Chef Alvin Schultz, a former MasterChef competitor, doesn’t have his own restaurant, but he’s a familiar face around Houston’s restaurant scene. Sometimes, as at the recent Wagyu Throwdown at Soma Sushi, he shows up to help other chefs. Other times, diners might catch him grilling on a bar patio on a holiday. However, now diners can see — and taste — the full range of Schultz’s molecular-gastronomy-inspired cooking. The Houston-based chef is hosting a series of intimate dinners called “Eat. Drink. Experience!” and the next dates are August 6 and 7.
Only 12 people can attend each dinner, and the specific location (usually near downtown) is revealed only to ticket holders. Schultz calls these “underground dinners,” and the small number of guests is deliberate. “My goal for the underground dinner is a cross between fine dining and a friend's dinner party,” he explained. “I've been looking for the right setting to share some of the food that I'm so passionate about. Not everyone can afford to book a private chef in their home, but these underground dinners offer a chance to experience my fine-dining food in a unique, communal atmosphere. Friends have been urging me to do something like this for a long time, and recently all the stars aligned.”
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We saw for ourselves what one of these dinners was like when Schultz invited us to check out what he was doing a few weeks ago. The environment is great for getting to know fellow foodies. Schultz’s food was inspiring. Especially memorable were the passed appetizer of a savory take on cannoli with smoked trout roe and ramps; a "fresh from the garden" plate of peas presented in the pod, dill stems, herbs and egg; and A5 Wagyu, presented as a small bite and accented with herbs and seasonings normally found in pho (Vietnamese noodle soup). Dessert was a "drumstick" ice cream cone in miniature, with foie gras ice cream and bourbon cajeta (goat milk caramel) sauce.
Those who are interested should email firstname.lastname@example.org. Payment via PayPal will be needed to hold the reservation and the cost is $125. A welcome cocktail is provided but guests should consider taking advantage of the BYOB option as well. Anyone who doesn’t land a reservation for the August dinners will be added to a list to get advance notice of the next scheduled “Eat. Drink. Experience!” dinners.