Contrary to what some of my friends would say, I do like people, it’s just that I can be shy, and perhaps If I am honest with myself, sometimes a little lazy. I like my comfort zone and I’m not good at stepping outside of it. So meeting new people in a social environment can be an issue. Combine that with eating in front of strangers and I would definitely not be first in line for an invite to dinner.
You can imagine therefore how I reacted when I received an invitation to attend a WeFiFo dining experience earlier this summer. Now I like food, I love food! But I have recently become a vegetarian and have also given up alcohol so the prospect of eating spaghetti and meatballs in the company of strangers only served to heighten my anxiety that I would be the world’s most boring guest.
But sometimes it’s good to challenge yourself, to try something new, I mean what’s the worst that could happen? And so it was with much trepidation and a fair degree of anxiety, that I turned up at my host’s front door, courage and a bottle of sparkling water in hand, a few days later.
I was welcomed immediately by Jon, my host, and ushered in with a big smile and a huge handshake. He seemed nice. I was beginning to feel better. I’m not one for lots of formalities, so the small group of friendly people and the smell of amazing food in the cosy kitchen really helped put me at ease. And do you know, I found that I was quickly beginning to relax.
I had contacted Jon ahead of my visit to let him know I was vegetarian. ‘No problem at all’ he declared, ‘vegetarian meatballs, I love a challenge’. As for the wine, well yes people were drinking but I didn’t feel out of place. There were 10 guests in total, all of us local, none of who I had met before. We came from all walks of life with different jobs, different interests but a common love of good food and a desire to try something new.
Despite my initial reservations, the evening was such good fun. Jon surpassed himself and my food was delicious. A convivial host, he made sure food was plentiful and that we were well looked after. Conversation flowed and much laughter ensued. I really enjoyed myself and was so pleased I had come along.
So the big question? Would I attend another WeFiFo event and would I recommend them to others? Categorically, the answer is YES. I surprised myself and it was a good reminder that we all need to try something new at times. WeFiFo take great care to support friendly and creative chefs, home cooks and even beginners who just want to share their love of cooking. It’s all about having fun. There are a number of upcoming events that have my name on them already.
If you’re hesitating at all about attending an event, my advice is, to coin a well known phrase, JUST DO IT! You won’t look back.