We first sat down over dinner in January 2005. Our original organizer, Minh Van Truong, founded what was then named The Vietnamese Food Dining Out Group for the enjoyment of everyone interested in learning more about the country's food, customs, and culture. (If that's an interest of yours, look into the very active New York City Vietnamese Language & Cultural Meetup Group.) Thanks to the early efforts of Minh and his first assistant organizer, Thu`y (pronounced "Twee"), we soon began getting together for two dinners a month, sometimes three.
For the things he loves (and food is certainly one of them), Minh has a lot of energy, but as our group continued to grow, he wisely enlisted a few more assistants, including Dave (the current organizer), Teddy, and Jeanne. He also graciously accommodated an expansion of our "menu," and now we've explored cuisines including Malaysian, Thai, Chinese, Japanese, Filipino, Indonesian, Burmese, Haitian, Jamaican, French, and Romanian. We're open to other possibilities as well -- there's so much to choose from in New York! (Sometimes we have trouble finding room for everyone who'd like to join us, though, so please have a look at our guidelines on RSVPs.)
Busy lives being what they are, the time came when Thu`y stepped down as assistant organizer to pursue other personal and professional goals. And Minh -- after being offered an exciting job opportunity on the West Coast -- found himself on the other side of the country from many of his favorite restaurants.
Even though Minh stepped down as organizer, a guiding principle that he instilled in our group, and that we continue to encourage, is that everyone with interest and enthusiasm is welcome to join us. Our members come from a wide variety of backgrounds, and good conversation is as enjoyable a part of our get-togethers as good food. For that matter, our group wouldn't be here at all if not for Minh's hard work and good spirits -- and in that light, he now holds the title of founding organizer. Someday, we hope, we'll see Minh at our table again; there's always a seat open for him.
We've taken our current name, The World Food Lover's Dining Out Group, to reflect our continuing fascination with food from all over the world, right here in New York. If you share a hunger to explore what the city has to offer, why not join us?