Tasting Collective, a members-only dinner club that brings diners up close and personal with top-notch chefs, will soon make its debut in Houston.
Here’s how it works: diners purchase a membership to Tasting Collective, which allows them access to buy tickets to exclusive pop-up dinners held at popular restaurants on nights that they’re closed, or business is slow. Each six-course dinner will feature the restaurant’s chef experimenting with new dishes while showing off their most-beloved plates. Throughout the dinner, diners can provide feedback for the chef on a comment card ahead of a question-and-answer session at the end of each event.
“We fill up every seat in the restaurant with our members and their guests, we arrange the seating to be communal,” Tasting Collective founder Nat Gelb tells Eater. “The vibe is like a big dinner party. There’s a line to get in before we open the doors, it’s kind of like going to a show.”
Launched in New York City, Tasting Collective currently operates its dinner clubs in a dozen cities across the country, including Los Angeles, San Francisco, Philadelphia, and Seattle. It made its Texas debut in Austin in 2018.
As far as pricing is concerned, Tasting Collective memberships are $99/year for the first 250 members in a city, then the price increases to $165/year. Tickets to each dinner are priced at $50, and diners can score additional tickets for guests at $70. “We’ve found a way to make the private dinner experience more accessible,” Gelb says.
Tasting Collective will host its first Houston event on February 24 at Pondicheri alongside chef Anita Jaisinghani. Additional events at Helen Greek Food and Wine and Mastranto’s are also in the works.