“If you really want to make a friend go to someone’s house and eat with him…the people who give you their food give you their heart” – Chef Cesar Chavez

Archana is a professionally trained chef who trained under a Kiwi chef at a five-star restaurant in India. When she moved to New Zealand, she was shocked to find that Kiwi kitchens had much fewer staff and much more fancy equipment to make up for the lack of hands. Another surprise was finding out that not everything in the kitchen was made from scratch.

The inspiration to start Eat with Me came after a visit to a local restaurant in Indianapolis, USA where there was no menu. The chef would cook the day’s special and that’s the only meal you could eat. Even better was the fact that you could talk to the owners and the chef as they cooked, and you ate. Archana loved the wholesome, friendly experience and wanted to replicate this here in New Zealand.

At Eat with Me, Archana cooks for you and you eat in her dining room or she will come cook for you at yours. From the stock to the salad to the meat, everything is made by Archana from scratch. She also runs a monthly supper club where you can get together with other strangers and come together over a meal that she’s cooked for you. Such home dining experiences are quite unique in New Zealand but have become a big industry overseas, especially in India

On the show we talk about:

  • Growing up in a Keralan home
  • India vs New Zealand – how different is the commercial kitchen?
  • Will home dining become as popular as it is in other parts of the world?
  • The joys of sitting around a table with strangers
  • Why it’s important to have a job that pleases your soul

Listen to the Podcast Here:

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Quotes from the episode:

“If you ask me what I ate that day at the restaurant I don’t remember. What I remember is that the meal was wholesome and I felt completely fulfilled eating there. It was like eating at a close friend’s house.”

“In a private dining setting like the one we offer at Eat with Me, there’s nowhere to hide. People get the see the real me through the food I cook for them”.

“At the heart of it, I love feeding people at my home. I cook food that is simple but with layers of flavor. When people see the food I cook for them on the plate they may feel its really simple, but when they taste it they will be able to taste the hours of work that has gone into cooking the meal”.

If you are after a personalized and comfortable dining experience curated just for you, get in touch with Archana Kurup of Eat with Me: www.eatwithme.co.nz