STL, Here's Your Next Foodie Adventure
Take the concept of peer-to-peer services like Airbnb and Uber, add food and you’ve got a unique dining adventure straight from people who care the most about both the food and your experience. You’ve got BookaLokal.
Founded by CEO Evelyne White while she was still working in private equity, the company grew into a global network of people who share a passion: food. A Prosper Capital-supported company, and most recently featured in ALIVE’s Entrepreneur Issue, BookaLokal offers diners the ability to go anywhere in the world and still have a home-cooked and unique meal.
Or, you can stay at home. Right here in St. Louis, BookaLokal has partnered with experienced hosts in Clayton, Creve Coeur and Chesterfield to offer small-setting culinary adventures.
Looking for a unique Italian dining experience? Marianne, an expert in olive oil and owner of An Olive Ovation, shares her expertise through a wine and olive pairing evening. She’ll also directly pass her knowledge on to you in her Neapolitan pizza class, where she and her guests transform dough into three different kinds of pizza, all while her guests have a glass of fine wine in hand (BookaLokal reviews suggest she also boasts an impressive background in Italian red wine).
Of course we all love cheese, but BookaLokal will elevate your dairy infatuation with TV personality Barrie Lynn AKA, The Cheese Impresario. Both willing to host, or bring her class to your location, Lynn will customize each tasting experience to her guests—pairing artisanal cheeses with wines, bourbons, beers or even sake. With no time limit, you stand to learn as much as you can possibly handle about the world of fine cheese and libation pairings.
Mondays are a little more exciting when you can plan on spending them in a 2,000-bottle wine cellar with friends, enjoying a three-course meal with a glass of fine wine (sans the corking fee). Balaban’s in Chesterfield offers you that very experience. Chef D. Scott Phillips starts the meal off with your choice of appetizer: a citrus-scented heart of palm salad, Balaban’s cucumber bisque or their soup of the day. The following two courses on the menu change weekly, so BookaLokal foodies can come back Monday after Monday and have a new experience each time.
BookaLokal has dinner hosts all over the world who are making connections through their shared love of food and in St. Louis, the company is looking to expand. By the end of the year, there’s hope for hosts to number closer to 25 and to involve more restaurants in creating unique and intimate experiences.
All photos by Louis David.