Kate Pauley

Coolstuff Team
October 20, 2023

Meet Kate, founder of the creative workshop & dinner party series, Create Dinners. Kate started Create Dinners to share her love of gathering and hospitality and since her first go at it in 2016, her dinners have expanded to workshops, intimate weddings, and branded events. We chatted with our friend to hear about how she builds community for people over food and craft and what cool stuff she’s working on next.

Portrait by Chellise Michael

What led you to start your world of Create Dinners?

I have an extremely creative group of friends and wanted to host a collaborative dinner that allowed all of them to showcase their different creative talents. I asked a florist to bring flowers for the table, a ceramicist to bring vases that the flowers could go in, a stylist to set the table, a graphic designer to design and print the menus, a chef to cook the meal, and I photographed everything. I also wanted to carve out space for us to gather and converse more intentionally -- somewhere that we could safely talk about our ups and downs, projects, accomplishments, and beyond. I never intended for it to become my full time job, but I'm so grateful it has, producing events for others and continuing to host our own. 

Photos by Chellise Michael

Do you have a favorite dinner you've hosted?

They've all been special for different reasons, but Dinner No. 21 from our Women's Dinner Series stands out. The theme was "Balance" so we focused on a black and white color palette, and wabi-sabi contributions, leaning into imperfections -- asymmetrical ramen bowls from Soluca Collections, a handmade paper-mâché sculpture by Sarah Gallina, and a tablecloth using different recycled fabrics by Blank Supply. Frank's House was the perfect serene setting for eating ramen and drinking sake, and the florals were simply stunning. I'm also just obsessed with Japanese design and culture, so it checked all my personal boxes. 

What’s your favorite part about the New York creative community? 

I love how supportive it is. I've never gone to a meeting with a creative where another introduction to another cool creative isn't made by the end of it. Everyone here truly loves connecting and collaborating. 

Photos & Tablescapes by Kate Pauley

What’s the best restaurant in NYC?

This is a truly impossible question to answer, but I'm a big fan of Dinner Party in Fort Greene. I used to live across the street from it and went in almost weekly from the time they first opened until we moved last year. I was so inspired to see a fellow female entrepreneur taking a risk, especially during COVID. Cami built something she felt passionate about and she's still crushing it -- the food is delicious, the decor is cozy, and I obviously love that it's a communal dining experience, much like our Create Dinners events. My husband and I even met another couple at Dinner Party who are now dear friends. 

What’s inspiring you right now? 

I'm deep in the final edits of Cin Cin, as we're sending things to print this week! I can honestly say that every time I read through the different essays and interviews in there, I'm inspired. The women we're featuring in this first publication are not only talented in their professions, but so hard working, humble, and kind. I want to be more like all of them! 

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