Dinner Lab, a two and a half year old supper club, has been offering dining events in multiple cities from San Francisco to New York, New Orleans to Chicago showcasing up-and-coming culinary talent in unique venues. Dinner Lab announced today they are opening up membership for their eleventh city, Baltimore. The chefs who create these multiple course pop-up dinners might just be the sous chef from a favorite local restaurant or it could be a commis from any one of New York City’s finest restaurants. Members are asked to critique their meals and those chefs receiving high scores end up taking their food on the road, a passport to a culinary tour de force in multiple Dinner Lab cities.
No dinner is ever the same, no location is every the same with Dinner Lab – one dinner, never to be repeated again. Those with memberships receive priority notification of the pop-up dinners and the menus approximately 2 weeks in advance, what isn’t announced until the day prior to the dinner is the location. Venues can be in an old warehouse, a helipad, a fire hall or an abandon shopping center for example. Dinner Lab magically transforms an uncommon space into a casual dining experience featuring long communal tables, a platform for conviviality amongst the guests.
Dinner Lab pop-up dining events vary from $50 to $95, a reflection of the ingredients and number of courses. The dinner prices are all inclusive; food, beverages (beer, wine and cocktails), and gratuity – no money is every exchanged at the event. Founder and CEO Brian Bordainick quipped, “We like our guests to focus on eating, drinking and meeting one another.” Dinner Lab’s goal is to have at least one dinner every week and a number of well established cities are now having more.
Membership includes priority notification on the pop-up dinners, reduced pricing and entitles one to bring a guest at the member price and two additional guests at the non-member price. The membership fee is different for each city; District of Columbia, Los Angeles, New York are $175 where as New Orleans is $100, Atlanta $125 and Miami $150. The membership fee for Baltimore is $125. Memberships go quickly as reported by the New York Post, “The culinary club’s New York memberships sold out in less than 48 hours when they became available.” Other membership benefits are access to events in all other Dinner Lab markets and access to their exclusive events.
Baltimore’s first Dinner Lab dinner is scheduled for August 15 featuring Chef Nini Nguyen whose culinary CV includes Sucre, Coquette and Eleven Madison Park. Baltimoreans will enjoy a menu influenced by the flavors of her hometown New Orleans and her Vietnamese heritage. Local chefs, the up-and-comers, are invited to showcase what they want to create beyond the boundaries at the restaurants where they work or like Chef Nguyen, share their family story on the plate. For further information on membership or becoming a chef at one of the dinners, go to their website www.DinnerLab.com and follow them on Facebook.