Shedding Light on Dinner in the Dark
You might recall from our last post that we hosted Dinner in the Dark at Urban Farmer Cleveland on August 14th. While we couldn’t reveal much then, we can now shed light on the great people and food behind this fun and unique event.
For those of you not familiar, Dinner in the Dark is a monthly event that brings together six different chefs to cook a six course meal together at different restaurants around Cleveland. The participating chefs and the menu are not revealed until the guests arrive, keeping them ‘in the dark.’ The concept was created by Brian Okin and Jeff Jarrett as a way to bring together Cleveland chefs and food lovers to share their passion and compassion, as ticket proceeds benefit a local charity chosen by the participating chefs.
As guests arrived for the August 14th event they were greeted with a signature cocktail and the anxiously awaited menu was unveiled. Each of the six courses began with the dedicated chef sharing his inspiration with guests and an accompanying wine to compliment the selection.
The meal began with an octopus terrine and tongue pastrami amuse bouche, created by Urban Farmer Chef, Travis Gunter. Next, Chef Matt Del Regno, of Levy Restaurants and Huntington Convention Center, shared his squash blossom, duck, sweet and sour plum and local chevre appetizer. The appetizer course was completed by a second selection of Hamachi- peaches, blueberries, basil and miso cream vinaigrette created by Urban Farmer’s very own Chef de Cuisine, Anthony Bernal.
After enjoying the opening courses and wine pairings, guests were ready for the salad created by Chef Christopher Kocsis, of The Burnham, that consisted of sweet corn panna cotta, corn meal cracker, frisee, heirloom tomatoes, and paprika vinaigrette. Barramundi, goan curry, and basmati rice were featured for the seafood entrée, created by Chef Rasul Welch, of Polpetta.
Next, palates were refreshed with Urban Farmer Executive Chef Vishwatej Nath’s champagne rosemary sorbet intermezzo, which included summer flower petals, sea salt and verjus rouge. A special feature wine, of 2015 ‘Meritage,’ provided by event partner M Cellars was served for the meat entrée, also created by Chef Vishwatej Nath. Smoked Wagyu-mi cuit, charred creamed corn, house grown chill mole sauce with foie gras and merlot jam spiced donut with maple syrup made this a standout entrée.
Last, but not least, the six course meal concluded with dessert. Chef John Selick, of Sodexo and University Hospitals, created the finale with honey roasted peaches, fried cornbread, bourbon sabayon, and crème fraiche ice cream. After a wonderful evening of food and drink, guests departed with full stomachs, new friendships and having helped The Refugee Response, the chosen charity for the event and partner of Urban Farmer.