I caught up with the always-busy Paul Somerhausen on Wednesday and learned that his foodie group Sacramento Epicureans is busier than ever. Readers may recall that I wrote about Sacramento Epicureans back in October and shared with you Somerhausen's passion for exposing people to all kinds of food experiences, from high-profile places like The Kitchen to lesser-known casual ethnic eateries like Macau CafÃ© and the many new food trucks on the scene.
The growth of his group says something about this area's rise as a true culinary city with its own personality. We don't get the attention or acclaim that Napa and the Bay Area do, of course, but there's a distinct uptick in the quality of the eating experience here and the enthusiasm for going out and finding it. Just ask Somerhausen.
"The group has more than doubled in size within the first two months of the article, from 300 and change to over 800 now," he told me. "The energy and enthusiasm that's coming from it has spurred me to do more events."
Participants learn about upcoming events through a group mailing list.
"The events are selling out in an hour or two. As soon as I post them, they are selling out," he said.
Somerhausen has booked events months ahead. Even a dinner at The Kitchen, where Sacramento Epicureans reserved the entire 54-seat restaurant, is fully booked and has a waiting list - and the dinner isn't until Sept. 21. For other events, there has been so much interest he has had to do two of them back to back.
"In the past, I would approach a restaurant and say 'I'm going to bring a group of 20.' Now I say to the restaurants, 'How many people can you fit?'"
You don't have to be a devout foodie to participate. In fact, one of the great things about food is how it brings all kinds of people together. Sacramento Epicureans is about seeking out good meals in cool places, but it's also about socializing, meeting new people and sharing in new experiences.
Signing up is free. The only costs is for the events in which you participate. If you're interested, get on the group's mailing list by going to the website here.
Blair Anthony Robertson is The Bee's restaurant critic. Follow him on Twitter, @blarob.