There were other ingredients of course, but let’s focus on the cheese for a moment.
Do you have any idea how giddy buying $60 worth of artisanal cheese will make you? I don’t mean just buying a bunch of cheese; I mean buying it and having a plan for it. It’s not an ungodly amount of cheese, but it has enough of a heft in the bag to say, “Psst…this is pretty ridiculous.” Last Sunday I walked home from the Italian Market feeling like I was involved in a happy conspiracy, and grinned at the thought of the wide-eyes and smiles from my coconspirators when they eventually laid eyes on my haul.
Now all told, with black truffle from Claudio, fresh bacon from Di Bruno Bros, and a routine trip to Whole Foods for ingredients not available in the Italian Market, my receipts easily crested $150. Split across the 9 people who attended, that’s about $16.00 a head, with plenty left over for several more pies.
I have been asked a few times why I don’t take cash from my guests to offset the burden. Couple of reasons…
That being said, I can let my menus get a little out of hand. Recently I met with Brad Baer of Zokos (www.zokos.com), a service he likens to the Kickstarter of dinner parties. We had a great talk about the above points, and how to balance that with a financially sustainable weekly dinner. I’m thinking about pursuing a model where I try to cook more modest Them Dinners weekly, and really blow it out with a Zokos-sponsored three course theme dinner once monthly. I’ll let you know how it goes. In the mean time, here are some reasons why I don’t mind footing the bill: