Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Dinner Lab New Orleans with Chef Matt Heroman



On our first official night experiencing New Orleans, we were transported to a secret location for a unique dinner lab dinning experience. The experience took place in a warehouse in the 9th ward of New Orleans. With this being a conference and my employer being an expert on great brand experiences, it was only normal that our time in the Big Easy include some fun and great insight.

Dinner Lab is a one-of-a-kind dining experience that was started in New Orleans in 2011. The dining experience invites members to try exclusive dishes prepared by a chef, in a unique space that's only available for a couple of hours. We arrived around 150 deep, and enjoyed a small happy hour with appetizers and drinks before getting seated for the tasting.

We were welcomed to very well set tables, where we found our feedback cards and menu. The man of the evening was Chef Matt Heroman, who has been with Dinner Lab for about 3 years. Chef Heroman introduced some dishes inspired by the food he grew up eating as a child in Baton Rouge, LA.  The dining experience although it had a pretty slow serving time(probably due to a large group), was pretty amazing. The feedback cards encourage conversation around the table and allowed everyone to have a say in what they are eating. Overall, I am happy to have gotten to experience my first Dinner Lab in the city where it was born.

Dinner Lab is currently active in around 32 cities across the United States, with Houston being one of those cities. To learn more about membership, visit them here. In the meantime, here is what we had to eat.

1st Course: Ponchatoula Spring Strawberries: My #1 favorite dish of the evening, consisting of Chicory, celery and strawberries topped with a pefecttly sweetened vinaigrette and almonds.

2nd Course: Flying Pig Gumbo: Duck and andouille gumbo, topped with potato salad. My 2nd favorite, meat was cooked to perfection, the only thing that threw us off were the potatoes.

3rd Course: Beer Braised Pork Butt: Pork served in a pepper jelly jus, with a side of Potlikka greens which were drenched in vinegar.

4th Course: Key Lime Panna Cotta: Key Lime Panna Cotta served with a buttermilk granita, gingersnap streusel and pecan  praline. This was my least favorite dish due to flavor, there was way to much going on for a dessert.

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