Next Dinner in the Dark Event to Feature All Black Lineup of Chefs


Since it was founded by chefs Jeff Jarrett and Brian Okin in 2010, Dinner in the Dark has been rounding up local culinary talent for a monthly “open mic jam session for chefs.” At each event, Okin and company host a meal for adventurous diners who pay and show up despite the fact that everything from the food and drink to the chefs is a total surprise, hence the name “Dinner in the Dark.” Proceeds from the dinners are donated to a charity selected by that month’s chefs.

In a recent feature titled, “On the Appallingly Low Percentage of Black Chefs in Local Kitchens,” I highlighted what appeared to be an industry-wide imbalance when it comes to the presence of black kitchen leaders in Cleveland restaurants. To illustrate that disparity I asked Okin to estimate how many of the hundreds of featured Dinner in the Dark chefs over the years were black.

"Probably 10 to 20," he responded candidly.

And then he received a phone call.

“After reading the article you wrote about black chefs in Cleveland, Eric Wells reached out to me and asked if we would be interested in doing a Dinner in the Dark event featuring all African-American chefs,” Okin explains. “Most of them have never participated in them.”

That event will take place at 6:30 p.m. on May 21 at Fix Bistro (2195 Lee Rd., 216-383-8130) in Cleveland Heights. The ticket price of $87.07 per person includes tax, tip and Eventbrite fees. Click here for ticket info.

Given the nature of the events, the names of the chefs will not be released until the night of the event, but guests can count on great food, drink and conversation, with the money going to a great cause.

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