Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Dinner Lab debuts Oct. 10

Dinner Lab (see here for background) launches Oct. 10 in Charlotte, with dinner from Atlanta-based chef Dustin Sandell, who's chef de cuisine full-time for Dinner Lab Atlanta. The idea is to let chefs can experiment outside the bounds of what they may typically do, and let diners assess their work -- the chefs get audience feedback, so they can tinker with what they're thinking about.

Diners join the organization, which is now in 20 cities, to get info on upcoming dinners. There's a membership fee of $125 per year in Charlotte, then each event is priced individually (typically in the $55-$85 range, we're told). This link to join offers $20 off a first dinner if you join. About half the time, the chef for an event will be from the home area, about half will travel in.

The menu for Oct. 10 (members will get an email with location and details about 24 hours before the event):
"The Bone": triple-filtered beef consomme with marrow cloud, barley and sage brittle
"The Leaf": pepper and watercress with local bacon, bleu cheese, cane vinegar and honey-grilled apple
"The Shell": crab pancake with crayfish butter, grilled lemon gel and chive blossom
"The Trotter": pork cheeks with foraged field peas and beans and smoked white corn relish
"The Grain": oatmeal crumble cake with bittersweet black sesame syrup and blackberry thyme sorbet

Sandell's bio, from the Lab: He's "a well read southern gentleman, with a penchant for exploration. Most say his food tastes like a Kerouac novel without the poor grammar. Whatever the case, this dinner will be an epic culinary journey ..."

More info at www.dinnerlab.com.