What do Forbes Magazine, Top Chef, and The New York Times have in common? They're hooked on a dinner pop-up concept called DinnerLab. Originating in New Orleans, DinnerLab pairs up-and-coming chefs from the cities' popular restaurants with diners looking for a fun, out-of-the-ordinary experience.
Dinners regularly sell out within minutes, and tickets for DinnerLab events in New York have a wait list of 5,000 people. Their locations can be as unique as the food, with past events hosted in abandoned warehouses, a church, helipads, above professional basketball courts in New York, and even in a Manhattan food court. Already in cities including Austin and L.A., DinnerLab is launching in Seattle with their first event on February 27.
How it works: DinnerLab collaborates with chefs from coveted restaurant kitchens such as New York's Gramercy Tavern to conjure up a multi-course menu. Don't worry. DinnerLab isn't looking to steal away talent from your favorite restaurants in town. Instead, they're aiming to give chefs who are excited about trying out a new concept or dish an evening to prototype it by giving them free reign to create their own menu. DinnerLab takes care of the rest by getting these chefs the best local meat and produce sources and a pimped-out venue and kitchen. The chefs are also given an opportunity to travel and bust out their menu in different cities.
How to get in on the action: DinnerLab sends out an upcoming dinner pop-up announcement to members a few weeks in advance with the name of a chef and menu. Tickets for the meal range from $50 to $95 per person, inclusive of food, booze, and gratuity.
To celebrate the launch of DinnerLab in the Emerald City, they're offering a discount on the annual membership of $50 to the first 250 people who sign up. If you're a chef and interested in the project, check out DinnerLab's careers page.