October 30, 2012
Ella's executive chef to create "T.V. Dinner" at Verge gallery

Sacramento's been on a roll with creative culinary events, including the "Truck and Mortar Throwdown" coming Dec. 1. And now, a dinner coming to the Verge Center for the Arts (625 S St., Sacramento) on Nov. 8 will feature a multi-course dinner from Mike Thiemann, executive chef for Ella Dining Room & Bar, mixed with a multi-media experience. The event is dubbed "T.V. Dinner," but judging by the flyer it's a little ambiguous of what kind of food will be served. Will Chef Mike offer his interpretations of salisbury steak, corn and apple cobbler? Or, judging by this video from Ryan Donahue, a local photographer who's helping with the event, will Thiemann really have the audacity to take a bunch of actual TV dinner items and give them the sous vide treatment?

Not to worry. It turns out that Thiemann will use "TV dinner" more as a theme for the courses and make allusions to 1950s pop culture an imagery. Diners are encouraged to dress in "mid century attire," and will dine on courses including "Green Acres vs. Rawhide" and "Hawaii Five-O," with Ella bartender Chris Dooley making rounds of warm Tom & Jerry cocktails.

The event's also the brainchild of Liv Moe, Verge's executive director, and Becky Grunewald, restaurant reviewer for the Sacramento News & Review. Following dinner, there will be DJ dancing from Lisa D, Thiemann's wife, and Michael Cunningham. Proceeds will benefit Verge Center for the Arts.

"It's not fine dining, but fun dining with interesting food," said Thiemann. "It's the classic dinner and dancing. In the 1940s and '50s that's pretty much what all parents did. We'll also have projection screens and it'll be very multi-media. Art's really important to me, and we're going to take a fun theme and think outside the plate."

In other dining news, look for a series of pop-up dinners called "Unseen Heroes," featuring Thiemann and other local chefs, to start in early 2013. They'll transform a variety of local spaces into temporary restaurants, and look for more information on this soon.

As for "T.V. Dinner," tickets costs $75 and hosted beverages will be served with dinner. For tickets, click here.

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