Dinner in the Dark at Grove Hill: The Moxie Reunion

On Monday night, a group of pioneering Cleveland chefs came together for a unique Dinner in the Dark event. The six participating chefs all worked together at Moxie when it opened in 1997, just as the Cleveland food scene was finding its sea legs to become the acclaimed and thriving force it is now. For a short moment in time, these six bold chefs were together in one bright burning ball of energy on each of their paths to success.
What a dream team! Doug Katz, chef + owner of fire food & drink and Provenance, was executive chef. Grove Hill chef + owner, Tim Bando, was executive sous chef. Jonathan Bennett, executive chef and partner with both Moxie and Red, was sous chef. Flying Fig chef + owner, Karen Small, and Eric Williams, chef + owner of both Momocho and El Carnicero, were line cooks. And food stylist, Heidi Robb, was the pastry chef.
Dinner in the Dark is typically an opportunity to bring together chefs who haven’t worked together, but organizers Brian Okin and Jeff Jarrett saw the novelty of bringing these veterans to Grove Hill for a reunion and the event was quickly sold out. Guests were treated to Moxie deviled eggs (Jonathan Bennett), pig tail confit served on Mexican comic strips (Eric Williams), kale salad (Doug Katz), roasted Pacific cod  with a chili lime and cilantro salsa verde (Karen Small), a caul fat-wrapped foie gras lamb meatball (Tim Bando), and lime chiffon cake with coconut Anglaise, spiced hibiscus syrup, & toasted coconut crunch (Heidi Robb).
Dinner in the Dark was created by Chefs Brian Okin and Jeff Jarrett. The concept brings six chefs together at different restaurants to create a meal that surprises and challenges diners who do not know the chef line-up or the menu until arriving at the location. Proceeds benefit local charities selected by the chefs. The next Dinner in the Dark will be held April 13 at AMP 150. Details and RSVP at dinnerinthedarkcleveland.com.
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Photos & Blog by Karin McKenna


Photo Captions (starting at the top): Doug Katz’s kale salad course; Group shot (left to right): Tim Bando, Doug Katz, Karen Small, Kyle Anderson, and Heidi Robb, back row: Jonathan Bennett and Eric Williams; Jonathan Bennett with sous chef Kyle Anderson preparing Moxie deviled eggs; Dinner in the Dark menu for at Grove Hill in Chagrin Falls; Brad Friedlander, original and current partner at Moxie, and Doug Katz; Doug Katz checks in with Heidi Robb as she preps her dessert course; Eric Williams chats with Jonathan Bennett; the Flying Fig’s Karen Small preparing the peppers for her cod dish.