Last Night at Wolvesden: The 13-Course, Underground Supper Club
Gastronomnom.com Tomato, bacon cake, bacon, basil
We learned about Wolvesmouth entirely by accident. While trolling through the LA Weekly Flickr pool, searching for a daily blog photo, we came across a real visual standout. The dish, called "F**k BP Oil Spill," was a culinary response to a national disaster -- an edible recreation of environmental tragedy. The chef behind the dish was 28 year-old Craig Thornton ("Wolvesmouth"), who runs a one-man underground supper club, regularly taking place at a private, secret location in Los Angeles. The dinners, keeping with the wild canine theme, are known as Wolvesden, referred to by Thornton as more a dinner party than a restaurant.
Fortunately for us, we were able to acquire an invitation to come see Wolvesden for ourselves this past Saturday. We arrived at the specified secret address, called the phone number we were given, and were eventually brought in to the simply decorated interior. Thornton encourages guests to bring their own beverages -- as he will provide only food and water -- and to move around, socialize, and engage throughout the dinner.
Gastronomnom.com Huitlacoche-stuffed rabbit with corn tortilla purée, pickled onion, poblano chile
The result was a highly memorable evening, resulting in a 13-course, 12-seat meal, with over 4 hours of eating, drinking and socializing. As one would expect, there were a large number of food bloggers present, including Gastronomnom, who was kind enough to provide pictures for us.
Gastronomnom.com Craig Thornton ("Wolvesmouth") cooking skate
Thornton does all of the shopping, prep work, and cooking, almost entirely by himself. It is a pure, direct process from a man who once worked for Thomas Keller's Bouchon Bistro in Las Vegas. Currently, Thornton does not work in a professional restaurant, which is precisely as he likes it. And with the current popularity of casual fine dining, of Ludo pop-ups, Ateliers, and Ad Hocs, Thornton's supper club seems to fit right in.
So how do you get to join Wolvesden yourself? Simply join the mailing list, and he will try to accommodate you as best he can. As for price, Thornton has a "pay what you can" donation policy, and seems genuinely unmotivated by a desire for profit. While not necessarily the best business model, it is certainly an exciting way to spend an evening.
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