Hosting Details

Thanks for your interest in being a host for the Urban Eating League!

What is the Urban Eating League, you ask?

It’s a competitive dinner party in costume. Houses in a neighborhood compete against each other to host the best meal and create the best theatrical experience around an overall theme. Eaters pay for the food, visit all the houses and serve as the judges, while also competing to have the best costumes.

Really the best way to understand how it all works is to watch this 1-minute video.

Here is some basic information about being a host site.

If this all looks like your cup of tea, let’s chat more about which weekend your house would be available to host and go over further details of hosting and initial ideas for the overall theme.

  • As a host you’re tasked with creating a small plates meal for 3 separate rounds of 6 eaters, so 18 people over an evening. The eaters will also be eating at 2 other houses, so you are only serving up ~1/3 of a meal to each person.
  • You will have a budget of ~$120. You are allowed to spend more than the budget but we can only reimburse you up to the budget amount (all money goes to the food/prizes).
  • There will be 3 rounds of eaters at your house – 6 eaters at a time. The eating will go from roughly 6:30-9 pm (I’ll provide an exact schedule before the event). Each round is 35 min with 15 minutes between for people to travel between sites and for you to wash dishes/reset.
  • You must provide a vegetarian friendly option but you can cook meat or anything else you want. Vegan or Gluten Free considerations are not expected but you can do that if you’d like. Typically, hosts will prepare 1-3 small bites and sometimes make a drink, although multiple courses and alcohol are in no way required. (note: we’re working on implementing a better system of data collection so we can anticipate # of vegetarians as well as potentially allow for more nuanced diets).
  • We do ask that the food be locally sourced (within 100 mi) to any degree possible. Nobody is checking receipts, but it’s part of the ethic of the event. You will score points with the eaters by telling them where everything came from.
  • Serving good food and creating a welcoming environment is a perfectly awesome way to be an Urban Eating League host! That being said, the best host sites tend to think more holistically about the experience eaters have at their home (and, for me, the overall experience is where a lot of the fun is!). The best UEL houses create a 35 minute narrative experience during which some food and drink is served. When I host, I work backwards from the overall theme (e.g. “Utopia”) to what kind of experience I want to create (e.g. “The Garden of Eden”) to what food and drink we’re going to serve throughout that experience (e.g. Salad, Wine, Ribs, Caramelized Apple). I would love to help you develop your ideas for hosting!
  • We recommend 3-4 or more people at your host site to make sure everything runs smoothly. We recommend having 1-2 people focused exclusively on the back of house/kitchen and then the rest of the people creating the front of house experience, with everyone pitching in on dishes/the reset. Hosts have done it with just 2 people but it’s more limiting (the only time I ever won, we had 3 on our hosting team – go figure). More people=more fun!
  • There are prizes for every host site, including the champion (obviously). Win or lose, your entire hosting team gets preferred entry into future Urban Eating Leagues (you become a Very Important Eater!). Being a VIE really matters because tickets are scarce.