UPDATE: Before I got 'round to starting Menu Next Door, the start-up temporarily closed its doors in Paris to enhance their service. So that puts this project on hold!
Have you heard of Menu Next Door? It's an initiative that kicked off in Brussels, last year, and has since spread to London and Paris. What Menu Next Door does is allow for foodies, home cooks and amateur chefs to share their culinary creations with their neighbours and friends. Pretty neat, huh?
Now that I've got the ball rolling with my other venture, I'm endeavouring to devote more of my time to Gourmanderie and food fun in general. Menu Next Door is first on the list. I've commenced nutting out menus propositions, am in the process of reorganising my kitchen, and I'm just about to take on the challenging task of teaching my cat that, from now on, the kitchen is going to be out-of-bounds sometimes (since she has the tendency to scratch and mew at any door that separates her from her subjects, being Rémi and I, I anticipate that this is going to take some work).
I spent yesterday afternoon cooking and taking photos of what is probably going to be my first menu offer. It's pan-cooked honey-orange chicken infused with cumin, coriander, mustard and a blend of other earthy spices, served with a walnut and apricot couscous - a meal evidently influenced by North Africa and the Middle East. Two tired legs, a scolded cat and an invitingly sweet and smoky smelling apartment later, we ate our meal with the remnants of yesterday's bottle of wine (a pinot noir that comes from a village in Bourgougne, where Rémi's great-great grandparents, and I'm pretty sure great-great-great-grandparents, lived. Romantic family-oriented sentiments aside, the wine wasn't the best match, for a white would have been better, but let's not waste wine for the sake of snobbery, eh?)
I've dabbled in hospitality before (including, but not limited to, a hospitality course in high school, work experience in prestigious kitchens, cooking vegetarian/vegan/raw/every-clean-eating-fad-you-can-imagine meals for the residents and guests of an ashram I used to lived at, serving beer at cricket games, a few weeks of painful 7am shifts waiting tables in Canadian restaurants and diners and one day as a Sandwich Artist at Subway), but the Menu Next Door concept, with its groovy economy and community vibe, is entirely new to me, and one that I really dig.
While you're on the Menu Next Door website, why not check out some of the other menus on offer and, if you're in Paris, perhaps give one a try! We're actually going to try our first Menu Next Door menu this Saturday night. Someone in our neighbourhood is offering a menu inspired by the islands of Guadeloupe, and Rémi and I will be dropping by their home just before dinnertime to pick up our three courses. I'm very much looking forward to two firsts: my first encounter with Guadeloupean food and my first Menu Next Door experience.
Have you tried Menu Next Door, or a similar concept? I would love to hear your experiences!
Until next time,