If you are anything like us, you’ve always wanted to speak fluent Spanish. Who doesn’t imagine themselves horseback riding on the beach at sunset with beautiful Spanish phrases rolling off their tongue? Okay, maybe that’s just us.
Kidding aside, the problem with wanting to learn a language is that it can seem intimidating and not a lot of fun. This is where The Take-Home Tutor, a new Detroit-based business, comes in to play.
We originally met Sean Omar, founder of The Take-Home Tutor, at Vicente’s Cuban in Detroit. As we sipped a couple of his creations – he was working on new drinks for Vicente’s cocktail menu – he explained how he came up with the idea.
After a few glasses of wine – or bottles, depending on who you ask – Omar noticed that his friends were eager to learn new phrases in Spanish, especially ones that related to wine and food. The more the wine flowed, the better everyone’s Spanish got (funny how that works!). A little research ensued and Omar found that a few libations reduced people’s inhibitions enough that they can learn and experiment with new words more freely. The idea for The Take-Home Tutor was born.
Being Michigan Chews & Brews, it’s not surprising that the Spanish wine and food aspect was right up our alley. A little Spanish thrown in sounded fun, too, so we booked The Take-Home Tutor for a party in our home. We didn’t know what to expect and were more than a little nervous. Our worry was totally unfounded, as we were blown away by the experience.
Omar and The Take-Home Tutor’s Alejandro Vales, Educational Coordinator, came over an hour before the party and started us out with a charcuterie board that was muy delicioso. The accompanying wine was selected and donated by Chef Roberto of Vicente’s Cuban.
Omar and Vales prepared the dinner right in our kitchen, talking about the recipes and filling us in on their backgrounds.
Omar grew up in mid-Michigan, but gained worldly experiences while studying in Argentina and Spain. He later earned his Master’s in Spanish at Central Michigan University, where he met Vales.
Born in Spain, Vales came to Michigan to attend Central Michigan University. Omar and Vales shared their love for teaching and imbibing, and the rest is history.
Both of their stories helped connect us to the food and wine. The passion behind The Take-Home Tutor was evident.
After friends arrived and the meal was prepared, the fun began. Dinner consisted of Spanish arugula salad, chimichurri sandwiches, and two kinds of empanadas (lamb with rosemary, and mozzarella with green onion). Everything was excellent. While we were eating, we got to learn a little background about what we were eating and how it was prepared.
When bellies were full and the wine started flowing, the interactive Spanish lesson began. It was the highlight of the evening.
Omar and Vales are not your boring high school Spanish teachers. We loved their fresh, unique, and engaging approach. It was so fun, you didn’t even realize you were being taught.
As we were guided through various conversational exercises, everyone did their best to absorb the words being taught and use them accordingly. There was no pressure or judging to be found. The only rules were that if you don’t know the answer, you could simply reply, “salud,” and everyone would take a sip. This certainly got the fun started.
Just when we thought the night couldn’t get any better, The Take-Home Tutor had us create fake Tinder profiles on paper using the Spanish words and phrases we learned earlier. To make our Tinder profiles complete, everyone hand-drew their profile photos. Needless to say, they turned out ridiculous and had everyone laughing hysterically.
We can’t stress enough how unique and fun this experience was. If you want to throw a dinner party that is sure to impress and delight your friends, this is the way to do it.
Not the dinner party type? No problem. The Take-Home Tutor will host a Spanish Learning Night on Wednesday, March 30th, at Vicente’s Cuban. The party will feature authentic food, wine, and of course the most entertaining Spanish lesson anywhere around.
1250 Library St
Detroit, MI 48226
Date: Wednesday, March 30, 2016
Time: 7:00 PM
Details: Four wines and four tapas will be served along with a fun Spanish lesson.
Price: $65/person. Reservations are recommended, but not required. Reservations may be made by calling (313) 962-8800.