Tag Archive | "pop-up dinners in San Antonio"

Pop-Up at Bin 555; Thai Meets Chinese

By Emily Stringer

Is the bridge between Austin and San Antonio getting smaller? Or, is San Antonio getting weirder? Being that San Antonio is a hop, skip and mini-jump to Austin, it is a wonder we don’t have more collaborative dinners on our map

This year, the Austin Food and Wine Festival (or, at least its marketing team) visited San Antonio chef/restaurateur Jason Dady’s BIN 555. Dady had created a one-of-a-kind, Chinese-inspired pop-up meal called Umami Mi, meaning, “a savory taste” in Thai.

Umami Mi Red LightsFifty diners joined food-loving forces from the city inside a transformed BIN 555 dining room. The crowd included many food enthusiasts, including chefs, food writers, bloggers and caterers. The setting, in a transformed Bin 555 dining room, called up the ambience of a Nuevo American wine bar leaning toward red light-district dive.  Yet, the food was a far reach from anything a dive could put out and more like just “plain” fine dining.

An aperitif of Bombay Sapphire Gin and tonic with a hint of kefir lime started the meal off. The food, served family-style,  was a sumptuous spread with such items as Spicy Chicken Wings with fresh red curry paste, and a kick of lemongrass, and Wood Oven Mussels in a sea of lamb broth sprinkled with Thai herbs. Dady saved the best for last, ending the evening with a deconstructed brisket “taco.” Also owner of Two Bros. BBQ Market, the chef put his taco together using Asian-style brisket with a tamarind glaze paired with crisp scallion pancake,  topped with spicy peanuts.

Spicy Chicken Wings with a lavish garnish of fresh cilantro.

Spicy Chicken Wings with a lavish garnish of fresh cilantro.

Dady will be the only San Antonio-based chef featured this year at the Austin Food & Wine Festival.  He said Umami Mi was inspired by a recent trip to New York City and an 18-course meal at Mission Chinese.

“We were crammed into a packed house, and my most memorable bite was the spicy cumin lamb dish,” Dady said. “I wanted the cumin lamb to be one of the last flavors people (here) tasted so they could experience the pleasant fullness that I did in New York.”

Diners left “pleasantly full,” indeed.

Dady will be traveling to the Austin Food and Wine Festival April 26-28. The event features nationally known chefs, including New York’s Marcus Sammuelson, Austin’s Paul Qui, and Los Angeles’ Susan Feniger, along with a full schedule of events. Click here for tickets, more information.

Jason Dady

Jason Dady





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Special Projects Social’s 1st Anniversary Bash Saturday

On Saturday, Special Projects Social celebrates its first year of staging pop-up culinary events that offer far more than food on the plate. (While the sit-down portion of Saturday’s event is sold out, you can still help them celebrate its anniversary at the after-party. See information below.)

Tim McDiarmid, of Tim the Girl Catering and Special Projects Social. (Courtesy photo)

Tim McDiarmid, of Tim the Girl Catering and Special Projects Social. (Courtesy photo)

“We have labored lovingly over this pop-up food/art/design and craftsmanship project since its inception for Contemporary Art Month last year, and has become more amazing than we imagined,” said Tim McDiarmid, the chef and caterer (Tim the Girl Catering).

She partners with furniture designer Peter Zubiate. The two move Zubiate’s custom-designed, reclaimed-wood tables from site to site, while McDiarmid creates a menu around local, seasonal ingredients.

“It has really caught speed,” says McDiarmid (“Tim” is her given name). “We sell out quickly.”

Projects Social has a strong commitment, as well, to embracing other art forms in their events, such as artists, musicians, sommeliers, culinarians, photographers, designers who join with an enthusiastic community of food lovers, says McDiarmid. She is a widely traveled food enthusiast and caterer who grew up in Canada. She moved to the U.S. to immerse herself in the diverse, lively culinary culture in New York City for 17 years before coming to San Antonio.

One of the pop-up dining settings from Special Projects Social.

As her website says, “By the nature of a pop-up, the social never takes place at the same venue. Instead it is a one-time only event that moves to a new and unique location each time. The physical elements and the visceral experience of the space provides the jumping off point for the menu, design concept and the choice of artist and musician.”

Saturday’s after-party, with musicians Henry and the Invisibles, begins at 9 p.m. It is $40.

Go to the website to make reservations and to get the location at that time. Also, the menu for Saturday’s Projects Social dinner is up now, so check it out to get an idea of what’s in store in future months.





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