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VOL. 128 | NO. 204 | Friday, October 18, 2013

Dishcrawl Brings Supper Club to Memphis

By Andy Meek

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Memphis is getting an underground “supper club” next month, the latest on an extensive list of events held under the banner of Dishcrawl Memphis.

The supper club will launch Nov. 20 at a secret location. Like the rest of Dishcrawl’s local events – which include various meet-up type events centered around different kinds of food – the supper club location and the chef involved won’t be revealed to ticket holders until 48 hours before the event.

FUQUA

Dishcrawl Memphis tends to do that with its events to instill a bit of mystery and fun. For the supper club, a group of foodies will gather for dinner with a yet-to-be-revealed chef. The dinner will include several courses, and the showcase of the event, according to Memphis Dishcrawl Ambassador Kim Fuqua, will be “the creative mind of the chef.”

She went on to explain how the Memphis supper club event was inspired partly by the social media-fueled spread of supper club events around the world. And she wanted Memphis to experience the same kind of pop-up dining event.

“The idea of secret supper clubs isn't a new one – it's been a global phenomenon for a few years now,” Fuqua said. “The concept centers around one chef, the location being a secret, and it unfolds with a multi-course chef's choice extravaganza of small plates.”

The event is the latest evidence underscoring how the Dishcrawl concept – which caters to foodies in 125 cities nationwide – has found a strong foothold in Memphis. Other cities with their own Dishcrawl events include San Francisco, New York, San Jose, Calif., and Philadelphia, among others.

According to Dishcrawl founder Tracy Lee, expansion of Dishcrawl to new cities is partly the result of serendipity and partly the result of people simply wanting it in their area. Previous Dishcrawl events in Memphis have included a vegan crawl, a taco crawl and food crawls focused on exploring different neighborhoods.

Among upcoming Dishcrawl events in Memphis is a “slider crawl” happening Downtown Nov. 6. For that one, local chefs will mix their creativity and personal style to create slider-focused items.

Fuqua also is planning another competition-style event similar to the Dishcrawl Battledish event held earlier this month, when a group of chefs faced off by preparing dishes to see whose would be judged the best in a variety of categories.

For the next event, the focus will be on pitting mixologists of Memphis against each other. That event will happen Dec. 12 at Alfred’s on Beale, and the website dishcrawl.com/cocktailwars includes more information.

“Guests will be able to watch mixologists perform their drinks, sample all of the cocktails, and vote for their favorites in each category,” Fuqua said.

Meanwhile, she’s also thinking about putting on some kind of “bacon battle” event, one where everything prepared would in some way feature bacon as part of it.

Coming up on Oct. 23 is a soul food crawl that will feature a handful of Memphis’ top soul food restaurants. Unlike the other food crawls that encourage participants to walk from one restaurant to the next, this one will carry participants around on a chartered bus.

That’s because Memphis’ soul food restaurants tend to be a bit spread out from each other, Fuqua said. In addition to trying out a few restaurants, participants also will learn a little about the history of Soulsville along the way.

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