1. Anecdotes for appetizers
Intimate, themed pop-up dinners are nothing new, but the concepts behind two upcoming foodie events are so deliciously original that they deserved some extra ink.
Storytellers 6.0 makes music the centerpiece of the night, asking local musicians to play their songs and share with dinner guests the stories behind them. The chefs listen to the songs beforehand and come up with dishes inspired by the music. They, too, will tell folks about how the songs inspired each dish.
"At the last event, the song was about solitude, so I did an octopus dish because octopi live by themselves their whole lives," explains chef Nick Brune, founder of the ongoing Storytellers pop-up dinner series and the chef behind Eco Caters and Local Habit. "The concept really allows chefs to be creative, and it kind of takes food to a different place."
Storytellers 6.0 will be from 6 to 8 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 28, at North Park's Ritual Tavern (4095 30th St.). Brian Holwerda of the band Black Out Party and Jesse Lamonaca will play music, and Brune and Ritual Tavern's Jonathan Harthorn will cook the food. Tickets range from $45 to $65 (higher price includes beer) and include five courses, five songs and CDs.
At 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 23, Downtown's Saltbox Dining & Drinking (1047 Fifth Ave., inside Hotel Palomar) will host Kitchen Ink: A Chef Tattoo, a dinner with five topnotch chefs conjuring up dishes inspired by their own tattoos.
"When someone asked if I could come up with a dish based on my tattoo, I was, like, 'Oh, hell yeah. I put a lot of thought into my tattoo, this should be fun,'" says Johnny Duran of Prep Kitchen, one of the featured chefs who'll be translating his yin-yang-themed tattoo sleeve into a unique dish celebrating land and sea and fire and water. "I'm definitely going for that wow factor—simple elegance with an oh-my-goodness type of deal."
Tickets are $50 for the food, with an optional $15 for beverage pairings. kitchenink.bpt.me.
2. Page turners
Remember when you were in elementary school and the bookmobile would roll in, promising brighter and shinier literary offerings than the worn-out copies of Frog and Toad you kept forgetting to turn back in? Well, trade the bus for a bar and bright-eyed students for word-hungry grownups, and you've got something that looks a lot like the Guerilla Book Fair. Held from 3 to 6 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 25, at Whistle Stop Bar in South Park (2236 Fern St.), the fair will feature local authors like Ben Johnson, Vera Sanchez, Ted Washington, Justin Pearson, Alfred Howard and Terrie Leigh Relf, who'll sell their own books as DJ Claire and Roger Lane (aka Records with Roger) spin music and bartenders keep the drinks flowing. whistlestopbar.com
3. What's a bulb horn?
If you've not had the pleasure of experiencing Scott Paulson's Teeny-Tiny Pit Orchestra, shame on you. "Birdcalls! Bulb horns! Ukuleles! Musical saw! Orchestral harp!" is how ArtPower! describes the group's accompaniment for Sally of the Sawdust, a 1920 carnival-centric silent film starring W.C. Fields and Carol Dempster. It screens at 8 p.m. Friday, Oct. 24, as part of the "Foovie" (food and a movie) series at The Loft at UCSD (Price Center East, fourth floor). Show up at 7 p.m. for a pre-show dinner with a menu of upscale fair food: soft garlic-butter pretzel with mustard, pork sliders, beer-battered onion rings, blue-cheese horseradish slaw and a caramel-corn dessert. (Vegetarian options are available; wine and beer are sold separately.) Tickets are $10 for the film only, $34 for the whole shebang. artpwr.com
Does your event deserve to be in our top three? Email Kinsee Morlan.