We started in Syracuse, NY as a collaborative, community-based marketing experiment, that our founders Josh and Ashley decided to take a chance on. At our first event, they delivered a small bag of local produce and challenged one chef to make two mystery courses. They used the pictures on social media for recipe inspiration, with the hope that they could help people learn to cook with local and seasonal produce or less wasteful cuts of meat. Within four months the team was bringing boxes of “mystery,” local farm-goods to a new restaurant 2-3 times per month to serve a mystery meal to 45-55 guests per event. We evolved with the event, developing our mission statement along the way to focus on pushing culinary boundaries, elevating cities like Syracuse, NY and Providence, RI through donations and strategic projects*, closing the gaps in our food systems by making connections between chefs, farmers, and consumers, and promoting sustainability within our food systems . Each event challenges chefs and guests to go out of their culinary comfort zone and to clean up our food system.
*A portion of our profits go to causes and projects. Call us for more details (315) 641-9393.
A: Sometimes we can, but unfortunately, we are unable to cater to certain restrictions at this time, including vegan diets, severe gluten-free allergies, severe nut allergies, salt, and pepper. We ask that you please notify us in advance of your food requirements.
A: The price includes the meal and the experience. Drinks and tip are extra. 20%+ gratuity is expected on your meal and drinks --> Buy Tickets Now
A: On average, 45-55 people are at our events. You may choose your own seats within our family-style, large-group seating arrangements --> Dine With Us
A: We source high quality and local ingredients from small farmers in advance. For this reason, we cannot offer refunds. In the event you cannot come, seats are transferable to other individuals for the specific event you have reserved spots for.
A: We visit independently-owned restaurants and we feature the chef(s) of each restaurant unless noted otherwise.
A: Chef Challenge started as “Chef Challenge: Syracuse” in October 2017. We began travelling to other cities in the summer of 2018.
A: Dress to the standards of the restaurant.
A: Typically events last between 3 - 3.5 hours.
A: They receive a 24hr notification of what is coming and they receive the ingredients about 1 hour before the event.
A: The first hour of the event is a “social hour” during which you can grab a drink, talk with fellow attendees, and (at most events) watch the chefs prepare the meal.
A: Typically, yes, small groups will be able to rotate and watch the chefs prep/cook. At certain restaurants the kitchens are too small to safely allow guests to watch and this will be noted alongside the particular event. (Assume yes, but we will tell you otherwise)
A: Due to the nature of the event, courses come out spontaneously. Sometimes there will be 5-10 minutes between courses, sometimes there will be 30-40 minutes. This is a challenge event for the chefs, and not served according to a traditional prix fixe schedule.