Join FRIENDS WITH FORKS

The dinner club with a twist

Making friends and building community over food is the core mission of Friends with Forks.

It is never just about the food, but about sharing meals together, being part of a community and creating sustainable and lasting connections with new friends.

For hosts -toast

Exclusive Events in private homes

Chef dinners, Wine tasting, gourmet pot lucks, crêpes parties, craft cocktail happy hours, sushi making parties, high tea and more!

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Events in Restaurants

Premium private prix fixe dining. We partner with a variety of restaurants all over Greater Portland.

Join community

Join the Community

Be connected to each other and become part of the local and global Friends with Forks Community. 

Grow with us

Grow with us

Get in on the ground floor and help build a membership that you love.

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Locked in price

You are locked in at this low price as long as you stay an active member.

Who is Friends with Forks for?

This is for you if you...

  • Are new to town and want to meet people

  • Want to try out that new restaurant on the corner but don't want to go by yourself

  • Are a foodie

  • Miss throwing dinner parties

  • Are hungry for some spicy conversation with like minded folk

  • Love being a part of building something amazing

  • Want to make a difference

Happy guys and girls having talk by dinner while sitting by served table in cafe

What Friends with Forks Members are saying:

"This club is a healing experience. A reset for COVID." - Suzy

"I love food, and I like trying to find community. This feels like a nice kind of coming out party."- Susan 

"As an adult man, it is hard to find other men who are available for a friendship. At a Friends with Forks event, I met a fellow single man, who has become one of my best friends. I am grateful that Dinner Mates provided an environment for easily meeting like-minded people".- Andre

"People who like to eat and drink generally enjoy the company of other people who like to eat and drink, and Portland is a very friendly town, and so this works."- Nathan

"Friends with Forks creates a particularly welcoming kind of atmosphere."- Marcia

Meet your Founder!

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Grey sweater LS GOOD

Laurel Chiten

Founder

Laurel Chiten was an award winning independent filmmaker for over 30 years (Blind Dog Films). She was also a foodie and lived in Manhattan.

One summer day in 2019, she walked into a restaurant around from where she lived, and  had a vision of people in her neighborhood sitting around a table eating together.

That was it! The idea of Friends with Forks was born! She dropped her film career, made a 180 degree turn to make this dream come to life. It took off like a rocket.

But when the pandemic hit, Dinner Mates took a pause. During the pandemic Laurel moved to Portland ME and started up Friends with Forks again. 

Friends with Forks was created to bring people together, to make a difference in our personal lives, and our world.

Our mission is: Break Bread, Make Friends, Build Community.

One meal at a time.

Here's some of what you get as a Member

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Invitation to a variety of events each month

Members are invited to at least two premium dining events each month. Sometimes in restaurants, public spaces or in private homes.

A taste of some of the restaurants we have partnered with so far: Broken Arrow in Portland, Broad Arrow Farm in Bristol, Dara Bistro in Cumberland, Chez Rosa in Kennebunk,  Lucky Cruise and Lobster Company in Peaks (a cruise with a lobster bake), etc.

Private Chef Events

We are now partnering with top professional chefs to create exclusive dinner parties in private homes including several who were voted Best Chefs of the year.

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Andre and Lynn

Host your own event!

As a member you can set up your own event in your home. Crêpe parties, high tea, craft cocktail making parties, and gourmet dinner parties.  Anything you want to do around food gatherings, we will support. The sky is the limit.

Friends with Forks platform will do all the ticketing and the administration details for you. All you have to do is enjoy being a host.

Access to the exclusive member site

Once you sign up as a member, you will be given access to the member only part of our website where you can purchase tickets, and learn about other activities and information. Site will be updated frequently.

Upcoming Events (1000 × 1000 px)
Upcoming Events (1000 × 1000 px)

Connect with the community via our private app

We have partnered with a company who has created a social app designed for building community engagement. Once you join you invited to create your own profile and easily connect with other members with similar interests, dialogue with each other about restaurants, food, shared topics, and more!

Create impact

Want to create foodie events to raise money for your favorite charity? Many events are set up to collect donations. Want to focus on discussing a particular topic or raise awareness about a cause? You can design your own small private events.

Women for Ambassador page

BONUS: Surprise pop up events!

Portland is a foodie town filled with great restaurants and eating activities. You just never know what exciting event might be added to the calendar at the last minute. Well... just for fun!

DM events template (4)

Special 1-month Free Trial
for Edible Maine 

Only $195/annual

Come try us out for a month for free. No risk!
Offer ends May 1st.

Cancel any time before the free trial ends. After a month you'll be billed for the annual subscription

FAQ

 

Of course. You can easily cancel on the website any time during the 30 day trial. 

At the end of your month trial, you will be automatically billed for a year.

No. Tickets to our events, which cover the prix fixe cost of the meals, are not included in the price of membership.

The cost of the meal is determined by the individual venues. All the money for the meals goes directly to the restaurant, chefs or hosts. Friends with Forks only takes a small admin and processing fee.

Once you sign up, you will be invited into the private membership site. You can manage your membership there, including cancellation, changing your password, address, etc. 

Yes! You can always cancel, no questions asked. Your membership will automatically cancel when the year is over.  

Of course! You are always welcome to rejoin, but the price might be higher.

No! Most people come alone and find it an inclusive atmosphere and easy to get into a lively conversation. The mission of Friends with Forks is to create a comfortable space for members to make new friends while sharing a meal. 

Yes! Members are allowed to bring guests to our events, however, only members are able to purchase tickets to events. Guests cannot attend events unaccompanied by a member and guests must pay an additional surplus charge.

The ticket price for our restaurant and private chef range from around $55.00 to $90.00 depending on the event. Price includes all taxes and gratuity.

The price for the home hosted events is around $20.00-$50.00 depending on the event.

Sometimes the restaurants will include wine or cocktails pairing a separate add on. You can always order drinks as a separate fee paid directly to the restaurant. 

Events are open to members first. They usually sell out before they are open to the public.

Sometimes, if we still have some spots left as we get closer to the date, we offer an event to non members at a higher price.

Great question! We are going to do our best to accommodate all members for the restaurant events. If we fill up quickly, we will try to add a second seating.  Plus, we always have a waiting list if we get cancellations. 

Every restaurant tries to accommodate dietary needs, but it depends on the restaurant. ie: If it is a seafood restaurant, it is hard to offer vegan options. 

We partner with restaurants that are either 1) well-established and have garnered great press, 2) newly opened and we have tested them ourselves, or 3) come highly recommended by members!

We try to include a variety of different culinary styles, venues, and locations.

Become part of the Friends with Forks revolution

Become a Friends with Forks Ambassador

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Thank you for your curiosity!

Join the Friends with Forks Community

Thank you for joining the 

Friends with Forks Community

Dinner Mates Club 

Get notified as soon as enrollment opens up again

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Thank you!

That's it for now.

While waiting, feel free to try out any event as a guest!

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