Ticketed supper clubs are not new to Charleston. The first Guerilla Cuisine event, founded by jimihatt
, started back in 2007. Later, Chef Renata Dos Santos followed suit with L.I.M.E., a dinner group organized to benefit a different non-profit at each event. Now comes Commune, a “supper cult” as founders Cory Burke, Becky Preston (both of Roti Rolls
and the late Green Door
restaurant), Xavier Meier, and Kyle Dicke have dubbed it. And for their take on the idea, the focus is all on their favorite purveyors.
“Basically the idea is to have chefs collaborate and highlight awesome purveyors,” says Preston. “The first one we did was at Cup Coffee Roasters. Cup was our neighbor at the farmers market forever. They don’t get a lot of attention, so we wanted to bring awareness to them.” For that inaugural event in July, Burke and The Lot’s Chef Alex Lira collaborated on a four-course meal incorporating Cup Coffee into each dish. “It was served family style, so you had people sharing a whole fish fighting over who would get the eyeball or the cheeks,” says Burke.
For their next round on Aug. 20 at Westbrook Brewing
($75; $125 for VIP), the brewery gets the spotlight. “Guests will learn everything about Westbrook beer. They’ll take a tour of the brewery, drink it in every course. Learn whatever they wanted to know,” Preston says. The Obstinate Daughter’s Chef Jacques Larson and McCrady’s Chef de Cuisine Daniel Heinze will tag-team the brewski-centric dinner using Westbrook’s a different brew into each course. “Commune also gives chefs an opportunity to get funky in the kitchen,” says Burke. “Two chefs collaborate and have full reign in the menu. Their only restriction is that they incorporate the main item, like coffee at the first event, into the menu.”
For the Westbrook event, the evening will feature Cathead Vodka, a Le Creuset “cowboy cooking vessel” — think cast iron dutch oven —courtesy of Grassroots Wine owner Harry Root, and Seanachai’s party bus to deliver guests from McCrady’s to Westbrook and back — an elaborate offering for just one night. So why go to all the trouble?
“Commune is an extension of what we were planning with The Green Door,” says Burke. His short-lived restaurant connected to Big John’s Tavern closed last October following a disagreement with building owner Ryan Condon. But for those still hoping for a Green Door second coming, there’s, well, good news and bad news — there won’t be a new Green Door. But, BUT... Burke confirms another brick-and-mortar plan is underway. Until then, Burke hopes you’ll join his cult.