The Blind Cafe – What a cool experience!

I wanted to share a little bit from my experience co-cheffing for The Blind Cafe a couple of weeks ago.  This was such a cool experience and unlike anything I had ever done before.  Chef Jimmy Bailey and I were asked to prepare a “culinary sensory experience” for 150 people each night, for three nights, all to be eaten in the pitch dark!  We were thrilled to be asked and so intrigued by the challenge.  The meal was to be all vegan, and gluten free, and had to be food that one could eat with their hands.  I guess they don’t want to put sharp objects into the hands of the guests in the dark after they’ve had a few glasses of wine…..   We put our heads together and with the help of some fantastic assistants and volunteers, put together a 4 course tasting menu that was sure to delight…..four of the five senses anyway.  It’s interesting as a chef to come up with a menu and not first take into account how the food looks.  Usually how it looks, other than taste of course, is a large part in how we prepare dishes.  I guess everyone enjoyed the food because when we went into the dark after they ate and explained to them what it was that they had, they atually clapped and cheered.  I figure if you can make anyone cheer for Brussels sprouts, you must be doing something right!

If you’d like to participate in The Blind Cafe they will be hosting another event in Austin in late April.  We are in talks with them about Jimmy & I preparing the food again, so stay tuned to see how that plays out. In the mean time, here is the menu and a few photos of the night.  You can also check out our Facebook Page more more.

  • Mediterranean Cucumber Boats w/Toasted Pine Nut Hummus & a Gazpacho Sauce and Red Pepper
  • Savory Chickpea Pancake Topped w/Sweet Potato Puree & Indian Spiced Chutney
  • Tempura Style Brussel Sprouts w/a Grapefruit Chili Sauce
  • Nachos:  Chorizo Quinoa, Black Bean Salsa over Chips and topped with Avocado-Cilantro-Lime Sauce

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