Secret societies hail back as far as we can remember conjuring up terms like “exclusive” and “clandestine.” When I got word that San Francisco chef Blair Warsham had cooked up a guerrilla-style dining society, I immediately wanted in. While it might not be a secret (like other elusive underground supper clubs), Graffeats welcomes the adventuresome diner who wants to awaken their five senses with a journey of the arts—think graffiti on your plate. Each event represents a different theme—some posh; some rustic, but all merging food, music, art and charity carefully selected to evoke an emotion that creates a complete dining experience.
This past Friday, Graffeats produced “Soooul Guerrilla,” a Southern affair, assembled at a chic old textile mill convert loft complete with roof deck, fire pits and views of the bay. I was fortunate enough to get a personal preview a week earlier, where Blair set the scene holding court as our private chef.
For a girl pickier about tomatoes (most are gritty) and peaches (I grew up buying them fresh off the stands) than just about anyone could be, the first course of Georgia Peach Salad did not disappoint. Artfully painted in an Opal basil walnut pesto and aged white cheddar, I might timidly attempt this at home. Next up, Pecan Crusted Pork n’Dumplings—okra, collards, dumplings—such sweet words I haven’t heard since I last visited home, this dish was huge in ambition and huge in comfort. Dessert featured a cherry “cobbler” complete with Bing cherries and Kalamata olives (you read that right). When cooked down with the cherries, they produce a sweet flavor with an added kick. Admittedly biased, I would eat olives on anything.
Perhaps the favorite part of the evening, aside from the amazing food was that Blair’s setting creates a dinner party atmosphere where you can enjoy the guests and entertainment, but leave the work to him.
So what does it take to be a part of this not so secret society? $65 to dine and socialize. An additional $45 will take it to the next level with beverage pairings. A portion of your “donation” goes to support charities such as St. Anthony’s, dedicated to giving people a second chance at life. As Blair states, “I believe the underground restaurant scene is a movement– a rebellion even and I want to get behind it.” The cat is now out of the bag. Get your tickets early people…I think he’s on to something.
INFO: The next event entitled “Graffeats Momart Cafe” will take place on July 10th in San Francisco. Look for Graffeats to go on the road later this year.