About the Paladar

Established in January of 2012, Polly's Paladar grew out of one woman's dream and quickly became the culinary journey of an entire community. Polly's Paladar Supper Club remains a place of adventure and empowerment for all who partake.

What is a Paladar?
Paladar is a term that in Spanish translates literally to "Palatal" and is used with that meaning in the Spanish speaking world, however in Cuba is used exclusively to refer to restaurants run by self-employers. Mostly family-run businesses, Paladares are fundamentally directed to serve as a counterpart to state-run restaurants for tourists seeking a more vivid interaction with Cuban reality and looking for homemade Cuban food. The term in popular usage has its origin in the Brazilian soap opera Vale Tudo, shown in Cuba in the early 1990s. "Paladar" was the name of the chain of restaurants run by Rachel Accioli, the protagonist, played by Regina Duarte. The broadcast of that soap opera coincided in time with the first issue of licenses for self-employers’ work in Cuba, so Cuban popular culture designated the then-new type establishments by this name. Privately owned small restaurants have always existed in Cuba. Until the 1990s they were illegal, but the fall of the USSR and the resulting economic crisis in Cuba forced the government to make the economic reforms of 1993. One of the items in those reforms was the legalization of privately owned small businesses as restaurants. Since its inception, the Paladares were subjected to limitations by the Cuban government concerning the amount and type of products they could offer, hiring of the labor force and the number of seats they could have. The process of renewal of the economic model started in 2010 led to a review of these measures resulting in a substantial increase in the number of Paladares. The models that emerged are quite diverse, ranging from the typical business set up in a family home, up to more elaborated variations including different types of cuisine in rooms specially designed or modified for the activity. Similarly, while most retailers offer Cuban food, and Italian food, which is very popular in Cuba, others have produced more ambitious projects combining local cuisine with Mediterranean and international elements. We chose this name, not because we are Cuban, but because the name lent itself to exactly what we wanted to accomplish. The world could use a bit more vivid interaction. SaveSave SaveSaveSaveSaveSaveSave SaveSave
How Does it Work?
Established in January 2012, the mission of Polly's Paladar was to showcase gifted cooks from all over the world, and it worked. Once news of a secret supper club tucked away in the historic district of our little gold rush town hit the neighborhood, the project took off. Since then, we have successfully become a Nevada City institution and food destination. It has changed the way we approach food and the way we gather. Taking the standard supper club model and retrofitting it for our region had value immediately. We showcase local farms, small businesses, regional artists, musicians, and donate to a non-profit every month. We proudly pay a living wage to our rotating team and do not discriminate based on age, gender, orientation, religion, or political affiliation. Our visitors come from all over the world, and so do we. Hand-picked guest chefs, who have gone through extensive interview processes, prepare their menu and we serve it. Live music swells the place with charm. Art lines the walls and charges the room with color. Diners spend over two hours surrounding handmade tables, heirloom silverware, and meticulously crafted arrangements. The supper club offers one dining event per month to our brilliant and audacious membership base. Sign up to receive your monthly newsletter invitations below. This design makes Polly's Paladar unique. Members won't find a typical restaurant experience here. They will find new friends, new flavors, and maybe even brand-new interests. To our guests, what we aspire to convey, is how delicious gathering can be. We hope your experience motivate you in your kitchen. We pray it expands the palates of patrons who didn't believe they were food lovers before. We hope you find that nourishing yourself is more vital than calorie counting or solely fuel to exist. Much love can go into preparing food, and that is what can enrich our lives the most. Since Polly's paladar was born, we have produced over 60 curated events. Published in Outside Magazine, SF Chronicle, Union Newspaper, Sierra Food Wine Art, and many blogs, Polly's Paladar has earned recognition in the food industry of Northern California. We have raised funds for Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, South Yuba River Citizens League, Sierra Harvest, Hospitality House, The Bear Yuba Land Trust, the Nevada County Midwives Collective, the Child Advocates of Nevada County, and are adding more non-profits to that list every year.
Who Are We?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Megan Hart, Director

Megan has 20 years of experience in public relations and event planning. After studying theater in college, she began traveling, eventually settling in Stockholm, Sweden which she utilized as her home-base to tour Europe. During this time, she fell in love with food culture. Megan started her career in Tulsa, Oklahoma, where she worked in the restaurant industry, organic grocery stores, as a personal assistant, and au’pair. She moved to Nevada County in 2002 and is grateful to call this place home since. Megan recognized the need for an innovative enterprise that would also support her family’s needs. Thus, Polly’s Paladar was born. She specializes in complex, high-profile events and particularly enjoys working for causes that benefit the environment, children, indigenous rights, and women’s rights issues. She is a proud member of Equity at the Table, a practical and proactive response to the blatant gender and racial discrimination that plagues the food industry. EATT is an easy-to-navigate database for food industry professionals featuring only women/gender non-conforming individuals and focusing primarily on POC and the LGBTQ community. It’s better to “build a longer table, not a higher fence.”2018 will be her seventh year as Executive Director of Polly’s Paladar Supper Club.

Alan Gosker, Kitchen Manager

A native of Galway, Ireland, and a graduate of the Galway Culinary School, he began cooking in continental Europe before moving to Australia.Alan spent three years with the acclaimed vegan, pay as you feel restaurant Lentil as Anything in 2007.  Once home, Alan took over a successful farm to table project as Head Chef of Dela on the West coast of Ireland in 2013 with his wife, Delilah.  There he married his international experiences with progressive modern Irish cuisine.  In 2016 he co-founded the non-profit pay as you feel One World Tapestry, empowering asylum seekers to express their food culture, promote integration, and visualize a multi-cultural future for Ireland. In 2017 Alan trained at Michelin Star Loam under Enda McEvoy and was nominated for Best Chef in Connaught, Ireland.  Alan is now a Nevada County resident.

Sasha Coben-Scott, Office Manager

 

Shawn Hart, Web Developer

Rob Totoonchie, Photographer

Little Robert Totoonchie started experimenting with photography at the age of 10 when he got his hands on an old Yashika. As a kid growing up in picturesque Nevada City, a camera was seldom out of arm’s reach. After his formal education took him to Northern Arizona University and resulted in a BS in Environmental Education and another in Environmental Science, Rob’s appetite for the arts persisted and so did his taste for travel. Following time in Maine and Guatemala, Nevada City family and the Yuba River called him home. It was then Rob found himself as a guest at a Paladar in 2013 and he approached Megan about shooting a supper club event should she ever find herself in need of another photographer. Which she did. Now, many years later, Rob continues to find inspiration and a reinvigoration month after month as Polly’s Paladar’s sanctioned documentarian, shooting a vast majority of the events since 2014.

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