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 and venues

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

RC with bottle

Events in Restaurants

Premium private prix fixe dining. We take over the whole restaurant so we have the space to ourselves!

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.

Money 2

Locked in price

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

Say goodbye to eating alone!

With Friends with Forks, you will always find people to eat with.

Screen Shot 2019-09-20 at 11.06.38 AM

The joy of sharing a meal

No longer do you have to sit at the bar alone looking at your mobile phone.

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!

outside OK
Grey sweater LS GOOD

Laurel Chiten


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


Invitation to private curated events each month

Members are invited to a premium private dining events, sometimes in private homes or at a restaurant every month.

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

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.

Andre and Lynn

Private Home Events

We have begun to add this new feature. Individuals in the community are now hosting Friends with Forks events in their homes. They can include live music, speakers, private chefs, murder mystery dinners, and more.

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 are partnering 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, set up your own dining events, 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)

Everything you get today!




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. 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. 

We have started to add more home-hosted events because they allow for a more intimate dining experience for our members. 

The locations are quieter, more private, people can linger longer, and tend to cost less than restaurants. Plus we have the option of BYOB which greatly reduces the overall cost of the meal. 

The events can be member-hosted, where the member provides the food and theme, or we partner with a private chef. We are experimenting with several different kinds of private events, sometimes including presentations, etc. 

We are starting to add more home hosted events to our line up. Our goal is to offer at least 1 restaurant event and 1 smaller private home event per month, however some months might vary. 

Yes! Members are allowed to bring guests to some of our events, however, only members are able to purchase tickets to events. Guests must pay an additional surplus charge.

The ticket price for our restaurant events range from around $45.00 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. 

Most events are offered to members first. They usually sell out quickly.

All members in good standing are allowed to bring up to 2 people as their guests for an additional fee.

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


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


Thank you!

That's it for now.

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

Scroll to Top