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At-home chefs open up their kitchens to tourists

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

A service that pairs tourists looking for an authentic dining experience with hosts who love to throw dinner parties and show off their local cuisine is gaining buzz as the AirBnB of the food and travel world.

Launched out of Tel Aviv, hosts who sign up at EatWith open up their kitchens and dining rooms to tourists looking to connect with the locals in one of the most intimate and communal ways possible: over a home-cooked meal.

The idea, says founder Guy Michlin, was born from a memorable dinner experience while traveling on the island of Crete in 2010.

Via a connection made through a friend of a friend,’ Michlin sat down to a four-hour dinner party with a local family and neighbors, where he spent the evening tucking into traditional Cretan dishes, discussing the financial crisis and how it touched his hosts’ lives, and collecting insider tips on the best local restaurants and sites to visit.

After returning home to Tel Aviv, Michlin decided to launch a service that would help replicate the experience for travelers who likewise seek authentic, intimate travel experiences abroad.

Typically, hosts charge between $30 and $50 USD per head. Currently, the service is available in Israel, Spain and New York.

The concept of private supper club-type events is gaining steam around the world. Since 2010, Paris-based Voulezvousdiner has been pairing hosts who love to entertain and throw dinner parties with open-minded tourists and locals looking to meet new people in an authentic, intimate atmosphere.

Voulezvousdiner has since expanded to cities around the world, including Toronto, London, Madrid, Vienna and Canberra.

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/tourism/130518/at-home-chefs-open-their-kitchens-tourists