At Cheeky we want every meal to count, because we’re on a mission to make mealtime matter. From the food on our plate to those we share our meal with, we can make a difference starting at the dinner table.
 
We chatted with  the Feastly team to get their opinion on the importance of mealtime. Feastly is a global online marketplace that allows chefs to connect with enthusiastic eaters to create local pop-up dinners and dinner parties. Chefs who are passionate about quality and taste help reinvent the idea of a home cooked meal, into a unique social experience.
 
Cheeky and Feastly partnered up in September for Hunger Action Month so that once a week, diners in both LA and San Francisco have the opportunity to have a Feastly meal served on Cheeky’s latest dinnerware. Diners also have the opportunity to win prizes and take part in social media campaigns that help aid the hunger crisis. Cheeky will also donate 10 meals for every customer that takes part in this #FeastlygetsCheeky collaboration.

WHAT DOES "MAKE MEALTIME MATTER" MEAN TO YOU?

Kelly Valentine, City Manager | Los Angeles:
For me, the thing that makes mealtime matter the most is connecting with the people around you.  I really strive to unplug and be fully present and engaged with those around me when eating.  That's why my favorite part about dinners at Feastly is the communal dining aspect.  You show up and sit with a table full of strangers and by the end of it - you've had these really great conversations and no one is a stranger anymore.  It can be quite magical when great food, great people and great conversation all come together!

HOW DO YOU DECIDE WHAT TO MAKE FOR DINNER? DOES IT HAVE TO DO WITH YOUR GUESTS, YOUR MOOD, THE OCCASION, WHAT YOU’RE CRAVING?

Milan Clarke, Director of Private Events:
The weather usually helps me decide what I'm making for dinner. I've been getting into the art of mixology, so I usually start my dinners off with a boozy beverage.   If it's a warm summer evening, I'm making tuna poke and some sort of tiki drink, like rum punch.  If it's chilly out, I'll make a stew, or short ribs and polenta, and start the meal off with an Old Fashioned.
 
Joey Debruin, Head of Growth:
For me, cooking dinner happens when I’m inspired to get something out of my head onto a plate. I draw inspirations from so many different sources: cookbooks, other chefs, restaurants, and lots of things that aren’t food related like music and scenery. I’m pretty much constantly thinking about food, and as those inspirations come they shape the dishes in my head. When I just can’t stand continuing to think about the dishes without seeing or tasting them, I cook.

@eatfeastly

IF YOU COULD INVITE ANY FOUR PEOPLE TO DINE WITH, WHOM WOULD YOU CHOOSE?

Kelsey Cox, Customer Happiness Manager:
Barack Obama, Lin Manuel Miranda, Deb Perelman, and Jon Stewart. 

Cleo Tarca, Content Marketing:
Idina Menzel, Will Ferrell, Anthony Bourdain, and J.K. Rowling

WHAT ARE YOUR FAVORITE TRICKS AND TIPS TO STYLE YOUR MEALTIME GATHERING WITH FRIENDS?

Phi Tran, Director of Photography:
I use fresh herbs, fruits, and vegetables from the meal ingredients to set the table.

Molly Beckert, Community Manager:
I always create a simple tablescape with neutral linens and dishware to showcase the vibrant colors of our meal. A pop of color from fresh flowers and tea lights are always a nice touch to elevate the table and make it something special.

@heatherjryan

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE QUESTION TO ASK GUESTS AT YOUR DINNER TABLE?

Adam Zolot, Head of Operations:
My favorite question to ask guests at the dinner table has actually become a hallmark of Feastly events… “have you ever been to a Feastly meal before?”. The reason this is so compelling to me is that it opens up a world of experience. People who have been to dinners with our chefs have wonderful stories to tell about the food they’ve enjoyed and the people they've met. I hear so often, “omg, you have to try so-and-so because their dinner is amazing”. And, if people haven’t been to another Feastly dinner, they get to learn about unique experiences from their table mates. It’s the ultimate conversation starter.

HOW CAN BRINGING PEOPLE AROUND THE TABLE MAKE AN IMPACT TO HELP END HUNGER?

Feastly Team:
Multiple ways! At Feastly, we chose to partner with Cheeky for the month of September to have our chefs use Cheeky dinnerware at select dinners throughout the month resulting in hundreds of donated meals. Other than partnerships, donating leftover food to those in need, hosting dinners with proceeds going to charities that fight hunger, and even conversations had at the dinner table can ignite ideas that could help put an end to hunger.

@funwithkate