Tastings & Friendships
Her Eclectic Kitchen brings foodies together
After a long career in behavioral health, private cook BETH FRYE is pursuing a true passion. For the lifelong foodie and owner of Her Eclectic Kitchen, leaving the corporate world meant the time and space to expand her culinary vision.
“I got a job with a catering company and dove in! Feet, head, hands first,” says Frye. And shortly thereafter, Her Eclectic Kitchen was born. “My affinity for food has been forever. There have been times when I felt so disconnected,” says Frye, echoing what many have felt during the pandemic.” And food brings us together.”
In that spirit of gathering around good cuisine, Her Eclectic Kitchen has curated Wilmington’s newest and most intimate dining concept: the Supper Club. Partnering with Palate Bottle Shop, Frye creates eclectic fare around themed evenings and welcomes an equally eclectic guest list.
“‘No one in town was doing this, in terms of making affordable.,” says Frye. “I wanted to make mine accessible to people from all walks of life.”
The intimate evenings showcase tastes and tables culled from extensive travels. From cooking classes in Thailand to living in Italy, Frye’s love of food is rooted in community. “I think this comes from traveling so much,” she observes. “Even when you don’t speak the lingo, you can communicate with people over food. Food has this beautiful way of smashing away walls or barriers.”
Her supper clubs have popped up all over town, including Belle Vue Wilmington and Bourbon Street in historic downtown; locations are usually TBD, adding additional mystique to the already coveted affairs.
There has been Taco Night, South American fare, Italian, American Cuisine, and a huge charcuterie tray with cheese, pate, Greek-themed appetizers. As always, ambiance elevates the evening, from aesthetically-pleasing table settings to after-dinner party games.
During a Supper Club this past July, Frye walked around the table to determine everyone’s “Stupid Human Trick.” As her tablemates showcased their skills, virtual strangers quickly turned to friends. “It’s all about the ideas to bring people together,” she says, with a smile.
“We sit around the table family style and talk, and everyone dresses up,” says Frye, of the intimate gatherings. “It’s a really interesting way to meet unique people.”
The next Supper Club will be held on December 2 (as always, stay tuned for locale), and the focus will be on holiday food: “Not food around any one celebration,” she explains, “but multicultural food around the different holidays. Tis the season to be festive!”
Through Her Eclectic Kitchen, the cook and her vision continue to grow.
“I like to do the hodgepodge,” says Frye, of the next big idea. The focus for 2022 is to host a culinary excursion to Tuscany, during Harvest Season: “We’ll immerse ourselves into the culture of food and explore how food ties into community.”
And though she loves to be around the table visiting with soon-to-be friends, the woman who brings people together feels most comfortable behind the scenes, in the kitchen.
Her favorite place to gather around food? “My home,” she says, with a smile.
To view more of photographer Terah Wilson’s work, go to terahwilson.com.
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