As with most great stories, The Dinner Party Project was born out of a place of frustration, but ends in the most epic way imaginable.
It all began when founder, Dana Marie Roquemore, returned home to Orlando from a wanderlust adventure across the globe. Being a native of the City Beautiful, it was both a relief and a bit of a letdown returning back to the familiarity and reality of Central Florida. Not one to stay idle for long, however, Dana began the process of reintegrating herself back into the community she loved.
With so many opportunities and possibilities at hand—yet no job igniting the fiery passion that she craved—Dana, as most of us have, found herself at a crossroads. When questioned by a friend about what excited her the most about life, two things came to mind: her love of food and her love for people.
Thinking on that, Dana began to realize that she knew a lot of people, but, for the most part, didn't know a lot of people really well. What are their stories? Where did they grow up? What makes them who they are?
During that time she made the decision to get to know the people in her life a little better. To begin, she decided to throw the names of everyone she knew into a "lottery" of sorts. From there, she drew seven names to join her around the dinner table at her home. Eight, the perfect number for an intimate gathering; not too small to where it's awkward, and not too big where it's overwhelming and your voice gets lost in the conversation.
It began with friends and family and went from there. Friends began inviting friends, likewise, family started inviting friends. An Instagram was formed, and as we all know, the rest is history.
Dana has been known to say, "If I could throw dinner parties for a living, I would." And now the dream is a reality.
Thank you to all of you who have taken a leap of faith and a step out of your comfort zones to dine with us. For those of you who are awaiting your turn—we can't wait to meet you.
All of YOU are the reason why Orlando is, and continues to become, one of the best cities in the world. CHEERS!