Friday, August 24, 2012

so it's your first time ...

Perhaps as a result of our fifteen minutes of fame on Andrew Zimmern's show "Bizarre Foods," we've had a lot of additions to our mailing list, and see a lot of new names in the seat request list for the upcoming September 5 event. That's great. We're always eager to welcome new guinea pigs.

But especially for those who are new to our little events, here are a few suggestions for how to be a good guinea pig:

(1) Please make sure you've read the entire event notice. In particular, this, which is included with every message announcing a new event:

A brief, but important, refresher course on the whole Cobaya thing: there is no "menu". There are no choices. You'll be eating what the chef chooses to make for the night. If you have food related allergies, strict dietary requirements, religious restrictions; are salt sensitive, vegetarian, pescatarian, or vegan; don't like your meat cooked medium rare, or are pregnant: this meal is probably not for you. Do not expect white-glove service. Don't ask for your sauce on the side. Just come and enjoy.

We wish we could accommodate everyone, and we understand some people have serious food allergies and make equally serious food choices; this is just not the place for them. Our primary goal is to give chefs the opportunity to cook exactly what they want.

(2) If you've requested seats for the upcoming event, you will not hear anything further until the seat lottery is completed (which for the 9/5 event will be this Sunday, 8/26). At that time, two types of notices will go out: some people will get notices that say "SEAT REQUEST CONFIRMATION" (this is the equivalent of a fat envelope in response to a college application); others will get notices that say "WAITLIST" (skinny envelope).

(3) If you get a SEAT REQUEST CONFIRMATION, the next step is to book your seats through PayPal (a PayPay button will be set up on the website, and there will be a link to it in the email). Please do so quickly. This is how we know you're coming, and the longer it takes, the less time we have to fill spots from the waitlist if necessary. For the 9/5 event, seats must be booked by Thursday August 30 at the latest or they'll be released back to the waitlist.

(4) Once you've booked through PayPal, you will hear from us once again the day before the event, when you will get an email with the location of the event, confirmation of the start time, and any further directions or special instructions that may apply. There's no dress code; wear what you like. If you like alcoholic beverages, your options vary: we often have an optional pairing available, sometimes there will be drinks available for purchase as well, and usually you'll be able to BYOB too. For the 9/5 event, we'll have all three of those options.

(5) If you requested seats but will not be able to come, please let us know as soon as possible. That way we don't continue to hold seats for you, and can start filling them from the waitlist faster. There are always a lot more people who have requested seats than we're able to accommodate, but we need to give people who have been waitlisted time to respond as well. Failure to respond to a SEAT REQUEST CONFIRMATION will not help your odds if you request spots for future events.

(6) If you get a "WAITLIST" notice, don't despair. It seems there are invariably at least a few spots that end up becoming available, and if that happens, we'll let you know by email as soon as we can. Once again, quick responses are essential.

Finally, and most importantly, welcome! Thank you for your interest in taking part in our little experiments. And in case you missed it, you can see our fifteen minutes (actually more like seven) here:

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