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KatieLoeb

PLAN: "Heartland" Gathering (In Philly) 2012

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Have any of these Gatherings happend on the west coast? I'd like to put names to faces sometime.

I don't think so, at least not recently.

A west coast gathering sounds like a GREAT idea. Are you volunteering to organize it? ;-)


Edited by FrogPrincesse (log)

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Holly:

Vedge might indeed be an interesting idea for Thursday. I'm not sure Kate and Rich will be down with the BYO Bacon, however. I had dinner there in May with out of town relatives who were blown away by how innovative and delicious the vegan menu was. I might add that the cocktails were quite impressive also. I had something the bartender was working on that had muddled raw asparagus, fennel, aquavit and some other stuff in it. Needless to say I approached this with much trepidation, but the raw vegetables were not too herbaceous or nasty at all. Quite delicious in fact. I left extremely impressed with the place. Problem might be the size of our group and the cost however. Reservations are brutal to get there, even with quite a bit of advanced notice. If we were going on a Tuesday or Sunday night we might have better luck, but a Thursday night they are likely booked fairly far in advance. Although Vedge is certainly one of the more unique restaurants we have to offer, I also am not certain if a vegan restaurant would be everyone's first choice, given all the omnivorous options we have here. Let me know what you all think...

As for costs, I'm still working that out. I should be able to have costs for the dinner at Zahav fairly soon. I'm hoping to keep that in the $35-50/person range for a family style feast of their specialties. I'll discuss the menu with Chef Michael Solomonov as soon as I'm able. The brunch at Han Dynasty should be $25/person. Both restaurants have a bar that would be pay as you go for those that are indulging. I'm hoping to get some sponsorship from my local wine and liquor reps for the potluck, and I'll take care of cocktails and wine for that night. As hostess for this weekend, it only seems fitting that I do what I do best for the potluck, and leave the cooking to the rest of you.

I will likely set up a PayPal account, or use my own for the pay in advance events. Can someone explain to me how this has been handled most efficiently in the past??


Katie M. Loeb
Booze Muse, Spiritual Advisor

Author: Shake, Stir, Pour:Fresh Homegrown Cocktails

Cheers!
Bartendrix,Intoxicologist, Beverage Consultant, Philadelphia, PA
Captain Liberty of the Good Varietals, Aphrodite of Alcohol

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you volunteering to organize it? ;-)

You obviously don't know how much of a space case I am :cool:

Would be fantastic to get something going over here at some point.


Edited by ScottyBoy (log)

Sleep, bike, cook, feed, repeat...

Chef Facebook HQ Menlo Park, CA

My eGullet Foodblog

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I will likely set up a PayPal account, or use my own for the pay in advance events. Can someone explain to me how this has been handled most efficiently in the past??

tammylc, who coordinated the Ann Arbor-based gatherings, would be a good resource about this. I'll send you a PM with her contact info. I wasn't at the Cleveland or KC gatherings, but you can get the coordinators' names from the forums.


"There is no sincerer love than the love of food."  -George Bernard Shaw, Man and Superman, Act 1

 

Gene Weingarten, writing in the Washington Post about online news stories and the accompanying readers' comments: "I basically like 'comments,' though they can seem a little jarring: spit-flecked rants that are appended to a product that at least tries for a measure of objectivity and dignity. It's as though when you order a sirloin steak, it comes with a side of maggots."

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This sounds like such a treat, and I do love Philadelphia. Unfortunately, my August is booked completely (the weekend in question, I'm in Phoenix and Tucson). I'll be watching for details of the 2013 event, and will plan to be there!


Don't ask. Eat it.

www.kayatthekeyboard.wordpress.com

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As a payor, of the three methods of payment I've experienced at the Gatherings, I prefer the EventBrite (I think it was EB, but it may have been a similar service) method that Ronnie used for the Chicago gathering. He had different tickets set up for each event (iirc, there were meat, meat+pairing, veggie, veggie+pairing, or maybe meat, veggie, and pairing tickets) and you paid for whatever ticket you wanted. It seems to be the most organizer-friendly in terms of keeping track of who wants what kind of meal, or who wants pairings, and IIRC, there were no problems with mix-ups. I do prefer pairings to be paid for separately rather than built in to the price of a meal, but I rarely drink, so I'd rather not pay for something in which I will not be partaking. Others may have different thoughts on that.

At A2, Tammy set up payment through PayPal with the payor covering the user fees and people just responded within the planning thread about food preferences. That seemed to work fine for her and the attendees.

I think last year the payment info came out later than in past events I attended, so I remember just paying at the events. That was fine, too, but it's riskier for the organizer as there's a chance of still being charged for the meals of last-minute drop outs (don't think that happened last year, but it's always a possibility).

Ultimately it's whatever you, the organizer, feel most comfortable with. I'm sure the attendees will be fine with whatever method you choose.

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I agree with Rona: if you're willing to set up EventBrite that was the easiest method of the ones I've been to, but if you're handy with a spreadsheet you can make straight PayPal or even cash at the door work.


Chris Hennes
Director of Operations
chennes@egullet.org

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OK - I'll look into EventBrite, but I do pretty well with Excel, so PayPal might be fine too.

More importantly can I get an up to date roll call of those folks that expect to join us for this. Time to start getting tentative head counts so I can have a better idea of what I'm talking about to the chefs/restaurateurs we'll be visiting. I'll start with myself:

KatieLoeb 1

OK everybody. Even you local folks, I need to know who's coming. Speak now or forever hold your peas...


Katie M. Loeb
Booze Muse, Spiritual Advisor

Author: Shake, Stir, Pour:Fresh Homegrown Cocktails

Cheers!
Bartendrix,Intoxicologist, Beverage Consultant, Philadelphia, PA
Captain Liberty of the Good Varietals, Aphrodite of Alcohol

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I will be there!


Kristin Wagner, aka "torakris"

 

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Both Friday events--me + 1

Saturday RTM tour--me + 1

Saturday dinner--me + 1

Thursday depends on what's happening and when, but it looks like we'll be doing a family thing that evening

Leaving Sunday morning, so won't be there for brunch

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Thursday night if I make it on time - me

Friday both events - me

Saturday RTM tour - me

Saturday dinner - me - and I want to make apps and a sweet for afters (can you say mignardises).

Sunday brunch if it's early enough - me

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Since I like making lists so much, so far it looks like this:

Thursday, August 9, 2012

evening: TBA

KatieLoeb

torakris

Kerry Beal (tentative)

Friday, August 10, 2012

morning/early afternoon: tour of Italian Market and sandwiches for lunch at Paesano's, 9th Street between Washington and Christian Streets

KatieLoeb

torakris

prasantrin + 1

Kerry Beal

Chris Hennes + 1

evening: Dinner at Zahav - 2nd & Walnut Streets

KatieLoeb

torakris

prasantrin + 1

Kerry Beal

Chris Hennes + 1

Saturday, August 11, 2012

morning/early afternoon: RTM tour, lunch, shopping for potluck 12th & Filbert Streets

KatieLoeb

torakris

prasantrin + 1

Kerry Beal

Chris Hennes + 1

evening: dinner at Reading Terminal Market Rick Nichols Room 12th & Filbert Streets

KatieLoeb

torakris

prasantrin + 1

Kerry Beal

Chris Hennes + 1

Sunday, August 12, 2012

morning/early afternoon: Szechuan brunch, Han Dynasty 108 Chestnut Street

KatieLoeb

torakris

Kerry Beal (tentative)

Chris Hennes + 1

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Aww, Holly. I thought I could convince you to lead one of the tours. C'mon. You have to come to some more events. If I throw in a trip to Capogiro on Friday would that convince you??


Katie M. Loeb
Booze Muse, Spiritual Advisor

Author: Shake, Stir, Pour:Fresh Homegrown Cocktails

Cheers!
Bartendrix,Intoxicologist, Beverage Consultant, Philadelphia, PA
Captain Liberty of the Good Varietals, Aphrodite of Alcohol

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Definitely in for the dinners and brunch at Han Dynasty (+1 for all of those). Tentative on the rest.

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I'll be at Zahav (+1) and Han Dynasty (maybe +1; will confirm later) for sure.

Thursday is a maybe, and I'll try to meet up in the Italian Market but don't know for sure whether I'll be free then.

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Any news about costs? I've got a couple of friends who are considering joining, but they'd really like to know what the costs might be before committing, and would still need to make travel plans if they decide to go.

Also, will there be options for vegetarians? I'm thinking about Zahav in particular, since it was mentioned that particular meal might be served family-style.

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OK - I'll look into EventBrite, but I do pretty well with Excel, so PayPal might be fine too.

More importantly can I get an up to date roll call of those folks that expect to join us for this. Time to start getting tentative head counts so I can have a better idea of what I'm talking about to the chefs/restaurateurs we'll be visiting. I'll start with myself:

KatieLoeb 1

OK everybody. Even you local folks, I need to know who's coming. Speak now or forever hold your peas...

I might be able to come up for Sunday brunch. Maybe Saturday, too. Let me see if I can work this out. I would love to see you Philly folks again. :)

Heather Johnson

In Good Thyme

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OK - I'll look into EventBrite, but I do pretty well with Excel, so PayPal might be fine too.

More importantly can I get an up to date roll call of those folks that expect to join us for this. Time to start getting tentative head counts so I can have a better idea of what I'm talking about to the chefs/restaurateurs we'll be visiting. I'll start with myself:

KatieLoeb 1

OK everybody. Even you local folks, I need to know who's coming. Speak now or forever hold your peas...

I might be able to come up for Sunday brunch. Maybe Saturday, too. Let me see if I can work this out. I would love to see you Philly folks again. :)

Oh and we'd love to see you too!! Keep us posted on your progress in planning. Sunday brunch will be early, but not obscenely so. Folks will have planes, trains and automobiles to catch, but we'll also be coming off the big potluck dinner the night before, as well as the restaurant having to be prepared for us. Fortunately, I have an in with the boss now, seeing as how I work there, so we should be OK. :smile:


Katie M. Loeb
Booze Muse, Spiritual Advisor

Author: Shake, Stir, Pour:Fresh Homegrown Cocktails

Cheers!
Bartendrix,Intoxicologist, Beverage Consultant, Philadelphia, PA
Captain Liberty of the Good Varietals, Aphrodite of Alcohol

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Any news about costs? I've got a couple of friends who are considering joining, but they'd really like to know what the costs might be before committing, and would still need to make travel plans if they decide to go.

Also, will there be options for vegetarians? I'm thinking about Zahav in particular, since it was mentioned that particular meal might be served family-style.

Will be speaking with Chef Solomonov this week. I'll let you know as soon as the details are hammered out. I will inquire about vegetarian options specifically, since you've asked.


Katie M. Loeb
Booze Muse, Spiritual Advisor

Author: Shake, Stir, Pour:Fresh Homegrown Cocktails

Cheers!
Bartendrix,Intoxicologist, Beverage Consultant, Philadelphia, PA
Captain Liberty of the Good Varietals, Aphrodite of Alcohol

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Regarding costs, the RTM will charge $100 to $200 for after-hours use of the Nichols Room.

Anna Florio hasn't got back to me on costs ( she's in Italy til Aug 2) for use of La Cucina kitchen facilities. But I think we should be prepared for $200 minimum (just a guess on my part), making it a total of about $400 for pot luck rental costs. That means if we get 20 people cost could be $20 pp.

As info Aug. 11 (day of pot luck) is same day as Pa. Dutch Festival at market. Nice in some ways, but that means the market will be extra crowded during the day and seating will be at a premium for lunch. Also, Paul Steinke of RTM said he'd probably need Nichols Room for that event, which runs until 4 pm -- tho by 3 pm it's pretty much run down.

That said, Paul will make sure to have up to two dozen seats reserved for us from 12 noon to 1:30, tho it will probably be in piano court rather than Nichols Room. We'd still have Nichols Room for the pot luck. PA Dutch fest will be using La Cuchina til about 2 or 3 pm, so kitchen access won't be available until late afternoon.


Bob Libkind aka "rlibkind"

Robert's Market Report

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Regarding costs, the RTM will charge $100 to $200 for after-hours use of the Nichols Room.

Anna Florio hasn't got back to me on costs ( she's in Italy til Aug 2) for use of La Cucina kitchen facilities. But I think we should be prepared for $200 minimum (just a guess on my part), making it a total of about $400 for pot luck rental costs. That means if we get 20 people cost could be $20 pp.

Historically I think our numbers have been more like 30-35 people in attendance for the Saturday Feast, though of course having the event in Philly may mean that all bets are off in that regard. We'll have to decide on a food budget once we know exactly what the space is going to cost and how many people will be attending: although it gets referred to as a potluck, it's really not one. The organizer typically collects money ahead of time and then distributes it out to the cooks for ingredient costs (this is definitely one area where EventBrite would come in handy, especially if it looks like we are going to approach the space's capacity). For those considering cooking for the event, you might consider a room at the Residence Inn: it's only about a block from RTM, and the rooms have kitchens. That would let some people get a head start so we've got some apps and whatnot ready to go as soon as we get into the space.


Chris Hennes
Director of Operations
chennes@egullet.org

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OK - lots of news on this today. I heard back from Chef Solomonov today. They are very excited to have us and will be putting out a feast for us to share, which will have many vegetarian options. The Mesibah dinner for a group is $48/person with tax, gratuity and beverages not inclusive. I received an email from their events coordinator regarding this. I will reply and ask if they can give us a flat rate that includes tax and gratuity to make this all a bit easier. Drinks can be on a cash and carry basis or we can start our own tabs so the non-drinkers do not have to support the rest of us unfairly. The private dining room seats a maximum of 25 people.

Small hitch. Because it's a Friday night, there is a minimum "spend" of $3000 for use of the private dining room at prime time. Understandable, as this is one of the busiest restaurants in town, with good cause. The food is unique and delicious. Our group would not be able to reach that minimum without a huge bar bill, which doesn't work for our group. However, if we start dinner at 9:15pm there's no minimum. A little late, but since it's family style salads and apps first, we should move along at a comfortable pace. I kind of prefer to eat on the later side so that works for me. I will be happy to put down the deposit on my credit card to guarantee our reservation. But I'd like to firm this up soon as I'll be unavailable for most of next week. I don't know what the cost per person was at past "fancy" dinners during Heartland Gatherings. At $48/person + 8% tax + 20% gratuity that comes out to $61.20/person. If I can speak to the event coordinator and Chef Solomonov and ask for that flat rate of $65 or $70/person and ask them to go above and beyond the "usual" menu this will be truly spectacular. A link to the usual mesibah tasting menu can be found here. According to the info I received today menu includes:

1. Six assorted salads and hummus with fresh laffa bread

2. Approximately six of our favorite appetizers in quantities so that all guests can enjoy

3. Three family style entrees (lamb, chicken and eggplant)

4. Dessert for each guest

Everyone let me know your thoughts on this.

In other news, the Pennsylvania Dutch Festival is the same day as we were planning our Potluck. This means the RTM will be crowded, but it's a really great festival and a lot of fun. If we shift everything a bit later (especially after our later dinner on Friday at Zahav) and start out at say 2PM at RTM, we can have Bob Libkind take us on a guided tour of the market, we'll have the seats in the piano court for a late lunch of PA Dutch treats or whatever vendors strike our fancy (get thee your cheesesteaks and Roast Pork sandwiches now!) and then have the Rick Nichols room and kitchen available to us in the late afternoon to start our preparations. And still have a couple of hours of the market vendors being open for last minute purchases at the best pantry in the city right outside the doors. Folks can take the morning or early afternoon to explore some of the other fine historical or cultural sites in the city like the Liberty Bell, Independence Hall, Constitution Center, Museum of Art, the Barnes Foundation, the Franklin Institute or the Rodin Museum. There's so much to see here I don't want to overschedule our eating to the point that our visiting friends don't get to see the city at all.

If we really try to make this as much of a true "potluck" as possible, with advance preparations taking place in hotel kitchens or at the kitchens of our locals, this should work out really well. The inevitable delays of trying to make elaborate meals come out in a timely fashion can be avoided and we can really enjoy each other's company and truly break bread rather than wait for bread to bake! We utilize the kitchen for prep, reheating and plating for the most part. It will be August in Philly and big heavy meals aren't really the best choice anyway. Rather than preparing an elaborate stuffed fish fillet for an entree, perhaps think along the lines of a ceviche that's ready in a couple of hours. We'll have wonderful fresh produce and proteins at our fingertips. It's just a matter of smarter menu planning. And coordinating the logistics. But I think this can be done. And I have every confidence the results will be spectacular. Again, let me know your thoughts on this.

Lastly, the Sunday brunch will be at 11:30am on Sunday at Han Dynasty in Old City. My boss assures me he'll be pulling out all the stops for this. Costs should be in the $25-30/person range. I'll get confirmation as soon as I see my manager this weekend.

So that's the latest. Lots of news! Everybody let me know what you think, but I think this is shaping up to be a fun weekend! Looking forward to seeing you all there!


Katie M. Loeb
Booze Muse, Spiritual Advisor

Author: Shake, Stir, Pour:Fresh Homegrown Cocktails

Cheers!
Bartendrix,Intoxicologist, Beverage Consultant, Philadelphia, PA
Captain Liberty of the Good Varietals, Aphrodite of Alcohol

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