Pop-up dinners are popping up all over. Montgomery Knott, who started Monkey Town more than ten years ago in Brooklyn, has brought his film-and-food experience back to Denver for a three-month stand at Exdo Hall; you can find out all about Monkey Town 4 at monkeytown4.com.
And now another entry comes from Denver native Paul Laurie, who returned to the Mile High City last fall with one question: "What would happen if Denver's most talented chefs, bartenders and musicians were brought together and given complete creative freedom over an evening?" The answer: Silver Spork Social. See also: Monkey Town 4 will bring a highbrow slice of Brooklyn to Rino
Laurie, the brother of Flobot Jonny 5, had lived in a tiny space in New York for eight years while running a student travel company, Walking Tree Travel, which he'd founded with two fellow East High alums. But then he packed a bag and "took to the road for two years," Laurie says, "working from wherever." His travels finally brought him back to Denver last September, and while he continues to serve as the director of Walking Tree, he's also determined to make Denver dining a destination. "I knew there were amazing restaurants and bars, and wanted to connect with the community," he says.
Connect he did, and quickly created Silver Spork Social, an underground supper club. The first dinner in November featured chef Cody Penton and bartender Jonathan Feuersanger, both from Second Home; the music was compiled by Scott Levy, a New York "music nerd," according to Laurie. The second dinner was February 19; Mary Nguyen of Parallel Seventeen, Asian Street Kitchen Bistro and Olive & Finch, did the cooking, with Duke DeGraaff of Forest Room 5 behind the bar and DJ MU$A (aka Musa Bailey) of Cold Crush curating the music to match the five-course meal.
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Invites to the initial dinners were by referral only, but Laurie had no problem filling all twenty-or-so spots at his 1,200-square-foot loft in LoDo, with a waiting list. He'll be hosting a third Silver Spork dinner this month, on March 20. Bailey had the entertainment -- a jazz quartet from the Berklee School of Music - booked before the chef had even signed on. Turns out that chef will be Danny Schuman from the Four Seasons; Kevin Deming of Old Major will tend bar.
But the details aren't the most important part of this underground concept; it's all about the adventure. Want to take a culinary trip? A donation of $90 covers the costs of five courses and five drinks (so far, the chefs, bartenders and musicians have all volunteered their time); diners meet up with the rest of the dinner party in LoDo, and then Laurie leads them to their destination. To find out more -- but not much more! -- go to silversporksocial.com.Follow @CafeWestword