If you're a fan of fine dining and are heading out to the Northern Spark festival this weekend, you might want to start punching a few extra holes in your belt now. The massive Minneapolis riverfront art festival will host a 100-course dinner that spans eight hours and features 100 servings of 100 dishes.
It sounds like a server's worst nightmare, but it's also pitch-perfect for this artsy, interactive all-nighter.
Meet the Northern Spark artist: Anthony Chapin and Erin Lavelle, Nighttime Post
Attendees will be able to sit and dine for as long as they like, but the idea is for people to trade out their spots periodically, giving a variety of people the chance to sample several plates.
The dinner will largely consist of very light, one-bite dishes -- along the lines of amuse bouches -- but chef Scott Pampuch promises some items will be "a little deeper and more challenging than others." The dishes will highlight locally sourced, sustainable ingredients when possible, including items from the University of Minnesota's meat and cheese labs. None of the plates will be duplicated for the night, so if you miss a course you're out of luck.
The event is sponsored by the Institute on the Environment at the University of Minnesota. Chef Pampuch is a longtime veteran of the Twin Cities culinary scene and a founder of Minneapolis's beloved Corner Table, and is currently in charge of Aramark, the food-service management company behind the University of Minnesota's Dining Services. He says the idea for the dinner originated as an inventive way to get food to hungry festival-goers.
"The Institute on the Environment was charged with trying to get food for the event, so they called us and asked if we could to do a food stall or something," says Pampuch. "So I said, 'How does 100 courses for 100 people sound?' It just kind of went from there. It was just one of those crazy ideas that got thrown out and we decided to go with it."
The dinner will take place on the mall at the U of M between Northrup and Coffman Student Union. Service is set to begin promptly at 9:01 p.m. for the kick-off of Northern Spark and is scheduled to run until 5:26 a.m. For more information on the event, visit northernspark.org.