Big Ideas with Food Republic

Yesterday was a big day for me and Food Republic. The night prior to Food Republic's first live Twitter chat, we held our third Food Republic event (a private dinner at my Harlem home) last night to get the word out about our amazing food news/culture website. I want to thank everyone for coming out, it was a fantastic event and the participation from all of the company was unreal. We had quite an eclectic crowd come out, from farmers to chefs to media experts to artists. Some of our special guests include: Hip-hop artist Q-Tip, Cafe Boulud executive chef Gavin Kaysen, Food Republic contributor Dannielle Kyrillos, designer Jeff Staple, and Chef Bill Telepan. Our goal was to get interesting people together to converse about food and culture. Although it was such an eclectic mix of people, we all had one great connector: food.

The weather, and the night in general, was perfect. We grilled outside and had a patio dinner on a long family table. This was the perfect setting for us all to share our food experiences from all points of our lives. Everyone got so share their stories by ringing in by using my grandmother's gong. I brought this gong with me from Sweden, which my grandmother used when she was calling us in for dinner. It's a sentimental artifact for me and it was fun to use it with my guests last night.

It was inspiring for me to hear everyone's food stories, like Gavin Kaysen's experience while competing in the prestigious Bocuse D'Or (keep the passion and perhaps you'll win in 2013), Q-tip's first experience with international foods and how "food and art are one and the same", and Dannielle's story of the white Concord grape jelly from a vine outside her home.

After our fabulous dinner, we all headed out to one of my favorite classic Harlem bars, Seville Lounge so I would show everyone a taste of Harlem. All in all, it was a pleasure to share with all our guests my home and inform them of Food Republic and its goal.

Stay tuned for future Food Republic events, including our first live Twitter Chat at 2pm, where we will raise awareness about the famine in East Africa, as well as money, for UNICEF's relief efforts. Thank you all for your constant support of me and Food Republic. Your support makes this all possible!

Check out our pictures from last night's event: