Barrio, a vegan Afro-Cuban popup dinner

A couple of weeks ago I went to a fun popup dinner (small group dinners typically put on by pro or semi-pro chefs in places not typically used for this purpose, i.e. not a restaurant).

It was put on by Wheeler del Toro, a chef and very cool guy I got to meet that evening.  The theme was  vegan Afro-Cuban street food, which may sound strange, as well as challenging for the chefs, but was absolutely delicious.

You can click on these pics to see bigger versions.

Because demand for these dinners exceeds supply by a wide margin, they’re a little underground, in that they don’t advertise much (if any), and often have questionnaires or other things you need to do to earn an invitation.  And they often let people know the location at or near the last minute.  I think it all adds up to a fun sense of adventure.

My friend D and I got the location, and got there on time, to find a converted ice cream shop, all lit up with candles, and set up to serve a small dinner.  We grabbed seats and met a few of the other guests (there weren’t many).

One of the other fun factors about such dinners is that they attract industry folks, people who work in the restaurant business.  We met several other chefs and managers from area restaurants, places we know and love (e.g. Neptune Oyster, B&G Oysters), so that was a treat.

Guests are often welcome to help with prep work, which we did not, but we kept the chefs company and chatted about various foodie experiences.

All in all, it was a blast.  I do these every now and then, but I don’t always have time to write about them. Unfortunately I don’t see more writing time becoming available…

You gotta eat 🙂  Might as well have a ton of fun with it.

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