We've told you that Eculent, in Kemah, is one of the most unique restaurants in the world. Now, David Skinner, the force behind Eculent, will be delivering the most unique one-night dining experience, possibly ever. You'll want to get a ticket to this.
On August 17, Skinner will present Around the World in 10,000 Bites. Several dozen chefs—including Alex Atala (D.O.M. in Brazil), Medwin Pang (Hunger Pang in New York City), David Duarte (the former Finestre Modern Gastronomy in Phoenix) and Manu Buffara (Manu in Brazil)—will join Skinner at the Morian Hall of Paleontology at the Houston Museum of Natural Science to deliver a 101-course meal that spans the globe.
Only 100 non-VIP guests (there will be 20 VIPs) will have the opportunity to enjoy this dinner; thus, 101 courses and 100 guests (or 120 guests) is slightly more than 10,000 bites. But let's round down: 10,000 bites.
As for the "around the world" concept: Skinner wants guests to go on a journey across 10 countries (likely the United States, Pakistan, France, Spain, Brazil, Italy, Philippines, Japan, Nicaragua, and Mexico). Thus, the 101 courses will be divided by 10. Guests should expect 10 courses from each featured country to come out at once. Wine or cocktails from each country will also be served, though in small portions (to save room for the food). Skinner expects the dinner to last up to five hours.
"This has never been done. And no one has ever done it for 120 people," says Skinner. "Houston gets to be the place to do it, and it's hard to beat the surroundings."
Pulling off a 101-course meal in just a few hours will certainly be a challenge, but Skinner and his small staff at Eculent routinely pull off 20-to-40-course meals three nights per week. Add a few dozen chefs and professionals, and put them inside the banquet kitchen at event partner Hotel ZaZa—just across the street from the museum—and Skinner thinks it'll all come together just fine.
"There's a level of trust, let's put it that way," says Skinner. "Since we do 30-40 courses a night here (at Eculent), it's not that big a leap. You gotta have the right flow of courses so people don't, A, fill up too fast or, B, get bored."
Considering the dishes Skinner turns out at Eculent—where contemporary processes like freeze drying and scent manipulation result in, say, a salad of crispy greens and mushrooms with edible "soil" that comes with a fork that smells like the forest floor—chances are folks won't get bored at 10,000 Bites.
One night before the dinner, on August 16, Skinner will host a reception surrounded by the Fabergé collection at the Museum of Natural Science. Reception guests will have the opportunity to meet some of the chefs and sample some of the items being offered at the dinner.
Proceeds for Around the World in 10,000 Bites will go toward breast cancer research (in honor of Skinner's friend, chef Dominique Crenn, who was recently diagnosed with breast cancer) and to the James Beard Foundation. Tickets for both events are available now.