Dinner Lab, a New Orleans-based company combining aspects of a dinner club, a pop-up and a modern, data-driven kitchen, is throwing a party next week to celebrate its third anniversary.
That milestone would be a blink of an eye in some New Orleans dining circles, where restaurants can track their history by decades and generations. But Dinner Lab has been on a different sort of trajectory.
The concept got its start hosting one-off dinners to showcase different types of cuisine and quickly grew with a calendar full of events featuring up-and-coming chefs in unconventional locations (warehouses, rooftops, pedestrian bridges, etc.) Wherever it goes, Dinner Lab uses detailed feedback from guests to zero in on tastes and perferences and measure its performance. It now has a presence in 31 cities across the country, and has been using this national network of chefs and food aficionados to expand its offerings.
“We’re now working with restaurateurs who are established and want to test out a new concept or see if their concept will have legs in other cities,” said Paco Robert, the company’s co-founder.
Back home, Dinner Lab has gathered a roster of well-known and rising New Orleans chefs for its anniversary party, which will be held on Aug. 20. Here’s the line-up
David Barbeau of Toups’ Meatery
Mike Gulotta of MoPho
Ryan Haigler and Jacob Cureton of Grand Isle
Nick Martin of Primitivo
Jacqueline Blanchard and Brandt Cox of the culinary shop Coutelier NOLA
The event will be held somewhere in downtown New Orleans, though in customary Dinner Lab fashion the location is only disclosed to attendees 24 hours prior to the event.
In a change from its usual members-only approach, however, this party is open to the public. Tickets are $75 include all food and drink. DJ Soul Sister provides the tunes. For details and tickets, click here.
Note: This article has been edited from its original form, which noted a Dinner Lab business expansion that has not been finalized.
Follow Ian McNulty on Twitter @IanMcNultyNOLA.