So What had happened was...
I came up with this fantastic idea to host a "Pop-Up" Kitchen here in the Capital District. To my knowledge, nothing like this had ever been done before, and with my young, fresh and fun twist on all things food, I knew right away that I would be up for the challenge.
Of course all things sound AMAZINGLY doable, until you actually sit down and write EVERY LITTLE DETAIL on paper. At this point, I had put the cart before the horse, sent out the Save-The-Date, without having any CONFIRMED details regarding this event. No location, no menu, no nothing. I prayed to the man above that I would be able to build enough anticipation to leverage support as I delivered the ultimate culinary experience. With so much to do, in so little time, I knew I had to kick into overdrive, shift gears, and knock out the following items from my to do list!
1. SECURE A LOCATION
Securing a location was my number 1 priority. Although I knew I wanted to do a pop-up kitchen, I was still deciding whether or not I wanted to keep with 8 Count Kitchen tradition and entertain in an intimate and less formal setting, or if I wanted to spice it up, try something new, and entertain in a restaurant to and create a more formal dining experience. Although my friend's home seemed to be the PERFECT fit, I knew that I wanted to put myself up to the challenge by assuming the role of "Executive Chef" for the night. Now I must admit, I was nervous as a mouse in a snake tank because outside of Food Network's All-Star Academy, I had never worked in a formal restaurant kitchen before...I mean unless you count McDonald's circa 2006, lol!
Nonetheless, it was time to make it happen! Finally after doing my homework, and considering a number of restaurants and private event locations, I decided to pitch the idea to Bangkok Bistro.The owners were intrigued by the idea, and before I knew it, Bangkok Bistro had been selected as the location/venue for the event.
2. CREATE A MENU
This must have been the most ANNOYING part of the process. Don't get me wrong, it was extremely fun, but when I tell you I went BACK AND FORTH sooooo many times, listen... You don't even know the half of it, lol! Here are a few bullet points to help affirm some of my struggle, lol!
- I knew that I was going to incorporate at least (2) of the dishes I prepared on Food Network's All-Star Academy. Off the bat, I knew my infamous "5 Cheese Mac and Please," would be one of them, but what would my other options be? Do I do my Thai dish since I'll be hosting the event in a Thai restaurant, or one of my elimination dishes to show strength?
- I was committed to creating a menu that had something on it for everyone. I knew I wanted a vegetarian dish (with hopes of being able to also make it vegan), an ethnic dish, a comfort food dish, a dangerously delicious dish, and a deconstructed dessert. But hmm...what to decide?
- I also wanted to include a seafood dish, but then I took in consideration seafood allergies, and having to adjust the ticket price, so I made this a seafood-less menu.
After going back and forth, and even reprinting the menus MULTIPLE TIMES (talk about indecisive, lol) I decided to stick to the following: