Chef David Anthony Temple is a cook without a kitchen—and he wouldn’t have it any other way. Hailed as a “pioneer of underground dinners” by the Dallas Morning News, Chef DAT—his nom de cuisine—eschews the brick-and-mortar culinary model, choosing instead to unveil his locally-sourced food through invitation-only, 5- to 12-course BYOB dinners at rotating venues. Today’s Reserve selection invites you to partake in underground gastronomy with a dinner-party experience for one or two.
Chef DAT’s menus change for every meal—the cuisine will be outlined in the e-mail invitation, which guests receive on a few days’ notice—but each includes at least five courses and a complimentary cocktail. Invitees may also bring their own libations.
Chef DAT's nomadic approach to the cooking trade reflects his background; indeed, he once hosted a dinner with a life-story theme influenced by Texas, San Diego, New Orleans, and Hawaii—all places he's lived and cooked. He also branches out from Dallas with dinners across the country, allowing him to stay in touch with his roots and open to new experiences.
But the invite-only dinner has other practical advantages. It lets Temple build a menu based on regional or local produce—typically sourced from small farms—that he'll receive on the day of the dinner itself, meaning that each dish will have the pop of impeccably fresh ingredients. The format also lets him really meet the people whose bellies he fills. As each course emerges, he peeks out from the kitchen to talk about the food, seeking to entertain as he serves. The venue is announced the day of the event, so guests should be ready to dine in a private home, a warehouse, a loft space, or al fresco.