An 'Unpredictable Dining' Experience
By Mike Butler
After a very unpredictable 2020, I have decided to grab life by the reigns and make sure that 2021 is as enjoyable as I can make it. We have many limitations and restrictions in place right now keeping us safe and I am so proud of how we've managed through this unpredictable time. Follow the rules and find your fun everyone!
A few weeks ago, for the first time, my husband and I took part in an Unpredictable Dining Experience, and it was, as I predicted, one of the most enjoyable evenings we've had together.
If you've lived in the valley for the last few years you've probably heard about these unique evenings out filled with food, beverage and fun in an unpredictable environment with odds and sods happening around you. The rumours are true! What was laid before us was a location , an arrival time and a few hints of a menu; and that was it and that's just the way I like how it was sold to me.
Covid restrictions have turned the Unpredictable Dining experience into something more intimate, and in my mind, more special as the groups are kept small, the location changes but allows for proper spacing and cleaning and it's a fast-paced, hilarious, delicious evening that will stay close in my mind for a while. Back in the day, the Unpredictable Dining experience hosted events in locations like The Tangled Garden, Grand Pre Winery, Box of Delights Bookshop and more, but now they're keeping it local and easily accessible (until the weather gets warmer) at Locust & Starr Inn (14 Locust Ave.), and if you haven't visited there please put it on your agenda folks! What a place !!! You can make it a full evening by staying at the inn following dinner, visit the www.locustandstarr.com to book a stay-cation you'll never forget!
As defined by creator and unpredictable gal Lisa Boehme , owner and operator of the Locust & Starr Inn and Binky's Donuts; Unpredictable Dining is the art of good food served in the most unpredictable of places. Once a month, Lisa and her team host a dining experience like no other, with creative chefs whipping up specially-themed dishes and it's a feast for all the senses. If anyone wants details from a few weeks ago, I do not mind sharing stories of our Valentine-themed Bingo (three rounds with three male winners) resulting in red lingerie and more laughs then I could handle!
Hosted on the First Friday of every month, Unpredictable Dining was on my radar for a long time and, as I'm a firm believer in the right place at the right time, it was this past February's Unpredictable that I was fortunate to attend and it was the most perfect evening. Due to availability and seating limitations Unpredictable are not able to accommodate any food substitutions or dietary restrictions. Each season they make sure to host two vegetarian and one seafood focused menus, so please reach out if you are unsure which is best for you!
Our Valentines/ Chocolate themed evening was made possible through the efforts of Chef Mike Schroeder who created mouth-watering dishes that incorporated chocolate into each of them and they were heaven! In chatting with Mike, he was very eager to sing the praises of the Unpredictable. He stated, "I have done Unpredictable for the past 2 years, my first was on a very hot day at Tangled Garden. I met Lisa, we got talking and our partnership bloomed. The menu is always a mix of Lisa's ideas and my background and often we bounce ideas off one another and my mind does the rest. The day of the dinner is long with lots of prep work from sourcing local ingredients to trying to find that special item for the dinner."
Although Mike is an accomplished Chef, including his stint on Masterchef Canada Season 5, he also works as a support worker with people who have cognitive and physical disabilities, so he's conscience of different food options and cooking styles all the time. His Unpredictable meal in February was tremendous and I highly recommend tracking Mike down and sampling his culinary treats!
Each occasion features a Prix Fix style menu to reflect both the seasons and local foods, and always showcasing the chef’s specialties. As March's Unpredictable is already booked, I suggest to move into the next few months and gather a group and book your experience. As Lisa's stated, " The first Friday in April is the next one. There will be two full vegetarian dinners and one seafood dinner during the 2021 season. 10 guests per seating, 2 seatings per event, cocktails & canapés are included. The Unpredictable experience costs $90.00 per person and that includes HST and gratuity. It's BYOB with no corkage fee and what you get in return is a very unique evening out with.... well, it's Unpredictable!"
The only thing predictable about these events is: You'll Love It!