Let me ask you an easy image. When someone say RIO DE JANEIRO what is the first thing that comes to your mind? A beautiful beach? A great sunny day? People having fun?
As a carioca, I would reply: yes, we have them all. (And if you have never been here, please go and check your tickets soon:).
However, as bright days drives ourself to outdoorsy life, cariocas are known (and mocked upon) for having this inconsistency within their way of life: they are friendly but they rarely invite you over. When a carioca meet a friend, it will be at the streets: in a bar, on the beach, by the waterfalls, but never at home.
Facing this scenario, and being a fake carioca*, I decided to run this lovely project: invite friends for a dinner that I would cook and serve at my place.
Condition is that none of the invitees know each other. And they will also come unaware of what meal will be served. SURPRISE element has come as a season for Guess Who is Coming For Dinner get togethers.
And guess what? It worked. It worked tremendously. Much better than I expected.
My guests would first feel flattered upon receiving the (written) invitation. Then, they would very rarely deny or arrive late (for Brazilian standards, I can say it was incredible). As soon as they get the note, they would ask for their ingredient to bring, and will sometimes propose even a better wine to substitute the one I suggested.
Since then, every last Thursday night, on a monthly basis, my house was full of incredible and interesting people. From engineers to actors, journalists and writers to musicians, economists and designers, they all have enjoyed sharing my glass table.
As soon as they arrive, some a bit shy, others more thrilled, all of my friends would engage into a non-stop conversation, with themes varying from films, art, poetry reading, sex, engagements, kids and all that stuff. Sometimes we would talk about work.
On other meetings, we have exchanged those day-to-day gold contacts such as a great plumbler, a babysitter, or a dealer (ops!).
Now that we are celebrating #GWICFD first anniversary, I can say that it became my source of joy. Those meetings have enchanted every single commensal that has agreed to join.
My dishes were good, but they were not the main meal. We were always serving ourselves from the magic of surprise and from the encounters and coincidences that each gathering luckily have provided us.