Local group launches Savor dining series_lowres

Savor, a new dinner series from the Spears Group, will launch on March 25 with a dinner from chefs Philip Lopez and Tariq Hanna.

A local marketing group known for putting on the annual pack-your-own-picnic Diner en Blanc event and last summer's inaugural Fried Chicken Festival is tackling a new food concept: High-end dinner events held at undisclosed locations.

The Spears Group launches the new series, Savor, March 25 with chefs Phillip Lopez and Tariq Hanna at the helm.

[jump] The dinners are described as a “luxury dining experience that targets food connoisseurs and adventure seekers.” Four themed dinners prepared by different chefs will take place in March, June, September and January. The events will seat approximately 250 people each and take place at locations disclosed a couple of days prior to the event. Guests will receive notice of the location and, possibly, hints about the menu, says president of the Spears Group and Savor founder Cleveland Spears III.

“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 have chef-driven tasting and family-style menus and live music and entertainment.

If this all sounds an awful lot like Dinner Lab, the membership-driven supper club that went belly up last year, the group says that it’s not.

Dinner Lab hosted weekly – and often mid-week – events. Savor will have just four dinners in 2017, and only in New Orleans this year, Spears says. The group plans on expanding to other cities after that, but intends on keeping the seasonal format.

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

Students from Liberty’s Kitchen will get the chance to assist with all the cooking, preparation and service during the events. This is designed to encourage budding chefs and provide them with real world experience and contacts and connections to high-caliber chefs, Spears says.

The March 25 dinner features a six-course tasting menu where Lopez, of Root, Part & Parcel and Petit Lion, and Sucre pastry chef Hanna will collaborate on a sweet and savory menu.

Each event will include a cocktail hour and each course will be paired with a wine or Champagne. Tickets for the first dinner are $125 and can be purchased here.