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Tuesday, March 9, 2010

A Clandestine Dinner...

So for the past few weeks I have been tinkering with an idea in my head! A Fine Dining experience like no other available. A Clandestine Dinner....

 What do I mean by Clandestine??? I want to set up a Fine Dining experience for a dozen people in a totally out of the ordinary setting ... and feed them something they most likely have never experienced before. Not only that...but I am not going to tell them where dinner is till 2hrs before the meal. The possibilities are endless. Someone mentioned to me today that it should be a TV show...and he's right! A mystery meal in mystery settings...but instead when they get the co-ordinates of the dinner ...a Huey lands outside their home. Whisking them off to exotic places....haha. Dream on!! I'd watch it..but I'm a Food Geek. The only reason it hasn't become a weekly feature on your boob-tube is because the whole process is beginning today...maybe someday you will be watching it. Till then...

 I am thinking "White linen...Candles...Crystal and China" all in the oddest place you could Imagine. Imagine your Table set up on "a set Railroad Tracks", beside an "Oil Rig" , in the back of a "Rock Truck" bigger than most homes - or ontop of a "Skyscraper" kinda deal. The more "Extreme" the better as far as I am concerned.

 The food would be just as "Out There!" as the landscape for the Meal. I think the food will follow theme's but I haven't pondered those theme's enough yet. My odd thought process is beginning to process it all though. All food will be prepared and transported in Thermal food hot..cold food cold. FoodSafe it shall be. There will be no illnesses on my watch.  I figure I have about a month or so to figure the food aspect of it out. Spring is quickly approaching in the Oil Fields. I am not going to cater to your "allergies" or your "lifestyle choices" food wise...if you don't like it...don't eat it! I have to deal with those annoyances enough at work...this is about PLAYING!! This is about me having just as much fun as all the guests.

 So I currently have some feelers out in the local community about the idea.....and I am truly amazed at just how many people want to be a part of it. Not just guests..but people that just want to help make it all happen. My concept is to draw 12 random names out of a hat...please dont ask if your best friend, lover, etc etc can also come. These 12 people will be notified 2 days prior to the actual they can clear that evenings schedule. There will be a cost for the meal...but it is a "Not for Profit" affair. I just want to cover the costs of the food and any expenses I may have producing it. Maybe I will also build in a donation to a local charity too. Please do not accept the invitation and not have just wasted a seat that someone else would have liked. It is all about 12 strangers enjoying a neat meal, in a neat setting with 11 neat new friends haha. Think of it as Culinary Networking. Two hours before the meal I will send out an email or text to all invited with GPS Co-Ordinates to the actual meal. If you get lost...well that added to the adventure ... don't get's all about having Fun!!

 During the course of the meal a photographer or myself will be snapping pics for the blog. So if your wanted on Foreign Shores ya might wanna disguise yourself that night..haha.

 I have not figured out the beverage part yet. I think wine flights accompanying each dish would be an awesome idea...but not sure of the Gov't ramifications yet. I dont want to be liable for someones accident. I am sure I can get that aspect of the meal figured out though. Some dinners may even feature Cook Made beverages. That Spruce Beer recipe has been sitting on the computer way too long.

 I wanted to start them before the snow had melted (by holding the first indoors). I actually wanted to have the first one in the middle of an Alberta Whiskey Distillery...right in the middle of their production floor..but have not had any luck getting replies from Companies. I also thought of inside the Syncrude Oil facility ...but I know there will be a tonne of red tape for that one as well.

 Some of the meals may require finishing on site...which I will look to the guests for help. Some meals may be totally done on site....Campfire Meals Rock!!! Ever been taught how to Smoke Salmon by a Native Elder??? You get the idea. 

 So that is my far. Hopefully I will be able to go into full on mode when I return from Texas next month. I would like to have the first dinner towards the end of April.

 I would really appreciate some feedback on the it site suggestions or anything neat you would like to add...leave a comment on here or email me at


  1. Can your lovely wife attend, even if her name isn't one of the ones drawn from the hat?

  2. Oh you know I'm gonna put you to work ;) xox

  3. What a fabulous idea. Wish I could attend but it's a long way!!!!

  4. I freaking love your idea! I think it would be such a fun experience, for both you creating the dishes and your 'customers.' I would just make sure that everything is crystal clear ex. it's an invite for one person only, etc. So that you don't get extra people and disappoint them when there isn't any extra food!
    -Val Outmezguine

  5. Hi Ken,

    What an amazing idea! I love it!!! whoever said it should be a TV show was right - I'd certainly watch it, and I'd throw my name in that to attend, I think you should pitch this idea to The Food Network and run with it! Best of luck, I hope it comes to fruition.


  6. Very cool idea.

    For locations my guess is that you will likely have an issue with food and beverage licences unless you picked a place that is sometimes already used for special events.

  7. Fantastic and fascinating idea! It's like Geocaching for dinner, LOL. Genius! I look forward to seeing these adventures. Wish I could be a part of it!

  8. This idea has a lot of flaws. For one, nobody is going to want to pay any amount of money to eat on the back of a huge dump truck. And two hours before meal time? Gimme a break, people in Fort McMurray work all the time; and getting lost on the way is fun? C'mon.

    Also, as a professional cook I'd assume it's your job to cater to people of all walks of life, whether vegetarian or kosher. Just my opeionenion though.

  9. I agree with that guy ^

  10. The people that want to be apart of it are well aware of where(not like I am going to choose a five hours drive away) , how (must be accessable by vehicle) , why(they signed up for it they know why it is occuring) & when(notified two days in advance-Night of : 2hrs warning) it is going to occur...they may not know what they are going to eat, but they are willing to take that risk...and yes I am in the business to cater to people's wishes...and I am more than happy to cook them anything their hearts desires daily...But not at this Dinner!! The reality cost wise is it will be half the price of a dinner of the same quality in a restaurant ...minus my Dump Truck ambiance!
    Opinion noted...but shrugged aside my friend.

  11. Wow, campfire meals! A Clandestine Cowboy Cookout, now there's a theme idea that sounds like fun. This whole idea sounds very cool, I envy those who will be attending. Who doesn't like a great foodie adventure every now and then. Beats going to the same old boring restaurant ambiance, and I'm sure it will give the guests plenty to talk about. As for comments above, I'm sure anyone who signs up for something like this has a sense of adventure to begin with, it's the unpredictable nature of how the event unfolds that makes it fun. I'm sure they're not going to be too picky about what's on the menu, the mystery is all part of the dining adventure.

  12. Hi,

    Great idea!You should check out Charlies Burgers in Toronto. Same idea and really amazing. You had to fill out a survey to qualify to receive the email invite. Once you got the email you would act quickly as there were usually only 10-12 spots. you could bring one guest and basically go to an undisclosed destination and eat dinner with total strangers with an amazing chef and a sommolier. Jamie Kennedy, Jonathan name a couple.
    Good Luck!!!!

  13. I'll pay to eat your food in the back of a huge dump truck. :)

  14. I agree, pitch it to the Food Network, but until then you can just youtube it.
    That's one way to create a cultural movement.

    Thanks for stopping on my blog earlier. I'm now following you.

  15. I think it is a GREAT idea. We used to go to something similar back in the Sates and always loved it. I think an email survey would be a good idea then invitations can be sent from there. It would be best to include a single guest so a couple could go and enjoy an evening of fine food and company.

  16. Could be a lot of fun, but I have to tell you--Syncrude stinks. All the oil plants reek. Tarsand is smelly, and the processes used to take the oil out are even smellier. Not so good for flavouring the food.

    Also, beware of insect attacks if you choose the great outdoors. Ft McM is surrounded by muskeg swamps, which breed mosquitos and horseflies prodigiously.

    On the other hand, supper on a barge up the river? In the old Abasand site (if it's still there)? The Anzac camp (ditto)? Some historical old trapper's cabin? Kewl.

  17. Fantastic Blog...I love the ideas and photos. You have given me so many new ideas for my food pictures.