NJ Foodie Meetup July 2021

Soooo I met all my online besties IRL! A couple of months ago I had this CRAZY idea to host a meetup with my followers. I kind of put it out into the universe, thinking a few people would be interested but got a huge positive response. Mariam from Wandering for Eats messaged me and also was interested in hosting a meetup so we decided to join forces. We literally had no idea how to plan an event, but put in hours and hours of work, bouncing ideas off each other, working with vendors, etc, and we pulled it off!!!

After going back and forth with a bunch of restaurants, we decided to go with Calandra’s Italian Village in Caldwell, New Jersey. Mariam and I have both been there several times, and love their food. We decided on doing a five course secret menu, which meant people would buy their tickets with no clue of the menu. Guests got to select 5 courses out of a curated menu of 12 items by Chef Francesco Palmieri, winner of Cutthroat Kitchen on Food Network. 

The menu wound up being: Mozzarella Fritta, Eggplant Rollatini, Mushroom polenta, Beet Salad, Duck Flatbread, Scallop Alfredo, Taverna Wedge Salad, Shishito Peppers, Paccheri Salsiccia, Shrimp Milanese, Cacio Pepe Uovo, and PEI Mussels.

In the end, we completely sold out the event – 200 people came to the event and we had THE BEST TIME EVER! The day of, there were two tornado warnings, and it was literally downpouring. I for sure though many people would cancel, but everyone came.

I’d like to give a huge shoutout to Calandra’s for working with us on this event, as well as NJ Flower walls for providing beautiful decor, Fuego Captures for providing videography, and A Walk to Remember for providing photography.

The event was so successful, and meeting you all really made all the long hours planning this worth it. Some of you drove from south jersey, Philly, the poconos to meet us, and all of you came out in a huge storm. I am eternally grateful that all of you believed in us and blindly bought a ticket, without even know what the menu was! We will be hosting more and more events in the upcoming months and I cannot wait to meet more of you! Until next time!


Finding Francesca

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