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French Online Dining Service Available In Sacramento

Lesley McClurg / Capital Public Radio

From left to right: Ray Farley, Laurie Heller and Catherine Enfield.

Lesley McClurg / Capital Public Radio

A popular French online dining service is now available in Sacramento. Think of it like Airbnb for foodies.

The concept is simple: a local resident prepares a meal for travelers that's shared inside a home.

On a chilly December evening Catherine Enfield unlocks her front door and ushers in two of the evenings guests. She fills wine glasses and introduces the menu.

“We have an appetizer of endive with an avocado blend,” says Enfield. The main course is braised short ribs, mashed potatoes, and roasted vegetables.

Enfield created the menu and then advertised it on the Voulezvousdiner website. She then waited for bookings. Tonight she has three guests.

Matthieu Heslouin is one of founders of the French company. He says the goal of the online service is to connect travelers with locals.

"Voulez-vouz dîner means, 'Would you like to eat with me?'” explains Heslouin.

There are only a few hosts in the Sacramento area, but the concept is booming in other parts of the world. 

Laurie Heller went to a Voulezvousdiner dinner when she was visiting Paris recently.

"[There were] 97 different people in this one neighborhood who were doing it. It’s really, really popular!” she says.

Heller loves the concept.

“The idea of seeing somebody’s house, I love the houses," says Heller. "I love architecture, so it’s nice to see how people live."

Tonight’s dinner is Ray Farley’s second time using the service.

“It’s just the fellowship you have over dinner. We talk, we share, we laugh, and we argue,” smiles Farley.

Mattihieu Heslouin says that’s the point.

“We believe that there is a huge need for authenticity and human touch when you’re traveling.”

After four years of operation, Voulezvousdiner is now available in 42 countries.