurant, where you are isolated from meeting others and chefs are restricted to making only what's on the menu.

For most of these secret meals, the master mind(s) of the evening remains a mystery. In this case, so do the hosts. There is one name, however, behind this meal - a woman who attendees correspond with by email beforehand. Her name is Edith Foodie and she's got an agenda to bring the community together through Annapolis' Secret Supper Club.

Our town's Secret Suppers kicked off in January - or at least as far as I know - with a Russian-themed meal. Maybe they've been going on here for years and I've only just heard of them. Regardless, I participated in one on Saturday night, a Greek Equinox Dinner. I was a server, which comes with the benefit of nibbling on all the food in the kitchen before... er... I mean after it goes out. The cook, Judy, created a fantastic meal, leaving fourteen diners and seven behind-the-scenes helpers fully satisfied.

Cocktail hour started with the pink tangy Acropolis, a drink of grenadine, Italian soda, fresh lemon juice and the Greek liquor Ouzo. Hor d'oeuvres included grape-leaf dolmas, olives, hummus and tyropita. Then the guests were seated and served salad, bread, wine. The main course followed: a chicken version of spanakopita aka chicken stuffed with spinach and feta cheese in an incredible sauce over rice. Guests' seats were switched after the main dish so that everyone would have a chance to talk to each other, and then came dessert: yogurt with strawberries and baklava. The perfect ending to an incredible culinary experience. Did I mention there was wine?

Conversation flowed, more than flowed - everyone was so engaged in whatever they were talking about, it was hard to believe they'd only just met earlier that night. And also difficult to interrupt and announce the toast: to the Foodie Society, of course.

On the way out four hours after arriving, people were satisfied by food and drink, but still had unanswered questions.

Really, do you live here? a woman asked one last time.

We don't know who lives here... but they're probably coming home soon! was our response.

And with that, the guests were gone, the feast finished - but the mystery continues.

To get on the guest list of Annapolis' Secret Supper, send an email to Edith at secretsuppers29@gmail.com. If you're interested in learning more about Secret Suppers, check out these links
a traveling supper  Outstanding in the Field
Washington Post article Dinner is Served, but We Can't Tell You Where
CNN article Underground Supper Clubs a Delicious Discovery

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