We’re excited to introduce you to TRUFFL, a private members’ community for entrepreneurs, creatives, and thought leaders. The online platform focuses on people’s interests, and the hand-curated events bring together at least two experiences, such as dining, music, art, fashion or film. TRUFFL CEO Raphael Farasat wants you to have “once in a lifetime experiences, often.” Think underground sushi dinners, fancy wines and even throw a Cuban cigar in the mix. The club quickly becoming all the rage in Los Angeles, where people in the community have already started stepping up and creating events themselves. Have a read of the interview below:
LF: Hi Raphael, how are you? Would you kindly introduce yourself and TRUFFL to our readers?
RF: I’m doing great. I’m the founder and CEO of TRUFFL, a private members’ community for entrepreneurs, creatives, and thought leaders. Through our proprietary online platform, we learn our members’ tastes and interests then create unique and intimate experiences that speak to those interests. Each intimate event is created for a group of 40 or less people and each is held in a unique – and at times surprising – location across the city. TRUFFL members get access to events like private album listening parties, underground dinners, classes with street artists and chefs, and more — all among a community of similarly adventurous and interesting people.
LF: Why did you start TRUFFL?
I started TRUFFL to bring the best aspects of travel to people in their own cities. I loved the discovery and newness of traveling to other cities, but found that I tended to fall into the same routines when I got back home because of being busy with my career and comfortable in my old habits. I also wanted to build community among people across industries by giving them access to incredible experiences in their own cities that they couldn’t plan themselves.
LF: What makes these events so special?
RF: First and foremost, it’s the people. We’re focused on slow and steady growth, ensuring every member has something to contribute to the community because they are doing interesting things with their career, creative pursuits, or causes they are involved with. We pride ourselves on creating unique experiences, but, in the end, the events themselves are just a context for these people we find inspiring to connect with one another.
Each event brings together at least two mediums, such as dining, music, art, fashion and film. For example, our recent Electro Omakase event featured an album preview concert by Active Child paired with an underground sushi dinner by supper club, the Ceviche Project, held in a converted downtown warehouse space.
LF: What was your favorite highlight from any TRUFFL event so far?
RF: Our goal with our events is to offer members “Once in a Lifetime Experiences. Often.” So, my favorite highlight was from our first DRC Wine Dinner, which featured over $120,000 of wine (100% of it donated by our members) for just 12 people, from the world’s most rarefied and well-regarded wineries, Domaine de la Romanée-Conti.
We paired the wines with an amazing 12-course dinner from underground supper club BRK Dining, and held it in a stunning members’ home. We topped off the night with some 100-year-old cognac, smuggled French epoisse cheese, and Cuban cigars.
Aside from that, it’s been really inspiring how the community has stepped up to create events themselves. We usually have our events held in members’ homes, dinners cooked by underground chefs and featuring artists and musicians who have volunteered, as part of our member-base to be part of our experiences.
LF: If there was no budget or time constraints, what would be your dream night out?
RF: I’m going to take the no time limits literally and add a no location constraint.
I’d start with beers on the beach on Ko Phangan in Thailand, where Full Moon Parties are held. The energy and beach there are both amazing.
Then steaks at La Cabrera in Buenos Aires, probably my favorite restaurant in the world, with steaks so tender you can cut them with a spoon.
After that, cocktails and a concert in Melbourne Australia — my favorite city because of its incredible music scene and speakeasies
For late night eats, we’d head to Sushi Daiwa in the fish market in Tokyo. They open at dawn with a long line, for some of the most amazing sushi I’ve ever had.
LF: What is your favorite thing about Los Angeles?
RF: I love how each neighborhood is like its own city. Venice has a fast-growing startup community; great bars, coffee, and restaurants; and you can get around everywhere by walking or biking. Downtown is growing and evolving so fast — the sense of community among locals and exciting new restaurants make it a really exciting place to be. Silver Lake, Santa Monica, West Hollywood, and Manhattan beach all have their own self-contained feel, community, nightlife and food. If you’re willing to explore, it can feel like you’re traveling just by heading to different neighborhoods in the city.
LF: How do you feel about the creative community around here?
RF: The creative community has always centered around the entertainment industry. But there’s a new wave of creatives focused on tech, design, and hospitality that is bringing new energy to the city. We’ve worked with everything from artisanal hatmakers to lawyers-turned underground chefs to industrial furniture designers. Many people seem to be leaving more traditional jobs to pursue passion projects, making this a really exciting place to find creative collaborations and get inspired.
LF: Who would be your dream person to attend a TRUFFL event?
RF: Anthony Bourdain.
LF: Where do you see your company in 5 years?
RF: I see us as a private community with 3,000 handpicked entrepreneurs and creatives in every major city across the world, connected by a common ethos and unique experiences that we provide. We want to be a resource for these members to collaborate with one another and play a part in making their lives more connected and interesting.