There’s Underground Market, then there is Underground Dinning.
Underground Dinning is a growing trend here in USA. The concept is the chef/ or person who just love to cook, hosts the dinner at his/her private home instead of the restaurant. I read about it in the web news (ABC news did a small article on it) before, and have been itching to try it because:
1. Good way to interact with the chefs and ask them questions about cooking.
2. I want to try dinning in a more intimate setting instead of the busy, hustling restaurant.
3. I want to meet more people in the San Francisco area.
I accidentally stumble upon such a group called The Grub Club at Meetup.com. They are still in beta and testing the concept, but now accepting new chefs and foodies. I signed myself up, and been waiting for a chance to be involved either as a chef or as the foodies.
Finally there was dinner that matched my schedule. This time is a dinner by Chef Adams, the first chef at The Grub Club/GoGrubly. Chef Adams use to go fishing a lot and his brother is a fisherman in Alaska right now, so tonight’s dinner is Guacamole, Halibut Fish Tacos, and Fresh Fruit & Sorbet.
There were about 8 people who signed up for the dinner, and I have never met any of them before. When we arrived at Chef Adam’s place, he just finished making the guacamole for the appetizer. Chef Adam is from Texas, and gladly shared his secret ingredient that spice up the guacamole …jalapeno and Jalapeno juice.
We had people from New Zealand, Europe, and locals in the bay area. During dinner, all the guests mingled pretty well and we had many interesting conversations ranging from everyone’s daily jobs to healthcare system, researches, new technology, and cooking experience. Pretty random I know, but it was a great way to connect and network with others in town. (And gets a peek at each others opinions and personality)
I really loved the dinner and want to try out more different chefs’ dinner. I know they have chefs who specialize in organic food, vegetarian, Italian….etc. I recommend this kind of dinning experience not just for locals, but for people who are traveling and wants a piece of the local American flavor in their travel experience. It is a great way to have a cultural exchange and have an excellent dinner without the stress of choosing a restaurant and waiting in line for food!
Overall I think:
Atmosphere: 5 (out of 5) You get to meet people and the chef in a more intimate setting.
Food: 4 (out of 5) Really depends on the chef you signed up for (and what you like to eat), but usually GoGrubly screens their chefs before they host a dinner/lunch. Each chef have his/her own specialty.