Aah, big sigh. What a long, amazing, educational, meeting lots of people, 4 days of exploration it has been at the Natural Products Expo West this past weekend in Anaheim California. I would be lying if I didn’t say that yes, I am thoroughly exhausted.
So, at the end of these 4 glorious days, I decided to try EatWith.com? What is EatWith you might be asking? Well, “EatWith is a trusted global community that invites people to dine in homes around the world. Guests can connect with amazing hosts, share stories, unforgettable experiences, and enjoy delicious homemade cuisine.” Brilliant!
There are many different types of meals to choose from and each share meal is a different price depending what it is you are eating. Most people I contacted had no problem preparing gluten free options and were very open to my questions about preparation and cross contamination. I opted for the organic share meal in Malibu with a lovely couple, staying in one of the guest houses on their peaceful, organic 4 acre farm and be one with myself. Turns out, it was exactly what I needed.
I know that when I travel anywhere, I usually prefer to meet the locals first because they always give the best tips and know where all the off the beaten track places to visit are. So I figured, why not try it in my own city.
The beautiful drive up the Pacific Coast Highway, along the ocean was a perfect precursor to the evening ahead.
Upon arrival Bibi came out, greeted my friend and I, and showed us to our rooms. She asked if we would like some down time to relax before dinner, but we were starving, so she said she would ring the dinner bell as soon as it was ready. I had talked to her several times beforehand solidifying the menu with, either: fish, chicken, pork, lamb or vegetarian. We opted for fish.
A half an hour later the bell was rung and we walked upstairs as she invited us into her lovely home, introducing her husband, who would also be joining. As we sat down, they offered us wine or homemade pop, which she makes herself with fresh fruit and seltzer water from their fresh well. I chose red wine and the homemade pop because I had never had homemade before and boy was it delicious.
Dinner started with a Penang Coconut Curry Fish dinner, fresh broccoli, her homemade kimchi & fresh basil. Did I mention that everything not only was organic but they also grow all their own vegetables?!
After the dinner plates were cleared, she brought out a fresh salad and for dessert, fresh frozen strawberry yogurt with more fresh strawberries on top. Everything was so yummy and the conversation through dinner and after was absolutely delightful.
Experiencing this share meal with new people was much better than going to one of my local restaurants. Not only did I not know what to expect but was more than pleasantly surprised because of it. The whole evening was very relaxing and filled with great conversation.
After all the plates were cleared, we chatted for a long while until my body finally started to shut down from sheer exhaustion. We thanked them for dinner and retired downstairs into our rooms. But not before, under the glow of moonlight and stars, I decided to end my evening with a little meditation and yoga on their spacious deck.
The next morning I woke up to this breathtaking view, feeling completely revived. The bed was so comfortable, I had melted into it and fell fast asleep.
The next morning Bibi prepared farm fresh eggs from her own chickens, gluten free toast and bacon on a bed of greens. Fresh tangerines she picked from her trees, coffee, homemade cherry jam and fresh fruit with yogurt topped with coconut. I was in heaven.
oh and she also has a pool…
All in all this experience was amazing and will definitely be doing this again. There is a paella dinner I have been eyeing and several other meals that have peaked my interest. I also look forward to returning one day to Bibi’s house for another dinner and relaxing stay. To me, there is nothing better than having the stars and moon be my only light and the wind blowing through the trees be the only sound I hear as I drift off to dream land.
I would like to thank my hosts for such a wonderful evening and recommend that you give this a try, you will not be sorry.