Text by Chris Christen and Pat Waters | Photography by Jeffrey Bebee
Present an intimate community dinner with a fabulous menu in a unique and beautiful setting. Anyone can reserve a spot – for around $100 – while only knowing the date and time. The location is not revealed until the day of the event, via an early morning text and email.
Those are the unusual ingredients of the innovative Omaha Food Rave, which debuted last November and held its third dinner in May. The series’ principal organizers are foodies and friends Carrie Dayton of Carrie Dayton Events & Consulting and Nick Huff, co-owner of Hutch, a modern furniture store in Midtown Crossing.
“I get excited about one-of-a-kind events” Nick says. “Guests come for the experience, and always ask before the night is over when the next one will be held.”
Food raves in other parts of the country involve thousands of people, Carrie says. “We like this size for its intimacy.” No one finished the evening as a stranger.
May’s event – on the lush and luxurious grounds of a Ponca Hills home – had a Hamptons-style vibe. Guests were asked to wear classically French white attire and hats. Croquet, anyone?
A retrospective of the evening:
6:30, cocktails, appetizers and scotch poolside
7:30, dinner on the lawn at one long, impeccably dressed table (styled by Carrie Dayton’s team in conjunction with Tracy Diehl of Events Etcetera)
A five-course menu paired and prepared by celebrated chef Paul Kulik of The Boiler Room and Le Bouillon in the Old Market
Post-dinner dessert, accompanied by live acoustic guitar, in the living room of the hosts’ 1926 Tudor home
The crowd, as organizers had hoped, ranged from twentysomethings to septuagenarians. Two more dinners are likely this year. Watch Omaha Food Rave’s Facebook Page for dates.
THE EVENING’S MENU
Crispy Brandade and oven-dried tomato
House Chicharones with Lime Aïoli
Buttered Heirloom Radishes and Sea Salt
Glenmorangie Highland Single Malt Scotch
Fluke Crudo flown in from Portland, Maine
Almond Milk, Pickled Asparagus, Calabrian Chili, Edible Petals Pierre Sparr, Riesling, Alsace
Mushroom Cannoli Local Mushrooms, Housemade Ricotta, Breadcrumbs Domaine Laroche, Petit Chablis
Nebraska Rabbit Pavé, Rack, Carrots, Peas, House Bacon
Perrin et Fils, Côtes du Rhône
Certified Piedmontese Beef Shortrib
Spinach Parisian Gnocchi, Radish, Mustard Seed
Marques de Murrieta, Rioja Reserva