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The Making of a Legend

Imagine it. You purchase a ticket to a dinner event, not knowing the menu. Not knowing the location. Not knowing the entertainment. Knowing only the date and the time and the chefs involved. Good thing you have a healthy sense of adventure!

Published June 13, 2012 in Dining & Nightlife      10 Comments    Open printer friendly version of this article Print Article


This is the concept for The Legend Series, a new underground dining series that will feature the best chefs in our region along with a rotating array of artists, musicians and performers. Chef Scotty Schwartz from 29 South and I devised the series after one too many brunchtime cocktails at Orsay one afternoon. I’m producing the events in conjunction with some awesomely talented local restaurant peeps (holla Allan & Crystal!) and Scotty and my other chef buddies (more on them soon).

In January, forty willing subjects attended the inaugural event in The Legend Series. The morning of the event they received an email outlining the location and all converged on Riverside’s Intuition Ale Works that evening, just before sundown.

But preparations had been taking place months in advance. You know how Restaurant Wars is one of the hardest challenges for contestants of Top Chef? Conceptualizing an entire restaurant, building a menu, setting it up, executing, pleasing customers and breaking it all down… all in a single day?

That’s what The Legend Series is like. Only on crack.

We were lucky with our first venue that we had such luxurious amenities as electricity and toilets.

For future events we are not going to be so lucky. We’ll truly be off the grid at the next event.

The morning of the first Legends event Crystal Vessels (miss you!) and I arrived early to the brewery to set up the table. Soon we were joined by Annie, Nicole, Linds, Jason & Macky. They polished glassware and did a myriad other activities to make sure we were ready for dinner service.

Crystal gave directions. And contemplated the seating arrangement.

While I helped set the table.

The entertainment for the evening was my friend Philip Pan, violinist and Concertmaster of the Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra. He composed a music piece inspired by each of the five courses we enjoyed that evening.

Photographer Jensen Hande took portraits of the chefs whenever he could grab them from their work the kitchen.

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June 13, 2012, 06:48:38 AM
Very cool!

ben says

June 13, 2012, 08:25:27 AM
F'ing awesome


June 13, 2012, 08:28:09 AM

Garden guy

June 13, 2012, 06:05:54 PM
When is the next dinner and where do i get tickets?

ben says

June 13, 2012, 06:17:30 PM
I'd also like to know how much tickets are...I heard over $100/pp.


June 13, 2012, 07:04:21 PM
This looks amazing!!! I want to do it!!

Bill Hoff

June 13, 2012, 07:36:25 PM
Pretty slick.


June 13, 2012, 08:01:05 PM
Intrigue, creativity, set ups in unique unexpected spots and some of the best food from the best chefs in the region.  Yes, this is a pretty impressive concept that Cari has put together.  We need more go getters in the community like her. 


June 13, 2012, 09:04:29 PM
Hey Lake, the Metro team should go!


July 08, 2012, 12:29:39 PM
I have to be there!
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