FoodiePath brings global food cultures through culinary experiences with strangers

People sit around a dinner table.

Christina Chen invites strangers to her home in order to introduce them to her Chinese heritage through cuisine. | Photo provided.

Imagine the next time you’re itching for an authentic, home-cooked meal, you literally go to someone’s house. That’s the mission of FoodiePath — to bring Richmonders together to experience global food cultures directly, the way they’re originally prepared.

Christina Chen, FoodiePath’s director + a recent UR grad, was inspired to create the company after sharing her Chinese heritage by inviting strangers to dinner parties. She launched FoodiePath just last month.

Here’s how it works. There are 15 unique paths to choose, and they vary from gourmet cuisine to ciders to spoon carving. All experiences are run by locals, who partner with FoodiePath after running through a “test” experience. Christina’s looking to expand to at least 30 options in the River City.

We took on two FoodiePaths last week: Backyard Barbecue and Beer with Hank + Tea Leaf and Tarot Reading with a Witch.

A man talks in front of a grill outdoors.

Hank made sure we knew the machinations of the grill before we lit the flame. | Photo provided.

Beginning with barbeque… We were welcomed into Hank’s Midlothian home by the scent of cumin + cilantro in the air. He showed us proper chopping technique, how to marinate chicken, steak, and shrimp, and how to master the grill on his backyard porch. In ~2.5 hours, we were nomming on a full taco spread.

A woman sits behind a table of Tarot cards

Ginny has been a customer of Carytown Teas since 2007. | Photo provided.

Then to the tea… We wandered down to the Richmond classic CaryTown Teas to meet Ginny, a practicing witch + employee of the shop. There, we ate some sweet treats and chose a pot of Black Rose tea from the extensive menu.

Afterwards, we were treated to some magic, where we made our own spell bottles and had a 15 minute Tarot reading. We left the shop with open hearts and full bellies under the full moon.

Pro tip: Be sure to check if an event is private, in case you’re not a fan of meeting strangers on your adventures.

In the foodie mood? Click here to book an experience or partner with FoodiePath to be a home host.

More from RICtoday