If you’ve always loved watching cooking competitions like Top Chef or MasterChef, then an upcoming food event in the city should spark your interest.
The Nomad Dinner Club is an exclusive culinary purveyor that has been hosting pop-up dinners in Calgary and Edmonton, and feature multicourse meals cooked by celebrity chefs.
Talents like chef Silvia Barban (Top Chef USA season 14) and Trevor Connie (MasterChef Canada season 4) have showcased their chops at previous dinners, and L.A.-based chef Katsuji Tanabe (Top Chef season 12) will be working his magic in Vancouver on June 19 at the Compound (1026 Granville Street).
“I’m building this brand, and I really want to look at it like a record label for chefs. We want to treat chefs like musicians and entertainers and send them on tours, [and] that’s kind of why we started Nomad Dinner Club,” Travis Petersen (aka the Nomad Cook), founder of the dinner club, told the Straight in a phone interview.
Petersen’s background wasn’t always in the food and beverage industry—he kick-started his career in business development for the oil and gas industry. As a lover of food and cooking, his self-taught culinary skills brought him to a stint on MasterChef Canada, and eventually his own chef-oriented company alongside business partner David Rojek.
“We want to grow this to a point where we’re doing a six-city tour and bring in Michelin Star chefs,” said Petersen. “With the Nomad Dinner Club, it’s [about] the interaction with the chefs. That’s really what we’re focused on, which is creating that one-off dining experience.”
Petersen explained that the chefs he brings in will work with event planners to design a unique setting in an intimate space. Diners will get a chance to mix and mingle with the celebrity cooks, meet other passionate food-lovers in the city, and enjoy a great meal.
“We don’t want you to come in and feel like you’re just sitting at a restaurant,” he added. “We want you to come in and be like “Okay, this is different”.
Chef Tanabe’s Vancouver dinner will offer tickets at different tiers: general ($125 per person), gold ($200 per person), and VIP ($300 per person). Each ticket includes a five-course meal prepared by the renowned chef, but the pricier options can get you different perks like wine pairings, a meet-and-greet, unlimited libations, and door prizes.
“We have no Michelin star restaurant guide in Canada, and we have some of the best food in North America right here in Vancouver because of how multicultural we are,” said Peterson. “I really want to grow the food scene. We know that the city wants something like this, [but] it just needs to be shown the way.”