Enjoy an enlightening lecture/dinner series.
WRITTEN BY HEIDI BETHEL
PHOTOS BY CHRIS HOLLOMAN
Cleopatra wrote a treatise called Cosmetics, in which she covered medical and pharmacological work, including remedies for hair loss and dandruff. She also called for the murder of two of her siblings. Also, nowhere in the original ballads and stories does Robin Hood or any of his merry men actually rob from the rich and give to the poor.
When Barb Giacomini, chef and owner of Daughters Café in Reno, developed her lecture series dinners, she envisioned intimate affairs with plenty of good food and conversation. When she brought local storyteller Michael Thomas into the mix, the events transformed into intellectual adventures in which guests discover the unknowns about infamous tales and history.
Thomas, a retired police officer, has traveled the world learning about various topics of interest. He’s taken this knowledge and created a lecture series with more than 200 themes, ranging from pirates and Vikings to Wyatt Earp and Cleopatra.
“Michael is very inquisitive, and he has a very light, enjoyable way of putting his stories,” Giacomini says. “He talks about things we’ve grown up knowing a little about, but may not know all the details.”
Accompanying a recent lecture on the infamous Robin Hood, Giacomini served rabbit stew. And before Thomas discussed the engineering intricacies of the Titanic, guests enjoyed pork roast with homemade applesauce.
“We work together to tell interesting stories paired with themed dinners to make the experience complete,” Giacomini explains. “For a ship, pork roast keeps really well, and it’s on all of the historical menus I’ve seen, so it was a natural fit for this event.”
As the lecture series dinners gain popularity, Giacomini is eager to provide a unique experience to attendees.
“This is a mentally and socially stimulating event, but it also reminds me of taking my kids to the library when they were younger,” she says. “We eat family style in the house, and when we’re finished, we move the tables out of the way, grab a cup of coffee, and settle in.”
A fan of themed dinners and clever conversation, Heidi Bethel always is eager to learn new information, whether the topic is familiar from her childhood or a completely newfangled focus.
Lecture series dinners are held at Daughters Café at 6:30 p.m. on the first and third Fridays of each month, as well as the fifth Friday for those months that have one. Tickets are $15 each, including dinner and lecture.
To reserve your spot, call or visit Daughters Café.
97 Bell St., Reno