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WORLDLY EATS

Yelp International Supper Club members tour the globe through dinners.

WRITTEN BY HEIDI BETHEL
PHOTOS BY CHRIS HOLLOMAN

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Yearning to sample Israeli cuisine? How about dining with the Knights of the Round Table? Well, you’re in luck. Yelp’s International Supper Club is a culinary experience unlike any other in the area, and it offers quite an entertaining lineup, with a few surprises.

International necessities

About two years ago, Michael Tragash, senior community manager for Yelp, had a solution for a problem that many thought ailed the ever-growing dining landscape of the Reno-Tahoe area.

“One of the perceived shortcomings seems to be the lack of diversity in our cultural food, but I knew we had quite a few places that offer just that,” he explains.

Tragash went on to develop the Yelp International Supper Club. Its mission was to bring the creative minds and culinary genius of many pros in the area together to develop a monthly ethnic dinner event.

Since then, these family-style soirées have run the gamut of worldly themes and diverse locations, including a Latin-inspired meal created by chef Sergio Romero at The Twisted Fork in Reno; a prix fixe menu filled with Ethiopian cuisine at Zagol in Reno; and the first pop-up experience, with Israeli dishes provided by Josh and Whitney Deri of Blend Catering at the Great Basin Community Food Co-op in Reno.

“Israeli food is strangely absent from our dining scene, and this event series is all about offering our community opportunities to experience international cuisine,” Tragash says.

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RSVP with a twist

To get a coveted seat at the club’s happenings, hopefuls must sign up on Yelp and wait to hear whether they’ve been randomly selected.

“We want to give as many people in the community as possible the chance to attend,” Tragash says. “And we always fill every spot.”

One of the most appreciated aspects of these dinners is the one-on-one interaction that customers have with business owners and chefs. During a recent dinner, Colin and MaryBeth Smith, owners of Roundabout Catering and Events, were deemed king and queen of the Knights of the Roundabout Table, their take on Knights of the Round Table. Guests enjoyed a medieval concept complete with a whole roasted hind quarter of beef carved tableside, turkey legs with carving knives in them, mulled cider, pheasant, and wild boar hand pies, a faux beheading, and plenty of good cheer for the Smiths and their loyal subjects.

To learn more about upcoming Yelp International Supper Club events, be on the lookout for Yelp posts at http://www.Yelp.com/events/reno. You just may be one of the next lucky chosen participants.

Embracing the great opportunities she’s had to travel to Israel, Indonesia, and Costa Rica, Heidi Bethel enjoyed sampling the cuisines of these countries. She looks forward to the possibility of spoiling her palate with even more deliciousness at upcoming supper club events.

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