Invitation to an Underground Dinner
By Melanie Wynne
Sparked by the popularity of Cuban paladares (small private restaurants), underground dinners are private event productions: paying dinner parties that bypass local zoning and regulations to create a sense of community. To score an invite, you often have to know someone with the inside scoop to get your name on an email list or find a website.
Amy’s Culinary Adventures — run by creative chef Amy Jurist, whose skill and passion have recently inspired three cooking show productions to come a-courtin’ — puts on an underground dinner somewhere around Los Angeles a couple of times a month. Jurist has been staging her “food raves” for the past five years, always in a different location (a huge Art Deco penthouse in West Hollywood, a Culver City gallery, etc.) and always with a different theme (The Bacon Affair; La Nuit de Paris; Cheese, Please; and more).