Eating dinner at home just got a lot classier thanks to Stephen and Nicolas Servis.
After working as chefs at various Bucks County restaurants for a decade, the Warrington/Doylestown twins pivoted during the COVID-19 pandemic to launch Servis Events, which offers an intimate, multi-course dining experience right in a client’s house or apartment.
“We do a five- to six-course sitdown dinner just like you would get in a restaurant. We bring all the silverware, all the plates, all the cookware, all the food,” said Stephen. “We serve, we educate, we talk about our technique, about the farms associated with it, about the health benefits. Everything is seasonal, everything is locally sourced.”
Since founding Servis Events several months ago, the tattooed twins have prepared meals for a slew of occasions, from surprise birthday parties to couples who simply needed a night off from cooking. Everything, including personalized menus, are brought by Stephen and Nicolas. They also bring all dirty cooking items home with them so that the sounds of running water and clattering dishes don’t ruin the ambiance.
All the client needs to provide is alcohol since Servis doesn’t have a liquor license. However, the brothers will recommend wine and cocktails that pair well with the food.
Entrée options include chicken, duck, fish, pork, vegetarian, steak or steak and lobster. In addition to the main dish, the dinner includes an amuse bouche (one- or two-bite starter), one or two small plates, a fresh seasonal salad, an intermezzo (small course to cleanse the palate) and dessert. Coffee is offered at no added cost. Servis caters to allergies, dietary restrictions and overall preferences, though Stephen urges clients to venture outside of their comfort zone.
“We do encourage them, if it sounds a little different, unique or odd, if you’re not allergic to it, try it. We’re not serving bad food,” he stressed. “If it’s not gonna kill you but you’re not used to it, try it.”
For Stephen and Nicolas, Servis Events has a two-fold mission – to share their passion for farm-to-table and form genuine connections with people.
The two were introduced to organic farming and sustainable living following a decade of cooking at Ardana, Slate Bleu, Bucks County Country Club and other area eateries. When the pandemic hit, the Middle Bucks Institute of Technology and Bucks County Community College graduates found themselves stuck at home, unable to return to the kitchen. There seemed to be no light at the end of the COVID-19 tunnel.
But after watching the documentary The Biggest Little Farm, which chronicles a couple who moved from Los Angeles, California to buy and maintain a sustainable farm, Stephen and Nicolas were inspired to learn more. They enrolled in WWOOF (Worldwide Opportunities on Organic Farms) – a movement that pairs interested individuals with an organic farmer – and landed a two-month educational exchange in Maine.
At first, the farm owner was hesitant to welcome the Servis’ to his property. A devout Christian, their tattoos, facial piercings and dreadlocks were not his cup of tea. Still, he gave them a chance and a lasting friendship was made.
“We now talk to this guy every week in a mastermind meeting,” Stephen said, adding that the farmer was instrumental in helping them get Servis Events off the ground.
Being isolated on the farm, away from technology, traffic and other distractions, allowed Stephen and Nicolas to form a deeper appreciation of how food can bring people together. Every night, they sat down with the farmer and his family for dinner, holding hands during the blessing and genuinely enjoying each other’s company.
“In the modern world we live in, everyone’s too fast-paced,” said Stephen. “It’s about friends, relationships, connections.”
They also gained an understanding of farm-to-table and the importance of knowing where food comes from. All ingredients used in Servis Events meals, including cheese, vegetables and meat, come from local sources.
“There’s maybe two or three other people who touched this food before we got it,” said Stephen.
Upon returning to Bucks County in September and assimilating back into normal life, their goal was to bring that close-knit feeling felt at the farmer’s table to as many people as possible. Stephen and Nicolas began promoting Servis Events and landed their first dinner in October.
“We haven’t had off since,” Stephen said.
Servis Events will travel anywhere in Bucks County, as well as Philadelphia and New Jersey. They typically arrive an hour before to set up, with the average event lasting about three hours. Occasionally, Stephen and Nicolas find themselves at the house hours after the meal concludes because they’ve sparked an enjoyable conversation with the client. Three-course, one-and-a-half-hour weeknight meals are also available.
While there’s no limit to the number of guests the twins will serve, Stephen stressed that everyone present eats the same thing. Since they’re buying whole animals, it would be a waste to serve one chicken breast from a full chicken for an individual dish.
Stephen recommends interested clients reach out as soon as they know they wish to hire Servis Events. It takes at least five days for them to get ready for a dinner.
Regarding COVID-19 safety protocols, they’ll wear masks if the client asks them to, though none have done so yet.
“Many tell us how they forgot about COVID during those few hours. They were finally with friends,” said Stephen. “A lot of people see it as an escape in the comfort of your own house.”
Message Servis Events at facebook.com/servistwinsevents or on Instagram @servisevents for more information.
Samantha Bambino can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org