Savor dinner series starts March 25_lowres


The Spears Group, the local marketing group known for putting on the annual pack-your-own-picnic Diner en Blanc and last summer's inaugural Fried Chicken Festival, is launching a series of fine-dining events held at undisclosed locations. The first Savor ( event is March 25 and features chefs Phillip Lopez and Tariq Hanna.

  Spears Group President Cleveland Spears III describes the dinners as a "luxury dining experience that targets food connoisseurs and adventure seekers." Four themed dinners prepared by different chefs will be held in March, June, September and January 2018. The events will seat approximately 250 people each, and guests will be notified of the location a couple of days prior to an event.

  "This is within our theme of building experiences that bring people together," Spears says. "We think nothing brings people together like food."

  Spears says the dinners will feature chef-driven tasting and family-style menus as well as live music and entertainment.

  That sounds like Dinner Lab, the membership-driven supper club that went belly up last year, but the group says Savor is different.

  Dinner Lab hosted weekly — and often mid-week — events. Savor will have just four dinners in the coming months, Spears says. The group plans to expand to other cities after that, but intends to keep the seasonal format, Spears says.

  The series will include "interactive" elements and will feature live entertainment, which Dinner Lab mostly did not, Spears says.

  Students from Liberty's Kitchen will assist with all the cooking, preparation and service during the events. This is designed to encourage budding chefs and provide them with work experience and contacts with professional chefs, Spears says.

  The March 25 dinner features a six-course tasting menu by Lopez, of Root, Part & Parcel and Petit Lion, and Sucre pastry chef and founder Hanna.

  Each event will include a cocktail hour, and each course will be paired with a wine or Champagne. Tickets are $125 for the March 25 dinner and are available on the Savor website.