Last year I reached out to Chef Yana of The Salo Project after a friend of mine went to one of her pop up dinners in NYC. She planned on doing 50 States in 50 weeks, and I was all in to help make it happen for OKC. She ended up picking Tulsa over OKC, and that was that.
Until last week, Yana emailed me back saying Tulsa was out, and OKC was in. I thought, "Fuck. One week? How am I supposed to pull that off?" Thank the lawd for Tracey Zeeck of Bumbershoot PR. She probably sent out one text message and sold all 20 tickets right away.
I connect my buddy, Jeff Chanchaleune, formely of Kaiteki Ramen, with Yana as her culinary collaborator and let the magic happen.
The two of them came up with a menu, and that's it. Location set. Ingredients bought. Let the cooking begin.
Banana leaves laid out. Instructions on how to use your fingers as utensils. Feast.
The dinner was a huge success. All of my friends came out to lend a hand. It was beautiful. Americans ate Filipino food with their hands. New experiences for all!
Yana is off to Texas and then Arizona, New Mexico, Nevada, California, Hawaii after that. If you've got friends out in those states who'd like to host or eat one of the dinners, holler at her. Find the next ones/past ones here.
Jeff is working on putting some pop-up dinners together, so stay tuned for that!