Two event professionals, use their passion to create Orlando’s best kept (dining) secret
ORLANDO, Fla. - Looking for your next date night idea? You need look no further than SubRosa Dining Experience, a brand new immersive SECRET pop-up dinner event in Orlando.
Created by two local event professionals, Keena Patel and Andrea Vigil, who have thought of everything to make this one of a kind dinner a memorable event. The catch? The location is not revealed until the day before the event.
That’s right, true to an authentic pop-up restaurant, SubRosa Dining Experience is always hosted in a different, temporary location that is only shared with ticket purchasers 24-hours in advance. The dinner is a culinary showcase and each menu item is a surprise until it’s served.
The dinners are intimate in size and the team has taken great precautions to ensure everyone’s safety while they dine.
“Each dining experience features collaborations with local Orlando chefs, venues, entertainment, and local Orlando businesses,” Keena shared. “Each dinner is created to take our guests on an inspirational food journey that will not only capture all their senses but will also inspire a human connection. In an ideal world, we would all be sitting at a communal table, sharing stories of our lives, and connecting as human beings.”
Andrea and Keena used their passion for travel and desire to bring people together as the foundation for SubRosa. Sub-rosa is Latin for “under the rose” which means happening or done in secret. It was a trip to Argentina that inspired the team to bring their fond memories home with them and turn them into a business.
“We absolutely love Malbec (wine) and so three years ago we decided to go to Argentina. One of the most amazing nights was when we went to Mendoza and we stayed at a bed and breakfast. The owner asked us if we would be interested in dinner, his grandmother was cooking, and all the guests were joining,” Keena recalled. “Obviously, we could not say no to Grandma's cooking and that night, we sat under the stars at a communal table with guests from all over the world and shared a meal. Food brought us all together…”
It is evident that the team at SubRosa puts a lot of work into each pop-up dining experience.
“We are incredibly passionate women and we put a lot of work into the small details of our events with everything from creating the actual serving apparatus to working with the chef on plating the food,” they shared. “We also take great pleasure in making individual connections with each of our guests which we believe makes their experience more enjoyable with us.”
Keena and Andrea’s passion for customer service and great guest experiences comes from years of working in the hospitality and event industry. Andrea, who owns her own event business has experienced extremely low business levels as a result of Covid-19.
“I feel very fortunate to have a career that I was able to create as my own way of living. I feel like everything we do in one way or another gives us each a learning opportunity. Every job I have had before and after owning Sublime Event Designs has taught me new things and helped me to grow,” Andrea said. “I truly feel like moving forward I have a strong foundation to build on. Sometimes the scariest moments are the unknown, but those moments might actually be the best times of your life. It all helps us grow!”
In July 2020, Keena was laid off from her full-time career as an event manager at a large resort in Orlando also as a direct impact of the pandemic. However, this created an opportunity for the friends to get together and figure out what was next for them.
“Being neighbors and friends, we would see each other during the pandemic on our daily quarantine walks, we decided that we could not sit idle and that we needed to do something. We missed working, we missed traveling, we missed meeting people and most of all sharing wonderful meals and creating memories,” they said. “We knew that we needed to bring people together, create an experience but also give back to the local hospitality community.”
Since the conception of SubRosa, the business model has transformed. Their main goal is to provide one-of-a-kind immersive dinners, however, the team has quickly realized they’ve become a platform to help other hospitality workers who are facing professional hardships due to the pandemic.
“Whether they are a chef just starting out, or a local business that has lost traction, we are a partner that they can reach out to,” Keena said. “We use our social media presence to promote all our partners that we have worked with to showcase their space, talents, and or business while immersing the guests in a unique experience.”
Currently, the team is working on the Couples Sensory Series and while ticket sales for that event have closed, the team has other series in the works.
“We have a Brunch Series that is more like a pop-up restaurant and family-friendly. Our third series Tantum which means “only” in Latin.... is geared to partnering with a local chef for one night only and it will feature an 8 to 10-course menu that will never be repeated at a unique location that reflects the wonderful workings of a Chef’s mind,” they shared.
The team is working on different pop-up concepts and plans on promoting many unique dinners in the coming months. And while we don’t know exactly the what and the where, one thing we know for sure, you have to follow SubRosa Dining Experience to know the when.
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