“We believe in building an authentic community one kitchen, one delicious meal at a time… We are curating an experience designed to nourish your heart and mind.”
WE ARE A COLLECTION OF…
… producers, advocates, storytellers and designers of homes, meals and great conversations.
WHAT IS ‘MEETING OF THE MASTERS’?
By invitation only dinner salon and social club, bringing together some of LA’s most innovative independent thought-leaders, artists and entertainers. Meeting of the Masters exclusive dinners curates thirty plus guests for a night of authentic conversations and new friendships served over a five-course home-cooked meal designed to impress any ardent foodie. Dinners take place in private residences throughout the city.
“I’ve been two of Guy’s dinners and all of the guests really seemed to enjoy me which is refreshing because my personality is typically very polarizing. The food was super-yummy, too!”
“What a fascinating group of people. The family style meal was superb. We didn’t want it to end.”
"The food will not repeat on you; however, you will be repeating the stories you hear and enjoying the phone numbers you collect. A great reason to leave your home as well as your tablet behind for the evening. ”
“So chummy and so yummy, it’s no wonder people want to keep coming back for more!”
“Right away I was surprised. From the jump the conversations were at least fun and at best, invigorating. The home was gorgeous. The variety of people noteworthy. A number of hours later, broadened by many, many lovely, lively conversations and plenty of delicious food, a fellow asked me what I'd learned. Last night I was reminded of the value of community; the importance of constant re-invigoration through new adventure; how easy connection is when laced with intention; the stunning truth that, to at least some degree, there are plenty of 'awake' people out there; that our craving for intelligent relatedness is alive and well.
I'd go again in a heartbeat and shall. Thanks Guy Shalem. Great to know this is happening.”
“My home and kitchen have been the beneficiary of many of Guy's feasts. The combination of food, people, food, conversation (and did I mention the food?) is just magical!”
MASTERING THE INDUSTRY DINNER.
At one of Guy Shalem’s Meeting of the Masters dinners, a soccer pro might be seated next to a real estate agent who might be seated next to one of Hollywood’s top execs. These high-profile but disparate guests are directed to look under their plate or seat cushion to find a charm — shaped like a butterfly or maybe a cat (actor Jim Rash found a rose). Finding your “soulmate” with the matching emblem is a way to spark fresh conversation. (And occasional friction: A former studio head at one dinner was seen in an uncomfortable exchange with a pro-Trump author.) The concept took root in 2006, when Jane Lynch wanted to host dinners for cast and crew (Wendi McLendon-Covey, Eric McCormack) of Lovespring International, a Lifetime comedy co-created by Shalem. “She knew of my culinary skills,” he says. “We wanted to have a family, intimate time after the show.” In the years since, such guests as execs Garth Ancier, Sony’s Nina Lederman and AEG’s Kevin McDowell; writer Bruce Vilanch; producers Howard Rosenman and Keeping Up With the Kardashians’ Jonathan Murray; and actors Carolyn Hennesy, Alec Mapa and Amy Acker have dined in groups ranging from six to 45 at private homes around L.A. Shalem began charging to cover costs about a year ago (from $85 to $245) at Murray’s urging: “I said, ‘You’re really good at bringing different kinds of people together,’ ” explains Murray, who has hosted two dinners. “I encouraged him to make a business of it.” That’s also when the event was branded as Meeting of the Masters: Attendees cannot be guests, or “masters,” two dinners in a row. They can either skip an event or be a “servant,” helping in the kitchen before joining the buffet. Says Shalem, who in June took on Broadway producer Scott Mauro (Tootsie) as a consultant and is preparing to launch an LLC: “It’s a really interesting way of making it about the reinvention of the ego.”
“Guy Shalem creates these get-togethers and they are perfectly cast and produced. I met so many interesting people, from so many different fields (academia, the arts and of course, entertainment), and he and his team do an excellent job of keeping the participants circulating and having a great time. As all of Guy’s friends know, his cuisine is unique, healthy, and delicious. All together, a memorable and delightful evening, thank you!”
“What a delightful expanded beautiful space Guy and Michael create with their meeting of the Masters gatherings… Too many lovely exchanges to count! I think I even made some real new friends! Can’t wait to be involved in another one as either master or servant or both!”
“Guy's meal events are a unique networking opportunity that feel like a family gathering with great food.”
“As a person with social anxiety the idea of dinner with 20 complete strangers was my worst nightmare. Happily, all my fears about Meeting Of The Masters were completely misplaced. I spent an evening dining under the stars with the most warm, engaging, hilarious group of people I’ve met in ages. The menu was a Mediterranean / Israeli melange with enough Vegan/gluten-free options for the pickiest Angeleño and the wine was varied and well appointed. However none of this would’ve worked without this wonderful guest list. For an evening we all looked up from our phones, shared stories and connected. That truly, is the reason for going, and why I felt blue when the evening came to an end. So glad I leaned into my discomfort and got over it. Can’t wait for the next one!”
“It was such a delight to get to know all the fun and interesting people who attended. I felt at home, welcomed and engaged thru out the entire evening. So many great conversations and friends to-be. I laughed more that night than last I remember. The food experience was second to none. I particularly enjoyed the soup and the “hummus experience”!! AND… The Tower of Babel, I mean…!! My pallet was overjoyed! I would highly recommend this experience to anyone looking for amazing food, with an even more amazing cast of characters. Thank you again for including me!”
“Brilliant idea, flawlessly executed. Guy, you are truly a master at this!”
“I had so much fun. And made really good connections. I was surprised by how friendly and nice everyone was. Guy’s versions of Musical Chair definitely helped to meet more and more people as the night progressed. This is definitely an event you can attend on your own, because you’ll make many new friends. Only drawback - I may have gained a few pounds - the food was just TOO good!”
“At a regular Hollywood mixer you go looking for your next best job. At ‘Meeting -of- Masters’ you go looking for your next best friend”.
“Meeting of the Masters was an enchanting and magical evening in a West Hollywood backyard. The dinner was beautifully served on an impeccably gorgeous table with delicious food and wine.. I met a collection of interesting, dynamic, and wildly intelligent new people and made quite a few good, new friends! I cannot wait for the next one!!!”
“Every so often an evening comes along where you’re reminded how magical Los Angeles can be and how lucky we are to live here. The common ground here is intelligence, curiosity, a genuine interest in the people around you. Not once did I hear someone ask “so what do you do?” as a way to start a conversation (and there were plenty of conversations). In fact, you might not even know what they do until you’re saying your goodbyes. This is as far from a stereotypical social gathering as you can imagine, where the focus isn’t on work, but on the quality of the people surrounding you. I attended my first Meeting of the Masters dinner not knowing a soul beforehand, and I was glad I did.”
“What a magical evening! After an incredible dinner our hosts announced that we should look under our seat cushions to find a hidden treasure. I opened the little envelope to find a tiny charm. Mine was a turtle, the sign of persistence, endurance, and longevity! We were told there were two of each, and to find the guest who had the matching charm. How fun! I was matched by divine guidance to SJ Hodges, and we had a wonderful talk about interactive and branching narrative. Those of us who push the boundaries of storytelling have certainly needed patience. The turtle’s hard shell represents resilience, and turtles are also masters of navigation, always knowing how to return home. Home is where the heart is, and this event was overflowing with love.”
”The Meeting of The Masters is a curated collection of interesting people designed to spark lively conversation while enjoying delicious food in a beautiful setting. I sat next to comedian Alec Mapa and across from entertainment executive Garth Ancier. Our conversation went from politics to dating to veganism. It was a night I won’t soon forget.“
“…You would go from small talk to deeper talk pretty quickly…”