Any given week in Milwaukee there are typically a few pop-up dinners going on around town. Dinner Lab launches today in Milwaukee and operates a little differently than your typical pop-up dinner - such as one hosted by Amilinda - and it will host its first event locally Aug. 22.
In a nutshell, Dinner Lab is a membership-based service that requires payment upfront for access to its calendar. It isn't exclusivity Dinner Lab is aiming for with its subscription model, but the $125 annual fee (which you can purchase for the Milwaukee market starting today) helps subsidize the cost of dinners, hire staff, rent a kitchen, etc. Guests also pay for each dinner and have access to events in every city in which Dinner Lab operates.
Tickets are purchased through the website a few weeks prior to the event, and prices include tax, gratuity and alcohol. The locations are always untraditional and announced a few days before the event -- and based on locations of past dinners in other cities -- they do indeed look unique and different with venues such as rooftops, churches and more.
Milwaukee chefs will account for about 50 percent of the dinners and Dinner Lab will also bring in top performing chefs from other markets. Most of the local chefs will be the ones more in the background of a restaurant, not the top chef at the helm, which could provide a great opportunity for a local chef seeking to break out and try something different.
For these chefs, Dinner Lab is essentially data. All of that data is collected and crunched, leaving chefs with a detailed look at the positives and negatives of their experiences at Dinner Lab. They could then use the data to open their own restaurant someday, after they have already crafted and tested a menu.
The chefs are not told what to make, but instead are asked to tell a story through their menus – recipes that speak to their background or heritage, ingredients they are passionate about.
For the first Milwaukee event, Chef Daniel Espinoza brings his culinary delights from the Chicago area where he is Dinner Lab's chef de cuisine. His menu (below) should allow you to taste your way through his life experiences of traveling the world while holding onto his humble Mexical roots.
Anomar -- Modern Mexican Cuisine
Tiradito de Cobia: spiced chicharron, lemon curd, pickled grape, cilantro
Ensalada de Verdolagas: purslane, beets, pepitas, requeson
Tiayuda: masa flatbread, chicken carnitas, mushroom escabeche, mole
Puerco en Curtido: pickled pork tenderloin, celery root al pastor, charred pineapple, tortilla puree
Deep In Cider: apple mousse, cider cajeta gelee, walnut compote, cinnamon churro, tangerine gem
The idea of a unique location, a great opportunity for a local chef and what is sure to be delicious food is reason enough for me to plan to check out Dinner Lab. Maybe I will see you at one soon.
No Talkbacks for this article.
Post your comment/review now
Disclaimer: Please note that Facebook comments are posted through Facebook and cannot be approved, edited or declined by OnMilwaukee.com. The opinions expressed in Facebook comments do not necessarily reflect those of OnMilwaukee.com or its staff.
Recent Articles & Blogs by Carolynn Buser
Published Nov. 24, 2014
A recent article from The Culture Trip gave a list of "10 Best Bars in Milwaukee: Hip Hangouts & Top Cocktails" -- which got me thinking about which I would add.
Published Nov. 11, 2014
Starting today at 4:30 p.m. you can enjoy more than just your typical caffeine jolt from Anodyne Coffee Roasting Co.
Published Nov. 10, 2014
Vietnamese restaurant XANKIA will open later this year, giving Downtown Milwaukee a new option in dining.
Published Nov. 7, 2014
The Green Bay Packers take on the Chicago Bears at Lambeau Field this Sunday. Prime time. Sunday night football. These games always make me nervous. This video made me feel better.
Published Oct. 29, 2014
World of Beer on Brady St. opened in 2012 and was a weekend staple for many on the East Side of Milwaukee.
Published Oct. 27, 2014
Thrillist -- a website that focuses on food, drink, travel and being merry in general -- recently posted a list of nine of the best reasons to visit Wisconsin. We want to hear your addition for No. 10.
Published Oct. 22, 2014
Maybe you made it to the Milwaukee premiere of locally filmed and produced movie "The Surface" at the Milwaukee Film Festival. Whether or not you did, you should enter to win this great date night for the film's opening at Marcus Theaters North Shore!
Published Oct. 15, 2014
Camp Bar Tosa opens this Saturday with a ribbon cutting and more.
Published Oct. 14, 2014
A new option for wings, ribs and more opened last night at 1434 E. Brady St. Read on for a first look!
Published Oct. 8, 2014
Monday night I got the opportunity to visit 10th Street Brewery and have a beer with Dick Leinenkugel.