I recently attended an event where I didn’t know many people, and instead of standing around awkwardly and pretending to text on my phone, I chatted up a few folks, I met some new people and gave my introverted self a nice pat on the back.
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There was one gal in particular that I thought I would enjoying getting to know better and perhaps even becoming her friend. It’s weird -- in adulthood, it’s not as simple as saying to them “wanna be friends” the way you could in kindergarten. Instead you dance around the friend subject until it’s time to invite them for coffee, or interview them for Dayton.com, right?
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So, I thought I’d test out my theory that you can learn a lot about another person but finding out what they like to eat. I’ve tried it with other new folks in my life by asking “What would you eat as your last meal?” This simple question offers a little insight into your potential friend’s personality, their values and personal tastes.
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The new friend in question is girl about town Katy Kelly. Katy moved to Dayton in 2010 and has been working at the University of Dayton’s Library for the past seven years. As a librarian, Katy’s job gives her the opportunity to teach, help students with research, and market and plan special events. The diversity in her work, and the relationships she has built with her coworkers are part of the reason she loves her work so much. But what does Katy like to do outside of work? Read and eat. Reading comes with the librarian territory, but it’s the eating part that I’m most interested in learning more about.
So I asked Katy where she would choose to eat if she had one last meal to enjoy in Dayton. Her choice? Wheat Penny Oven and Bar. She's got a particular pizza in mind: the Matterhorn. The Matterhorn is a white sauce pie with shaved speck (cured pork), a housemade ricotta, spicy rosemary honey, and fresh ground black pepper.
“The cheeses all blend perfectly together and with every bite you really can taste the spicy rosemary honey drizzled on top. I love the combination of salty, sweet and spicy. Wheat Penny is a great place to take visiting friends and family and it's definitely my go-to.”
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The downtown dining scene in particular attracts Katy. From Lily’s Bistro’s patio and special events to Corner Kitchen’s rosé selection, or Canal Street Arcade and Deli’s craft beer selection, there’s something unique at every turn. Wheat Penny tops the list for Katy because of the food’s wonderful flavor combinations and their friendly, well-trained staff. It’s that creative and collaborative spirit of Wheat Penny that Katy also finds reflected in Dayton, in general. “I love that Dayton residents feel empowered to create positive change. I am inspired by all of the creative and driven people that make live fun and compelling here.”
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Katy flexes her own creative muscles with the PechaKucha Dayton Team. PechaKucha is a quarterly idea-sharing party and networking event.
“When I moved here, PK Nights quickly became my favorite thing to look forward to throughout the year. I feel honored to be able to help carry on the PK tradition,” she said.
In my effort to make a new friend, I learned a lot about her tastes and interests. If you want to get to know the creative side of Dayton or meet Dayton's favorite librarian herself, check out the upcoming PechaKucha event on Thursday, Oct. 26, and plan to stop by Wheat Penny on your way home for the Matterhorn. You can see what all the sweet, smoky, spicy fuss is about!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Tess is a restaurant professional, home-baker and downtown Dayton dweller. When she's not mixing drinks for restaurant patrons, she's drinking champagne, buying shoes, or writing her blog, Ciao Vella. You can read about her home recipes, party planning tips, and more at www.CiaoVellaBlog.com.