Guest Who’s Coming to Dinner: Southern Chefs Team Up For One-of-a-Kind Menus

October 30, 2012 | By | Comments (5)
Chefs Aaron Taylor and Jeff McInnis

Chefs Aaron Taylor and Jeff McInnis (Photo courtesy of 50 Eggs)

All across the country, chefs are opening up their kitchens for the chance to cook with guest chefs. Featuring collaborative menus, these blink-and-you’ll-miss-them dinners are usually one-night-only affairs so book a seat for a meal you won’t soon forget. Here are five team-effort dinners we’re clamoring for.

1. Andrew Michael Italian Kitchen and Hog & Hominy
Host Chefs: Andy Ticer and Michael Hudman
Guest Chef: Tien Ho
October 30, 31
Memphis, Tennessee

Tonight chef Tien Ho (formerly of Má Pêche, part of the Momofuku empire in New York City) starts a two-night stint in Tennessee. First up is a late-night pop-up dinner at Hog & Hominy. Tomorrow night, Tien will join forces with Andy Ticer and Michael Hudman at Andrew Michael Italian Kitchen for a French-Italian-Asian tasting menu that will incorporate baby sardines, Newman Farm pork, and yellowfin tuna.
The Dish We’d Book a Flight For: Rice cakes made with lamb, sichuan pepper, buttermilk, and collard greens at Hog & Hominy
Call 901/207-7396 to reserve your seat.

2. Yardbird
Host Chef: Jeff McInnis
Guest Chef: James Petrakis
November 9
Miami, Florida

Jeff McInnis of Miami’s Yardbird is no stranger to sharing his kitchen. For the past six months, he’s hosted a different guest (including Cesar Zepata of The Federal and Aaron Taylor of STK) each Friday night during his Midnight Chef’s Table Series. “There are so many talented chefs in the region, and so much camaraderie, so we are really fortunate to have so many great guest chefs involved and collaborating on these dinners with us,” Jeff says. Catch Jeff cooking with James Petrakis from The Ravenous Pig in Winter Park, Florida.
The Dish We’d Book a Flight For: Crawfish boudin with shellfish chantilly and crispy pickled okra
For reservations, call 305/538-5220.

3. Taqueria del Sol
Host Chef: Eddie Hernandez
Guest Chefs: Amy Tornquist and Bill Smith
November 11
Atlanta, Georgia

After the success of the first Piggy Bank Dinner in July, Taqueria del Sol chef Eddie Hernandez is back with another dinner to benefit the Southern Foodways Alliance. This time, the other two collaborators hail from the Tar Heel State: Amy Tornquist (of Watts Grocery in Durham) and Bill Smith (of Crook’s Corner in Chapel Hill). You can expect mouthwatering six-course meal from this culinary brain trust that incorporates state signatures such as NC clams and Farmhand Foods pork.
The Dish We’d Book a Flight For: The dessert that incorporates the state vegetable: sweet potato cheesecake
Visit the Piggy Bank Dinners website to snag a seat.

4. The Castle Restaurant and Pub at the Dunleith Historic Inn
Host Chef: Executive Chef Brad Seyfarth & The Castle culinary team
Guest Chefs: Derek Emerson, Alex Eaton, and David Ferris
November 13
Natchez, Mississippi

Mississippi cooks Derek Emerson (of Local 463 and Walker’s Drive-In), Alex Eaton (of Table 100), and David Ferris (of Babalu) are putting together a Southern menu mash-up. Held at the Dunleith, an historic inn in the heart of Natchez, Mississippi, the dinner is part of a guest series meant to showcase regional cuisines. The trio will be serving up Magnolia State stunners that will be appropriately paired with cocktails.
The Dish We’d Book a Flight For: Lazy Magnolia braised short ribs with a sweet potato, turnip, and blue cheese pavé
Reservations are required; call 800/433-2445.

5. Woodberry Kitchen
Host Chef: Spike Gjerde
Guest Chef: Mike Isabella
November 27
Baltimore, Maryland

Diners in the D.C. area are in for a treat when Mike Isabella (of the District’s Graffiato and Bandolero) heads to Baltimore to man the pans alongside Spike Gjerde at Woodberry Kitchen. The pair will serve up a four-course meal centered around recipes from Mike’s cookbook while Spike will complement each course with dishes from his restaurant. Bonus: Each guest will receive a signed copy of Mike Isabella’s Crazy Good Italian.
The Dish We’d Book a Flight For: Roasted potato gnocchi with Grandma’s bolognese
Visit the Woodberry Kitchen website for more info.

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