Secret supper clubs, underground dining groups, hidden kitchen groupies -- whatever you choose to call them, private dining clubs are popping up all over South Florida. And they're enticing food-obsessed diners who share a common passion -- the search for the ultimate foodgasm. This is what led Maude Eaton to start the South Florida Foodies. A chef by training, Maude is a food and beverage consultant whose love of comida flavors both her professional and personal lives.
On a recent hot and steamy afternoon, Short Order was invited to join Maude as she sat down with Chef Jamie DeRosa and his team at the newly opened Tudor House to discuss their plans for the group's next dining experience.
"I approach each venue individually to make sure we showcase the location, the food, and, most importantly, connect with the chef," Maude says, then goes on to explain her family-style dinner approach, which allows guests to try small bites of several dishes and encourages conversation. "In the end of the day it's about bringing people together around the table."
DeRosa is not convinced -- after all, none of his dishes are made for family-style dining. But with Maude's big brown eyes and a flash of her winning smile, even he's a convert to the Maude method.
The two dance their way through the menu, pens in hand, making sure not to step on each other's toes while still staying true to their individual messages. "I'd like to serve the chilled octopus -- it's wonderful. But it needs to be presented individually," says DeRosa.
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When it comes time for desserts, pastry chef Natalia Arevalo chimes in and wants to present a cornucopia of flavors. Here DeRosa and Maude reign her in settling on a delightful threesome that lets her shine.
After two hours of talking about food, we are ready for our tasting and the plates descend upon us -- one more flavorful and enticing than the next. A little bit of this, a lot of that. We enjoy all the flavors without feeling overwhelmed -- gotta love the Maude method.
South Florida Foodies dinner at the Tudor House is August 7. To attend, send a request to the group's Facebook page and get your appetite ready.