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The heart of hospitality

"People are coming for what you do."

He said it with conviction and emotion. We stood there at a reception, plastic cups of cheap wine in our hands, discussing the mundane and killing time until we were asked to sit down at our assigned tables until... the conversation turned to an earnest discussion of food, drink, and things that tug at our heart strings...things that make up the stuff of life even for those who don't value food.

Isaiah Kimball, beverage manager at the James Beard Award -winning restaurant Luca in Lancaster, PA, does so much more than sling drinks at a fancy up-and-coming restaurant. He took the beverage department and turned it into a community and education driven experience that serves all palettes without judgment and with a generosity and hospitality that is hard to find at many restaurants. You leave feeling full in so much more than your stomach-your heart is full, your senses are full and yet you are left hungry for more of the good life..the simple life even.


I recently read Unreasonable Hospitality by Will Guidara, the co-founder of the Michelin Star restaurant Eleven Madison Park in NYC. This book is not just for restaurant owners or people in the food industry. It's for anyone who has ever or will ever find themselves responsible for making someone feel important. I believe that's all of us...every single day. The book explores what taking care of people in your life looks like, taking care of what you've been given in life so that you can offer your best to others, and opening your mind to an unreasonable amount of celebration for the most of the mundane.


This book encouraged and challenged what we do at Bebop's. It strengthened my resolve to keep going, keep hosting, keep honing my skill and most of all keep listening. Listening to what people aren't saying but wanting so badly -- to be celebrated, heard, understood, seen, and fed. After one whirlwind of a year with the most unanticipated positive response to supper club I could imagine, things have slowed down. And I find myself asking, what is supper club, what are people looking for.


As I seek to answer this question, my resolve to show people outrageous hospitality hasn't changed. Every party is a risk and a complete offering of myself, vulnerable even. Yet, around a table when the lights are low, the candles dripping wax on my linen tablecloth, napkins crumpled beside plates with but one swirl of chocolate sauce; I see something happen. An unraveling of boundaries, an openness of the heart and a vulnerability of self expression occurs that can only happen at the table.


I can't put enough value on what creating a space for those moments means to me and what I hope it means to you. As we approach summer, I have decided to host private parties only in an effort to offer a truly authentic and unique experience and I can only hope you take some time to gather with those you love and join me at the table.


XO

Katie




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Always love your writing and your heart. You’re an inspiration.

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