Bruno Enciso: Tallahassee’s Youngest Culinary Success

Over the weekend I ventured to Tallahassee’s best-kept secret underground restaurant. Hidden in spirals of road in a cozy house illuminated by multicolored holiday lights, were two carefully displayed oak tables, lined with chairs and decorated with candles and plants held in tiny glass jars. This pop-up shop only happens once a month, and it features a three-course meal cooked by fellow FSU student and aspiring chef Bruno Enciso. A man whose steady confidence and light humor make for a pleasant dining host. I sat down to talk to Bruno about his dinner club, how it got started, what it means to him, how you can experience it, and most importantly, the food.

Her Campus (HC): Tell me how you got started in the kitchen.

Bruno Encisco (BE): You mean how I got started in the dining room, right? My Grandmothers and my Mom, they would really show me delicious food my whole childhood so that’s what I’m most grateful for. But my Father, who is not a cook, and I mean like really not, like burns water bad. He would always take me to restaurants—he loves food—and he wanted to show me what was delicious and was never pretentious about it.

HC: Can you explain to me in your own words what Eudaimonia is and how it was inspired?

BE: It’s a monthly (One night) pop-up restaurant/dinner party usually hosted out of our home or a friend’s home. We never serve less than a 3-course meal always informed by a youthful atmosphere. I wanted to bring something different to Tallahassee’s food scene after a year of eating Chinese and pizza. A documentary called Paladar came out about kids doing something similar at USC and so, with respect and inspiration from their vision I decided to recruit my roommates Jacob and David into this crazy idea of a project which they’ve honestly have both been so supportive and helpful and patient to my inner tyrant.

HC: What do you want people to take away from such a unique dining experience?

BE: It’s important for the guest to feel like they’ve discovered something, right? I mean sure You can just have a dinner over at a friend’s house but I’m more concerned with strangers eating together and finding something in common- I think that’s weird and risky. So initially it’s this shock value of not knowing what you’re getting yourself into, yeah? But then after that, after entertainment, after the theater of it all, the food has to be good. Not only that but it has to be different. So we like to keep it seasonal and not repeat the menus. I want the guests to let me take a risk for them and show them something new.

HC: Let’s talk about what people really want to read: how is the food? What are you cooking?

BE: Oh man. Well, I’m really inspired by David Chang and a lot of younger chefs. I spent the summer working at Ramen Hood in DTLA for Rahul Khopkar and I mean the energy of his staff was just so full and the food so impressive. So I like to explore the nuances of vegetables and do a lot of tributing dishes that remind me growing up.

HC: How do people sign up for a seat?

BE: They can always follow our Facebook! (Eudaimonia Dinner Club) We usually post our events and ideas there. Also, anyone interested can just send an email to [email protected].

All images are courtesy of Bruno Enciso.​​