Seattle Sunday comes early: I went KitchenSurfing and so Should YOU

 Chef Tom Rhyneer prepping at our Kitchensurfing dinner party. Take a look at this review of Chef Tom in the  Seattle Weekly.

In all of our lives, there is a pivotal moment when we officially move up in the world. Well, officially to ourselves, anyway. When we graduate from generic ice cream to Dryers and then to Ben and Jerry's and beyond. Or when we buy our first items at full price from a boutique or perhaps our very first designer purchase (even if it is at the Rack). 

Once you've crossed the threshold, everything changes. Suddenly, you wouldn't consider glancing at generic anymore. And shopping at a boutique becomes a regular occurrence. If you have yet to make any of these leaps (hello college), don't worry. You will. But, if you have moved beyond level one and even level two in the game of life, I have something for you: Kitchensurfing.

Just over a week ago, Kitchensurfing launched in Seattle. It's already established in larger cities and thank goodness it finally arrived at our foodie mecca. The concept is simple: a chef prepares a meal for you and your guests at your house AND cleans up afterward. Yes, that's what I said. 

A few weeks ago, we hosted a Kitchensurfing dinner party. Our very generous friends, Steve and Lauren, offered to share their home with a group of friends to try it out. Our conclusion? Kitchensurfing: It's a must have.


 After much food, wine and conversation we pose for a photo. Extra points to our friend Emily who wouldn't let an injury keep her from this meal. My favorite moment of the evening: When one of the guests talks about how people recognize her from photos in this blog!

Four Reasons Your Next Adventure MUST Include Kitchensurfing


1. Yes, you are that successful.

 Bex wide leg jumpsuit. Whistles. $300.

A personal chef in your very own home preparing a lovely multi course meal for you and your guests might seem a little extravagant. Well, hiring a personal stylist might seem extravagant, too.

 Tropical print beach pant. ASOS. Was: $47.64 Now: $28.58.

Just as feeling good about how you look isn't an indulgence, enjoying the fruits of your labor and time with friends isn't an unreasonable indulgence either. Plus, let's face it, everyone can chip in. Going to the Kitchensurfing website is similar to shopping for a place on Airbnb. You can choose the chef, see his or her profile, communicate with him/her about the menu and anything else that comes to mind. Everything is priced per head so it's easy to determine exactly how much this will cost. Don't have dishes? Not to worry, they can bring those along for an extra fee. 

We were lucky enough to have Chef Tom Rhyneer cook the Flavor of the Northwest for us. He's laid back, personable and cooks a mean halibut. All of this without shoes.

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Style tip: Opt for seasonally appropriate relaxed cocktail attire. Silk jumpsuits, shift dresses and maxis are all great choices for women. For the fellas, you can't go wrong with a tie. My husband wore a handmade bow tie from Winslow!

 Nothing says Seattle like Northwest cuisine and a moment with the view.

2. You have opinions and that's just fine.

Gone are the days when you have to just accept whatever someone puts in front of you. Kitchensurfing allows you to work with the chef to determine the menu that fits your needs. Another friend of ours hosted a Kitchensurfing party with a different chef and they were very involved with the menu planning. We took a more hands off approach. Both seemed to work well. 

 Jessie Steele deco dot rubber gloves. Available in multiple colors and patterns. Amazon. $11.

Style tip: If you are feeling adventurous, consider hosting a theme party. Perhaps you are dying for an opportunity to wear this season's tropical prints trend but are a little apprehensive about rocking those tapered pants out for drinks. Offer yourself an easier transition by hosting a tropical themed event. Your menu and your pants can set the stage for everyone. 

3. If you love a vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free, eater of only a small number of items person, you'll LOVE Kitchensurfing.

 Chef Tom's extra touch? Sage salt for each guest.

I was THRILLED that our guest list included a vegan. After all, it's not uncommon for people to have dietary restrictions and when you are hosting your own dinner party that makes things much more challenging. One of our hosts, Steve, is vegan. If you read this blog with any regularity, you know how important inclusivity is to me. So, I was paying special attention to how Chef Tom would work with dietary restrictions.

Rather than simply omitting the meat (or fish in this case) from Steve's plate, Chef Tom treated tempe with the same marinade that the rest of us had on our halibut. The result? A VERY happy vegan. And, an equally happy blogger.

Style tip: Dinner parties are an opportunity for a more intimate gathering with a larger group of friends. 6-10 people is ideal. Be thoughtful about your guest list to include people who would enjoy one another's company. Most people will struggle with what to wear. Let them know your expectations ahead of time. This is a special treat. Give your friends an opportunity to dress for the occasion. 

4. You have a full life.

We host more dinner parties than most. My husband is an incredible cook and I'm pretty good at passing out drinks. Plus, we enjoy connecting friends and can host events at our house after our son goes to sleep without hiring a sitter. The only downside to these events is the seemingly endless stream of dishes the morning after. I try to tackle those since I'm not involved in prepping the food.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not giving up opportunities to eat my husband's cooking with friends, but I am inclined to opt for a Kitchensurfing event when the following day is jam packed with things to do.... things that don't include dishes.

Style tip: Save your hands. Just like you should be putting sunscreen on your hands (especially if you drive frequently), you should also protect them when doing the dishes. Rock some kitchy rubber gloves. Save your manicure and your skin. 

If you are interested in seeing photos from our Kitchensurfing event, check out #kitchensurfing #poplinstyle on Instagram or go to the PoplinStyle Instagram feed. Another style tip I learned that night: leaning forward while standing and wearing a loose fitting sheath dress adds 15 pounds to your frame in photos. Don't believe me? You can see proof in the photos on Instagram. I can't blame my orange dress for that choice. Lessons learned. 

So, as long as you avoid that lean, you are all set to go Kitchensurfing. Enjoy!


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