progress at the wine dive

Greetings!

We are incredibly excited to be hosting a dinner at the yet-to-open The Wine Dive, located on the downtown square, on August 26, beginning at 6:30 p.m. Not only will this be yet another unforgettable night at progress, but will provide diners with an exclusive preview of this exciting new downtown establishment.

This will be a five course dinner, with wine pairings. The food will interpret the story of progress--who we are, and how we got here.

The evening will begin with a reception at 6:30 p.m., which will also provide a small preview of the food and wine which will be served at The Wine Dive, once it opens. Dinner service will follow. 

Tickets for this event are $95 per person. We will have two seating options available: at the bar, to be up close and personal with our team; and traditional floor seating.

Tickets are available through our ticketing website at www.progresspopups.bigcartel.com 

We look forward to seeing and serving you, once more.

copenhagen | week 12

March 17, 2017

Headlines this week:

This is the End

I know I’m like ten years late to the party, but I started listening to podcasts this week—food podcasts, of course. I’ve been listening to the Eater Upsell. I’m a big fan of Eater, a site for all serious food news, and usually a place I check up on once or twice a day, so their podcast was a natural place for me to start. Interestingly, it felt like everything I listened to this week directly reflected my life, or rather, my food life.

On an episode featuring Mario Batali, he talks about working for Marco Pierre White (notorious angry-guy and best chef of his time, who infamously made other notorious angry-guy, Gordon Ramsay, cry). He says, “So I withstood six months of abuse from this guy, because I knew that I could take something away. It’s almost illegal, now, to be that abusive, and I think it actually is abusive. It is illegal to be abusive, but there was a time when you’re learning from someone and you realize, I must give myself to this, so I can take away something away from it, and then I can reinterpret it.”

I’m not here saying I’ve been through an abusive time at 1O8. It definitely hasn’t been easy, though. I’ve gone through a lot, and I’d like to think I’ve changed and become better for it. But I had to give myself to it, and I had to let it, it being the restaurant and the people, take from me. It took a lot. It took a lot more than I was willing to give, but I think that’s the important part. Now I know how much more I have inside me. Now I know there’s another level to food, and not just food in general, my food, as well.

Hoy Creative, the good people who have been filming the progress documentary, came to Copenhagen this week. We walked around the city, met up with some fellow chefs on their days off, filmed prep and service at 1O8, and sat down for an interview to recap how progress has evolved over the past year. It was really nice to see a familiar face. It was also nice to have a platform to air out some of the thoughts and feelings I’ve been sitting on for the past several months.

On another Eater Upsell episode, featuring Anthony Bourdain, he talks about the power of television and film. He talks about filming these moments and cutaways, that might be staged or less candid than they could be, but in the end, help to convey a very true and honest message. So even though we might have shot me walking down the street a couple different times, or answered a question a couple different ways, it doesn’t take away from the fact that I did walk down that street every day for three months, and I really do feel that way about a topic. It’s still an honest moment in the documentary.

To that extent (and I promise this will be my last podcast comparison) Flynn McGarry discussed how, “counter dining,” which is the sort of seat-at-the-chef’s-table feel that progress aims to incorporate, can feel very much like acting. He talks about telling the same jokes to guests, night after night, and the pressure of being in the spotlight all through dinner. And yes, even though, at progress, I might have similar conversations with guests throughout the night, it’s not me on autopilot or saying something scripted. Progress and all its moving parts are genuine extensions of each of us. That’s why we love it so much.

We had some actually warm weather this week. It even reached 60 one day. But now we’re back to more typical Danish weather, with gusty, overcast, rainy days.

Here are a few of the people I’ve spent my days next to. From left to right: Brazil, Linguine, Medium (there was also a Small and a Large), Jay-Jay (because we already had one Jay), Mia, The Great Dane, intern 6, intern 7, (we didn't bother to learn their names until they'd been there two weeks), the cat. 

 

And you know what’s interesting about this picture? You can’t tell who the most badass chef is. That’s something else I’ve learned here, is not to assume anything about a person because each of us have a very unique and very different story. For the record, the most badass chef in this photo is the girl holding the tray of cookies, Mia.

The service which Hoy Creative filmed was a pretty exceptional evening. It was the type of service any chef would be happy to have. The sections were communicating with each other, working in sync, and sending out beautiful, consistent food at a fast pace. It was fun. The energy was humming. The kitchen was buzzing. It’s hard to put into words if you haven’t worked in a kitchen. But it was a special kind of night. It was then that I looked around and realized, shit, I’m going to miss this.

I’m not going to miss the long days, the frustrating mise en place, or the fact that I’ve been exhausted for three months. I’m not going to miss the poor services or when people run out of patience with each other. But I definitely will miss that kitchen. I’ll miss the multiculturalism, the comradery, the dry brand of sarcasm, the teamwork, the service, and the people. I’ll miss some of the awkward parts too, like having to lean in too close and yell to a table about what they’ll be having, because the elderly diners are just a bit hard of hearing. I’ll miss the expeditor telling me, “Table 24. In Chinese,” as I walk food out to the dining room, even though they know I don’t speak Chinese. I’ll miss the banter and the energy. I’ll miss the push.

My last service wasn’t a particularly good one. It actually was a pretty bad service. But we debuted a new dish that night:  braised pork with truffles (we actually put four new dishes on the menu that night, which could be why service didn’t run so smoothly). I spent the night shaving black truffles onto croquettes and nibbling leftover scraps. Doing that, shaving piles of truffle onto braised pork, dressed with fermented mushroom and truffle emulsion, that was the sexy, Chef’s Table moment that other people think about when they think about being a chef. It was a rare moment, and it was beautiful in its own way.

As a side note, the pork and truffle dish is essentially French rillette, battered in a Chinese breading, topped with fermented mushrooms and Italian black truffles, and served in a Nordic kitchen. However, even with all those cultural aspects, that dish is in no way, “fusion.” I think that’s the best part.

On my last night, after service, I went to ask the sommelier if he could make a coffee for the sous chef. He didn’t give me an answer, but instead poured me something like 10 oz. of snaps (Danish infused spirits), had me drink it all at once, and sent me back to the kitchen. It made for an interesting clean-down. I made what I hope to be a gracious and eloquent toast at the end of the night, stayed late drinking with the waiters until we all went down the street and begged a kebab stand to stay open for us, and returned to the restaurant around 6 a.m. where I hassled the bakers until they gently pushed me out the door and told me to go home and sleep. I woke up, somewhere on the north side of Copenhagen, about an hour later, on me feet, on a bus. It didn’t take me too long to get a grip on where I was and get home, but it was definitely an interesting feeling to wake up, on your feet, somewhere unknown.

In my gracious and eloquent toast, I told everyone that 1O8 was the only thing I knew in Copenhagen. It really is. I’m not much of a tour guide, and can’t really tell you how to spend time in the city because, unless it was on my commute to work or happened at the restaurant, I didn’t know about it. Someone compared it to getting out of the military or prison, you just don’t know what to do with yourself anymore. And I don’t. That’s why I’m going to go back later this week, and spend my mornings fermenting, baking, and writing recipes.

But first, I’m going to celebrate. Tonight, I have reservations at Kadeau, somewhere that’s been on my list for a long time. I’m very excited.

I’m glad I came here. It’s been a tough three months that have gone by in a blur. I’ve seen people break down and have full blown breaks with reality over food. I’ve seen people care more about food than anything else I’ve encountered. I’ve tasted things I had absolutely no context for (like fermented grasshoppers) but were delicious nonetheless. I’ve met new people and made connections I truly care about. I’ve learned a lot about myself and a lot about people. I’ve worked hard, slept little, eaten enough kelp and koji to last me a year, and cleaned more watercress than I care to talk about. I’ll be spending the next few weeks here decompressing and spending time with my family who arrive in nine days. Then, it’s full steam ahead on progress.

Don’t forget, tickets for Urban Roots go on sale Monday the 22 at 6 p.m. central time.

Again, thank you for following my journey here and for the kind words many of you expressed.

See you at the farm.

DE

 

copenhagen | week 11

May 8, 2017

Headlines:

Progress Announces Summer Pop-Up

What I learned in Copenhagen

First, we would like to take a few moments to announce a few details about our next pop-up. The dinner will take place at Urban Roots Farm on two nights:  June 23 and 24. The theme of the dinner will be Midwest Summer | Nordic Influence. The theme, obviously, has been derived from the abundance of incredible, local, summer produce which will be available, and will be influenced by some of the techniques, styles, and approaches to food which I have been exposed to during my time in Denmark. This dinner will be the biggest dinner we have done, serving eleven courses with beverage pairings. We will have approximately 30 tickets available per night. Also, the menu will change from night one to night two. The second night’s menu will not be a complete overhaul, but will feature three to four different courses. Why? Because we want to challenge ourselves, create a unique experience and atmosphere for our guests on each night, as well as give ourselves a chance to explore as many amazing ingredients and techniques as possible. Tickets will go on sale on May 22. We cannot express how incredibly excited we are to cook for you again.

Now, back to Copenhagen.

We have a lot of new interns. We have several Americans (one from Kansas City, actually), and Canadians. To me, it’s very bizarre to hear these North American accents in the kitchen after so many months of Italian and Spanish being spoken around me. The interns aren’t necessarily bad. I have to remember that I, myself, was rather worthless for the first several weeks of my internship, so try to be patient when things need to be explained over and over. However, I realized that, to some degree, I do resent the new interns. I overheard one of the sous chefs tell someone, “Say please and thank you. They’re interns.” This blew me away. My first six weeks or so were a bit of a nightmare. I was thrown to the wolves, tossed in the deep end with bricks tied to my feet, and it felt like no one cared weather I sank or swam. It was incredibly tough for me and the chefs were very, very hard on me. Last night, one of the chefs told me, “You came at the worst time possible.” It should be noted that the kitchen has gotten much more friendly and there is much less anger, stress, and aggression in our daily lives. Still, I see the new interns having such a cushy introduction to the kitchen, and it makes me resent them for not having to learn the hard way. I’m glad I learned the hard way, though, because I learned a lot about myself through it.

Between the four or five new hires, as well as the seven or eight new interns, we have a lot of new names and faces in the kitchen, and a lot of people are unsure about who does what or who is who. A lot of the new faces assume(d) I am a chef de partie, which I take as a great compliment. I had one new guy tell me, “You never smile. You never show emotion. But [another new guy] told me, ‘I know he doesn’t show emotion, but he’s really smart.’” Last night, one of the sous chefs told the kitchen, “Remember, this guy (me) is an intern, but you can learn a lot from him.” I say these things not to toot my own horn, or to fluff my ego, but to take a moment to appreciate how far I’ve come, because I felt like absolute dirt, and like I knew next to nothing when I began here. It feels nice to hear nice things said about yourself.

That being said, I had the worst service of my life last night. My station completely sunk in the middle of service. I was prepared, just like every other day, and didn’t do anything differently than I have been for the past several weeks I’ve been working the station. But somehow, everything came unglued and came crashing down in the middle of a big push. It was devastating. It was the type of service that makes you feel like you brought shame on your family and like you should consider a career change. A lot of people had to jump in to bail me out. But, at the end of the night, one of the chefs told me, these days happen. And they do. I’ve seen better, more organized chefs than myself sink on that station. I know things can unravel quickly, but in those moments, it can be very hard not to take it personally. I say I had a terrible service, to juxtapose the fact that, for the first time, at the end of the night, I had a moment where I thought to myself, what if I stayed? To me, it’s a sign that I’ve gotten truly comfortable in this kitchen and this city. Will I stay? No. I’ll be home in early June and will be hard at work putting together progress. Still, it’s interesting to see how far my thought process has come, from being raked over the coals, to not wanting to leave.

So what have I learned here? Aside from little things like, what a grasshopper tastes like and how to locate the asshole on a mussel, I’ve learned a lot of more conceptual things. In no specific order, here are some of them:

1)      I can do hard things.

2)      I can take it. If you want to yell at me, tell me my food is shit, say I’m doing a terrible job, that’s fine. I can take it.

3)      Danish weather is never actually warm. Ever.

4)      When you are plating food, don’t lean in too close, because you’ll knock heads with the person on the other side of the pass, leaning in to do the same.

5)      In an open kitchen, you have to always seem busy, even if you’re not. It’s very weird for a guest to look into a kitchen and see a chef just standing around.

6)      There is always something to be done. So, you don’t have to just look busy, you can pick elderberry capers, or lemon thyme, or pickled elderflower. You can always be productive.

7)      I can work very long hours on very little sleep, day, after day, after day.

8)      Riding a bike in the rain to work isn’t always as bad as it sounds.

9)      I know how to call people a lot of nasty things in a lot of languages, now.

10)   I understand fermentation just a little more than I used to. And I understand that fermentation is a massive subject, of which I’ll never fully get to the bottom.

11)   Making new friends is hard, but rewarding.

12)   Being vulnerable is hard, but rewarding.

13)   Between 42-46 degrees is the perfect biking weather.

14)   When you’re on your bike, the wind is always blowing the wrong way.

15)   I really, really don’t like techno music.

16)   Writing is a very effective way of processing your thoughts.

17)   Doing long, mind-numbing tasks, like picking case after case of watercress, every day, is actually the perfect way to open your mind up to creative thoughts.

18)   I’ve learned to sit with my emotions. If I feel happy, I’ve learned to be happy. If I’m sad, I’ve learned to just be sad, and know it won’t last forever.

19)   I’ve learned that not everyone will understand your food or your vision, but that’s okay.

20)   I don’t like running into other Americans while I’m abroad.

21)   I’ve become a better teacher than I knew I could be.

22)   I’ve learned I can be pushed far, far beyond what is comfortable or “possible.”

23)   I’ve learned how hard you can push people.

24)   I’ve learned how to not treat people.

25)   I’ve learned how important it is to be truly grateful for the people who work hard to make a dream a reality.

26)   I’ve learned that, when you push people as hard as you can, you take them to the edge. Some people will go over the edge and will break. Others will fight to stay right on the edge, and right there, on the edge, on the brink of ripping off your clothes and running naked and crazy through the streets, that’s where you learn the most.

I’ll be in Europe for a few more weeks, working, eating, drinking, fermenting, and spending time with my family. I’m looking forward to having a few weeks that might be a bit less demanding.

DE

 

 

copenhagen | week 10

May 2, 2017

Headlines:

Progress Anniversery

New Intern Day at 1O8

Yesterday was the one year anniversary of progress. We cannot say thank you enough. You guys are amazing for supporting us in our dream. We have so much in store for you this year.

We hired several new guys this week. I’ve mentioned that we have a LOT of nationalities represented at 1O8. The hot section is essentially all Italians, cold section is a pretty global mesh, and pastry is the Spanish speaking section. And now we have a Korean section, holding down garnish on the hot side. They’re good. They picked up really quickly on how service runs, rather than the two or three week learning curve which most people need. It finally feels like we have enough people in the kitchen, which is good, because we’re doing a LOT of covers now that the weather is warming up. We did the biggest night since I’ve been here this week:  182. The terrace is supposed to open this week, which is going to mean we’ll be having 200-250 cover days. I’m terrified. Everyone here talks about summer like they talk about winter on Game of Thrones. They whisper about it with big, scared eyes. They say, “summer is coming.”

I had a dream this week that I was at noma Mexico, which the Washington Post has called “the meal of the decade.” Most people would dream that they were eating there, right? Not me, in my dream, I was still an intern—working.

This city is finally starting to feel like home, just in time for me to leave. One night, I told one of the servers, “If I had a life here, this place would have ruined it,” referencing the huge number of hours we put in, creating a complete lack of personal or social life. She told me, “But if you think about it, this is your life.” I’ve been looking at my time here as, well, not my life. The person I am here isn’t who I’ve been. Or, at least, I didn’t think it was. It’s been a slow evolution, a subtle continuum of change. But I have changed, and I have come to embrace this place and what I’m doing here. It feels nice to be fully settled in here. It makes me feel very torn about leaving, much more so than I thought I would.

Regarding the hours we work, it’s very mentally draining. We’re in that building so much, we forget that it’s spring outside. We forget about functional lives. We forget what it’s like to have relationships or time to yourself. You hear people say things like, I haven’t seen my boyfriend or girlfriend in a week, and they live together. Sometimes, we get home at 2 a.m. or 3 a.m. and we stay up. We stay up and eat cold leftovers on the floor of the kitchen while we watch TV on your laptop. Or we chain smoke on your balcony while we drink wine and listen to Frank Sinatra. Or we just lie in bed and watch videos on youtube. We do these things, these things that keep you awake and steal the precious hours of sleep you’re allotted, because sometimes we just NEED, so badly, some time to ourselves. People ask me to hang out on my days off, but usually I don’t. I don’t because I want and need to be alone. I need to sit in a quiet apartment and read a book. I need to walk in the park by myself. I need to just not be around people, because I know that I’m going to be standing inches apart from them for another 80 hours this week. It’s nothing personal, it’s just very personal.

I did hang out with one of the bakers yesterday. And, no, we’re not dating, as many have asked and speculated. We ate cheesecake for breakfast (because we’re adults), shopped for things we didn’t need, and laid in the grass in the botanical gardens, mumbling back and forth to each other all the absurd, repetitive phrases we hear in the kitchen every day, until we laughed ourselves to tears. It was a good day.

I had a thought the other night on my way home from work. I thought, the only people out at 3 a.m. are chefs, drunks, and drunk chefs.

The new batch of interns started today, and we’re all anxious to see if they’ll be any good, or how quickly they’ll quit. I’ve been thinking about what advice I should give them, if any. There’s a lot I could say, but I think the most sage advice I could give can be distilled down into this:  you get out what you put in. If you work hard and ask a ludicrous amount of questions, you’ll learn and you’ll grow, and you might stick. But if you expect things to be easy or spoon-fed to you, you’re going to sink and you’re going to quit.

Here are some absolutely insane facts about 1O8:  our napkins are hand-made and get sent back to the woman who made them, so she can HAND WASH them. Our plates are hand-made. Our cups are hand made. Our silverware took NINE MONTHS to design, and yes, was custom made for our restaurant. Our light fixtures, yes, bespoke. The panes of glass that cage the grill section cost $3,000 EACH. The price tag to build the restaurant is $1.7 million (or maybe that was just the kitchen, I can’t remember).  

This week I cooked for the head chef of Faviken, yes, that Faviken. Yes, like the Chef’s Table episode. This week I cooked for chefs from Blue Hill at Sone Barns. Yes, that Blue Hill at Stone Barns. Yes, like the Chef’s Table episode. You cook for these people, you talk to them, you hang out with them after service, and you realize, they’re people, too. I’ve come to realize all these demigods of food that I’d put on such a pedestal, are still people, at the end of the day.

I’m off to go check out the new interns and get the daily kitchen gossip. I hit the lottery this week—the sun is actually shining on my days off.

Cheers.

DE

copenhagen | week 9

Headlines this week:

Danish Spring Brings Menu Changes

Progress:  Manifesto

Settle in, I’ve got a lot to say.

The calendar says we’re getting closer to Spring, but it’s snowed twice in the past week. Danish Spring is more like intermediary winter.

Nevertheless, as we move towards a change in the season, Kristian has been working on new menu items. The beef short ribs, one of our sharing dishes, are changing to pork belly. We cook them in this contraption called a josper. The josper is essentially a coal fired oven that feels like you’re standing in front of the sun. It’s very, very, very hot. I found out this week that pork belly will actually explode in the josper, if left too long. Yes, explode, with a bang and a firey, pork fat inferno. To accompany the pork, chef has designed a terrine of kohlrabi, fermented apples, and watercress, that’s finished tableside with a rhubarb juice. It’s incredible. For me, it could easily be dessert. It has perfect acidity and sweetness that’s going to balance really well with the rich pork belly. (However, it looks like a huge pain in the ass to make. Naturally.) He’s also working on a new chicken dish, with a fermented bread and mushroom glaze. Or a dried scallop glaze. Something really umami-heavy.

I love watching Kristian get excited about food. I love watching anyone get excited about food. It’s made me think a lot about my own food this week.

This place has changed my palate. In my experience, different restaurants have different palates which they train their cooks to follow. In Grant Achatz’ autobiography, he talks about training his whole kitchen to taste and season food the way he would—training their palates to mirror his. When I worked at Food IQ, my boss, Cristi, trained my palate over three years. I have the Food IQ palate. People that work at FIQ get their palates adjusted to how FIQ cooks and seasons. It’s very globally influenced and balances a lot of spice with sweetness, and richness with acidity. Here, my palate has been introduced to a lot of new flavors and ways of layering flavor. It’s not that I have a whole new sense of taste, but there’s definitely been an evolution to how I taste food. However, in the beginning, having to adjust to a new set of flavors really, really shook my confidence. It’s like learning a new language. It’s like being a telemarketer, where your job is to talk to people, but you don’t have a grasp on the words. I second guessed myself a lot for the first six weeks or so. But I grew more comfortable with the flavors, my palate adjusted, and I remembered, oh wait, this is what I do, I cook. Things got easier after that, but it really taught me the value of learning new tastes and incorporating them into your personal encyclopedia of flavor and ingredients.

Another thing I’ve been thinking about this week is being too close to your food. Sometimes you work on a dish for so long, and you get so fixated on a component, ingredient, or flavor, that you just can’t tell if it’s good. Sometimes, you end up making something truly awful, but just can’t tell, because you’ve been working on it so long. Sometimes, you make the same thing over, and over, and over again, so you become bitter towards it and bored with it, and you lose sight of the fact that you’re actually creating something wonderful. This is why it’s so important to have people you trust around you, people with strong palates, and the language to be able to tell you what’s good or bad about what you’re doing, rather than simply saying, I like it, or, I don’t like it.

I think about food here. I think about food A LOT. For the past three years, I’ve been paid more to think about food, and for my intellectual property concerning food, than to physically cook food. I’m very close to finishing the lengthy menu for our pop-up at Urban Roots, but I could create an entirely separate menu of dishes I’ve come up with and discarded over the past two months. And they were good ideas. They just got left on the cutting room floor.

I used to think that, as a chef, you had to aspire to be a creative genius. I used to think that if you weren’t innovating, if you weren’t trying to invent something better than the wheel, you weren’t doing your job. Here, I’ve come to realize that not every chef feels that way, or needs to feel that way. Some chefs are very strong when it comes to organization, others with prep, others with technique, others with flavor, and so on. If everyone were trying to push creativity, it would be a disaster. I’ve been lucky enough to have been surrounded by immensely intelligent people, who think at a very high level about food. Being trained to think about food, for me, has been incredibly impactful on my career. It’s helped me take all the wild, creative energy I had, but didn’t know how to use, and focus it into meaningful dishes and flavors.

I used to be obsessed with never cooking the same dish twice. I still am, actually. When I cooked for the chef’s table at Metropolitan Farmer, I drove myself crazy with coming up with five new courses every night because, for me, after I made something new, it was played out and I was over it. It also felt like I was cheating myself. It felt like if I made the same thing twice, that I was phoning it in and not pushing myself creatively. It’s easy to phone in dishes. It’s easy to just whip up something that you know is tasty and you know people will like because it’s safe. For some people that works, and that’s totally fine. But for me, because I’m slightly mental, I’m always trying to push for what’s new and what’s next. That’s one of the reasons a concept like progress is so perfect for my personality. We get to totally overhaul everything we do, every single time.

So, all of these thoughts, all the thinking I’ve done this week, has lead me to write the progress manifesto. I’ve shared it with Cass and Jersey, and I’d like to share it with you.

The progress Manifesto

At progress, as a collective, we hold certain beliefs in food, people, and attitudes, which help to shape what we do. We use these ideas to remind ourselves to stay true to who we are and what we do.

1.       Stay inspired. Inspiration and innovation are chief. Cook what inspires you, and what you believe can inspire others.

2.       Let your food tell a story. Give your food a voice and a vision, and see where it leads you. Your food should have a narrative. Don’t let yourself be constrained by ingredients, at least, not at first.

3.       Create food that makes sense. Remember time (when you are cooking) and place (where you are cooking). Let the ingredients and flavors be cohesive with the message of the food, but don’t be so confined by something as tedious as citrus not growing in your back yard.

4.       Push boundaries, and listen. Comfort zones create complacency. Push the boundaries each time you create a meal/experience, and see the response. Sometimes you’ll hit the mark. Sometimes you’ll miss. But learn from each experience.

5.       Think big. Look beyond where you are. Seek out flavor and inspiration both globally and locally, and let it filter through you and translate into the experience you curate.

6.       Stay humble. There will always be someone or something better. Remember where and how you began.

7.       Collaborate. Make use of the resources you have, and the talented, like-minded people around you. Collaboration fosters growth and creativity.

8.       Ask for help. No one can do everything on their own. Be generous, thoughtful, and gracious, and hope others will be the same in return.

9.       Work hard. You’ll be amazed to find just how hard you really can work and push yourself.

10.   Embrace the struggle. If it was easy, it wouldn’t be worth doing.

11.   Imbibe with friends. Drink with your friends and colleagues and take time to relax at the end of the day. Explore new horizons in food, beverage, relationships, and experiences.

12.   Never say, “we can’t.” Instead, ask, “how can we?” That’s how big moments happen.

13.   Be thankful. Be thankful for everything from the ingredients you work with, to the people who help and support you, to the guests that dine with you, and every small detail in between.

14.   Embrace change. It is rarely easy, but most times worth it.

15.   Evolve. Just like embracing change, it is rarely easy, but it is the lifeblood of what we do at progress. Continue to learn. Educate yourself. Grow. Push yourself and let yourself be pushed by others. By continual evolution, you continue to create something truly unique and beautiful, both for ourselves and others.

16.   Be patient. Be patient with your experiences, with one another, with ingredients, and with time. Rome wasn’t built in a day.

17.   Make it nice. You don’t have to strain a sauce 27 times for it to be nice. But whatever you do, please, make it nice. People will notice.

18.   Notice the small things. The devil is in the details. Whether it’s a signed note to a guest, or the way a leaf looks on a plate, take note of the details that others might overlook—it will separate the cream from the milk.

19.   Rise to the challenge. If you bite off more than you can chew, that’s okay, it’s how you grow. But don’t fold. Rise to the occasion and learn from whatever pitfalls you encounter along the way.

20.   Be as prepared as possible, and let whatever happens, happen. Some things will be out of your control, but do the best you possibly can to make sure that you’re ready for what the world could throw at you. Because whatever can happen, will.

21.   Love. Love one another, love what you do, and make sure you love what you’re creating, otherwise, this may as well be any other job.

A few more things, and I’ll wrap up, here. I met a guy last week who worked at a few different three Michelin starred places in France, and is here, doing a two week tryout at Geranium (also three stars and no. 19 in the world). I asked him what it’s like at a three star. He laughed and said, “You’re an animal. Say, someone uses your oven, you grab them by the shirt collar and scream in their face. You’re just an animal.” That is not food that I’m about. There can be a very ugly side to fine dining that I won’t get into, but it’s there, and it’s something I’ve learned I don’t want to be a part of.

If you’ve been to progress, you’ve probably seen the good people from Hoy Creative, in St. Louis, floating around, photographing and filming. They took an interest in us at the very beginning and have been working on a documentary about progress. In May, they’re coming to Copenhagen to film at 1O8. Copenhagen, as I’ve come to realize, has played a key role in how progress has been shaped. The first time I came here, I came back with a million new ideas for how progress should look, feel, and taste. Every time I’ve worked in a kitchen here, it’s influenced what we do at progress. I think Hoy Creative realized that before even I did. Having them come here feels very full-circle, and I’m hugely honored that they see something in progress, so much so, that they’re taking the time to fly out here and follow our story.

I’ve always been a very stoic, pensive, quiet person. I think that’s been intensified while I’ve been here. People ask me if I’m okay, often. Sometimes I am, sometimes I’m not. It’s not easy to be here. But I’m very glad I’m here. I’m very glad I’m doing this, and I can’t wait for all of you to see what it’s meant for me to be here, as it translates into what we do at progress.

Cheers.

DE

copenhagen | week 8

April 18, 2017

Headlines:

Easter Onslaught Pushes 1O8

Hunger Games Begin at 1O8

It’s Easter week, which means a few things. First, my roommate, Kasper, left for Paris for the week with his girlfriend (nice, right?), so I had the apartment to myself, as the dogs stayed with their respective step-parents. I had asked Kasper if Easter week got crazy for restaurants, here. He told me that some of his friends in the industry had experienced incredibly slow weeks, while others had been bursting at the seams. I quietly prayed for an easy week, naïve as I was.

We were fully booked every day this week. And I mean, fully booked. With everyone in a chair, we have 75 seats. We were doing 160-170 covers a night.

Being this busy means we had to have a lot of product shipped in. Our walk-in refrigerators were filled to the ceiling, and so full you could hardly turn around in them. On top of that, because it was Easter week, our suppliers were closed for most of the week, so we had to get all our product in, at once, for the week. We processed 2,000 lbs. of short ribs and something like 300 live scallops (which we keep in a giant fish tank down the street at noma). Needless to say, it’s been an intense week.

Some good news, the ultra-tedious the razor clam dish changed (but, soon, we’ll be dealing with this gem). Kristian wasn’t satisfied with the consistency of the clams we were getting, so we changed the protein to blue mussels. The mussels come in fresh, every day, and we blanch and shuck them for service. I think I personally shucked around 2,000 mussels this week.

Jose, the sous chef, who runs most services and is in charge of most day-to-day operations, left on Saturday to visit his family in LA for three weeks. That means Kristian will be working every day for the next three weeks. Three weeks without a day off is not a picnic for anyone, especially when the pressure is as intense as it is here and the job is as insane as this one. These next three weeks, one of the chefs told me, will be like the hunger games.

I’ve been sick all week, as well. Not like, contagious sick, that would’ve been too easy. If I had a fever, I might have been able to stay home. No, I just felt tired and sore, with constant headaches, back pain, and a cough that made me feel like I couldn’t breathe. But the show goes on.

Something this place has taught me is to be a little less self-absorbed. It’s taught me to remember that everyone is dealing with their own personal problems. To work in a restaurant, I think you have to be a little unstable to begin with. You have to be a bit of a messed-up person, anyway. So, every time you want to yell at someone to work harder, work faster, or stop being a dumbass, every time someone is angry with you, or being a royal pain in the ass, remember, they’re going through some things, just like everyone else. Maybe their sister is sick, maybe they’re having trouble with their visa, maybe they’re sick, maybe they had a fight with their significant other, maybe they’re just having a bad day because they packed up their lives and moved across the world and haven’t seen their family in years, or their children in months. Remember that they’re dealing with problems that are, maybe, a little bit bigger than the watercress you’re cleaning. Kristian has told us we need to be patient with each other. It’s easier said than done, but I think we’re trying.

I worked on the cold section for most of this week. It was a nice change of pace, but likely one that won’t last. The dish I focused on this week was the scallop. We serve raw scallops with hip seed oil, kelp salt, bread miso, scallop roe, and sea truffle. This means we shuck live scallops every day, just minutes before service. It’s an activity I’ve come to find very soothing. There’s also something incredibly satisfying and beautiful about cutting into a live scallop and seeing all the muscles shimmer and ripple. Some people talk to their scallops while they shuck them. They’ll whisper “shhhhhh, it’s almost over,” as they slip the knife into the shell to pry it open, or they’ll growl something like “kom nu, just open up already,” (kom nu: Danish for, come on, and, perhaps, the most common phrase in our kitchen) or, “don’t you bite me.” No one likes to have a scallop snap shut on their fingers.

It’s snowing as I write this. It’s snowing hard. That’s Danish Spring for you. *rolls eyes* It’s also 40 degrees out, so I’m not really sure how this is working.

The progress team has been working on a lot of things, despite my distance. We’re acquiring, prepping, and preserving ingredients, already, for our pop-up at Urban Roots in June. Soon, very soon, we’ll be happy to start sharing some of those details with you.

Cheers.

DE

copenhagen | week 7

March 10, 2017

Headlines this Week:

Razor Clams Arrive at 1O8

1O8 “Creates a New Language”

We started a new dish this week, raw razor clams. The dish goes like this: salted gooseberries from last summer and green strawberries, topped with raw razor clams and salsify, which has been cooked in dashi, dehydrated, and rehydrated in dashi several times, which achieves a toffee-like texture, and finished with roasted yeast oil. The razor clams come in live, so we blast freeze them, shuck them, cut them in half, scrape out the guts, and then portion them for service. Maybe it doesn’t sound like a ton of work, but it’s incredibly tedious and time consuming. We used to have this dish, raw shrimps, that had the same level of mind-numbingly tedious preparation go into it. Once a week, we would have shrimp day, where we would receive huge shipment of shrimp that had been caught that day. We would then spend, literally, all day, peeling these itty bitty shrimp and blast freezing them. We’ll be doing the same with the razor clams. Maybe, just maybe, clam day will be Monday or Tuesday, so I don’t have to deal with it. I doubt I’ll have such luck, though.

One of my friends put in his notice this week. We started a week apart from each other and worked the same station for the past six weeks. We spent 80 hours a week next to each other and worked well on the section. He was incredibly calm and cool in service, nearly to a fault, but it helped balance my constant feeling of being overwhelmed. Having him leave will be a bummer. But so goes life. However, when he told me he was leaving, he asked, “Why are you still here? What are you even learning here?”

That’s a good question. Maybe I’m not learning a new recipe every day. Maybe I’m not having this super sexy, Chef’s Table type of experience. Yes, I have some pretty hard, pretty shitty days. Yes, sometimes I want to pull out my hair and run screaming and naked through the streets. BUT I am learning. I’m learning things I don’t like, as much as I’m learning things I like. I’m finding my strengths and weaknesses in the kitchen. I’m understanding the difference between being in a position of leadership and having charisma. I’m learning new flavors. My palate is changing. I’m thinking about ingredients differently. I’m composing dishes differently. And I’m understanding a different ethos of cooking.

All of this struck me this week when I sent a list of dishes I’ve been working on for progress, over to one of my chef friends, whom I bounce most of my ideas and menus off. I wanted to get her feedback and gut reactions to the ideas because, sometimes you get too close to your food or too married to an idea, and can’t see that it might not sound good or seem right. She told me (and this made my week), “Hear me when I say this, okay? This sounds fantastic. Like, really great. These dishes feel and look differently than dishes you sent me just a few months ago, like more developed, more mature, more graceful. You’ve grown. A lot. I think they sound really delicious.”  That’s when I stepped back and was able to see how I’ve been thinking differently about food because of my experience here.

I have two favorite quotes from chefs. One is from Roy Choi, who says something to the effect of, “When you cook, think about your life, think about past mistakes, think about girls. Put that in your mise en place. Put that in your food.” The other, is by Rene Redzepi, who says, “As a cook, you’re creating a language. We need an alphabet to form sentences. The ingredients are our alphabet. And the more letters we have, the more beautiful the prose.” My experience here is giving me more letters in my alphabet. My experience is also teaching me to be actively positive. It doesn’t always happen, and it’s not easy, but negativity creeps into food. As Wes Johnson would say, if you’re bitter all day doing your prep, you end up making hate meatloaf.

Some encouraging news came this week from our sommelier. He’s one of my favorite people. He has this quick, dry, sarcastic sense of humor that’s perfect. He has a wealth of knowledge about wine and spirits, that he’ll happily share, and has perfectly timed words of encouragement for just when you need them. He told us, after a particularly rough service, that a chef, a chef with a big name and a big following, had eaten at 1O8 and written him, saying that the food was amazing, and the experience was incredible. He said that what we’re doing is creating a whole new language in food. I think this can be taken a number of ways, because there are so many facets to what we do at 1O8. But I think he was referring to all of them. We have a Michelin star, but we have an a la carte menu, our wine list is unique and exploratory, rather than focusing on big, old school names and wines, our tables are close together, which fosters a sense of community (which, personally, I find rather brilliant—it’s also something we aim to do at progress), the service and atmosphere is causal, and the food is truly unique. We’re not austere. We’re very approachable. And I think that’s incredibly important, and something that gets missed a lot in fine dining.

Here’s an anecdotal story: one of my friends from the restaurant invited me to her new apartment for brunch on Sunday. But let’s go get drinks the night before, she said. So after work (which, remember, is around 1 a.m. or later), I met her and a few other chefs for beers. That quickly escalated to us spending the next four or five hours at a “party” which, in Danish, is code for soul-crushingly loud “music” (I put music in quotes, because a pulsing baseline for hours at a time with no change or lyrics, to me, is not really music), and people all shuffling in a sort of zombie trance dance. I threw up my hands at 6 a.m. and said I was going home. When we left, with the sun fully out, there was still a line of 30 or so people waiting to get in. If you know me at all, you know this isn’t in my definition of fun. But it’s a new experience I had, nonetheless. She joked with me during the night that, “I have a feeling this is going to end up as a sarcastic story on your blog.” She was entirely correct. Oh, and because I got home at 7 a.m. and fell into a mild coma, there was no brunch. I’m convinced it was all a cruel ploy to lure me into the trap that is the techno dance music scene.

The world's best 50 restaurants list has Eleven Madison Park as number 1 this year. USA! USA! I could rant for hours on the 50 best list. However, one of the most interesting and compelling articles I've read on it is this. I won't dive too much into it, but I think this article makes some really interesting observations. 

I have just over a month left at 1O8. I’m excited to see how else I grow.

DE  

copenhagen | week 6

March 4, 2017

Headlines this week:

1O8 Gains Steady Footing

New Faces at 1O8

This week felt good. It felt like we finally started to click as a section. It’s hard to say what it is, or why, or how, but services are going more smoothly, despite constant setbacks during the day. For me, at least, I think we’re simply getting better and more confident. We’re remembering that we can have good services—that things can go smoothly if we stay focused and push. We’re communicating better during service and having better nights. It’s felt really nice. Hopefully we can continue in this vein.

Spring produce is beginning to appear in the kitchen and on the menu, and the weather outside is starting to resemble something actually pleasant, as opposed to the insipid sky and dull gray world we’ve been living in for so long. It’s nice to see a bit of life around us. It’s evident in the people walking down the street, the faces of the staff, and the ingredients with which we’re cooking. Ramsons are coming in a couple times a week, foraged, and still with a few wayward snails attached. It’s an ingredient I’ve never encountered before, but have quickly fallen in love with. They’re very similar to ramps, back home, but we only use the leafy tops, which have a distinct, spicy, green garlic flavor. We grill them and make oil infusions with them. Both applications are lovely.

We’ve picked up a few new chefs over the past couple weeks. One from Italy (or should I say ANOTHER one from Italy. The kitchen is nearly half Italians. Someone joked a few weeks ago that we’ll be putting pasta on the menu before long.), one from Poland, and one from Korea, who spent 13 years in America. It’s nice to have new faces and extra hands in the kitchen, but we still need to get everyone up to speed and adjusted to the 1O8 way of life. There’s also a girl in this week from Chicago. I met her briefly yesterday, and think she’ll be working in the bakery. Nevertheless, it’s nice to see an American face from time to time.

I’ve been trying to think of how to describe to people how little the chefs sleep here. Imagine this: it’s a lazy Sunday afternoon and you decide to take a nap. You turn on some golf, or whatever else you like for white noise, draw the blinds, and lie back on the couch. Now, how long did you just imagine you slept? Two hours? Three? Maybe things really got away from you and you slept for four or five. There’s your answer. Yes, really.

A few days ago, just before service. I went out to The Corner (the coffee shop attached to 1O8) to fill up my water bottle, and ran into a girl I had worked with last summer when I spent a few days at the two Michelin starred Restaurant AOC. She had been the only one to be nice to me at AOC, and had been the only one to speak English to me during my time there. We exchanged a bit of polite chit chat, and while it was nothing substantial, it was incredibly nice to see a familiar face here in Copenhagen. It felt like running into an old friend. For a few brief moments, it made me feel a little less alone here.

Another highlight: one of my dear friends, Emily, a chef in NYC, told me she recommended me to be a part of a team of chefs that would travel to Korea and cook at the Olympics next year. I don’t know many more details, but the notion itself is exciting enough.

Yesterday, I went to Sweden (it’s just 45 minutes or so by train) with one of the chefs from the cold side, and had a lovely dinner at a one-star restaurant called Bloom in the Park. The building and space was beautiful, the service was amazing, the wines were exceptionally paired, and the food was very nice. Before dinner, she told me, “You will not be picky. You will not ruin my dinner.” What she meant, is that, as a chef, you carry this curse of not being able to enjoy a meal. You’re constantly in chef mode, picking apart every little detail of the experience, from how the wines are poured, to the sound the waiter’s shoes make, to the dimming of the lights, not to mention the food. But we agreed we would turn off the chef mode for dinner, in an attempt to enjoy ourselves a bit more.

The thing that initially attracted me to Bloom, was the fact that they don’t tell you anything about what you’re going to eat. There’s no menu published, the waiters don’t describe the dishes, and you have to go online and put in a code after you leave in order to view the menu. This, in effect, creates this sense of mystery, wonder, and discovery about what you’re eating. Halfway through the meal, one of the servers asked, “any ideas about what you’ve been having?” We blazed through the textures, flavors, and preparations of the six dishes we’d eaten so far, much to the server’s obvious surprise. “So, you’re chefs,” he then stated, and we shared a laugh. 

The menu is as follows.

Amuse Bouche: Shrimp crisp; egg and malt, herbs with blueshell cream; potato and caviar; Caesar salad

Course One: Kohlrabi with scallop, lemon, capers, and enoki

Coal bread

Course two: Kale, cucumber, samphire, onion, lumpfish roe, and crème fraiche

Bull testicle slider

Course three: Alpaca, salsify, apple, chicory, black walnut

Course four: mango, mozzarella, balsamic, basil

Ginger and green tea

Course five: banana cake, lemon sorbet, pomelo, chocolate, silver flake

Petit fours: chocolate leaf, sea buckthorn, passion fruit

I’d forgot that, when you live somewhere, when you work with the same family of people, every day, for 16 hours a day, you become very close, and you leave imprints on one another. There are people here I’ve come to care for quite a bit. This week, several people told me they’d miss me when I leave. They told me they wished I could stay. I’m really not looking forward to leaving these people or this place. Just like when I lived in Australia, it was really hard to say goodbye. But I still talk to my friends from Australia. I’m sure there are relationships I’m building here that won’t go quietly, either. 

There’s a sentiment I’ve had for years. It’s actually a way I’ve thought about people since I was a child. I see people and wonder what they’ll be like in ten or twenty years. Working in Copenhagen, and having had the chance to cook in some pretty great restaurants around the world, I constantly wonder, have I already met the next great, influential chef? The next Rene Redzepi? Thomas Keller? Gordon Ramsay?

What I mean to say is, in ten years, will I tell people, “Oh yeah, I worked with ____________ before they had a star, or two, or three, or were number one on the best 50 list.” I wonder if I’ve met those people, and neither of us know it yet. I wonder if I’ll tell people, “Oh, Kristian? I knew worked for him when he only had one star.”

Speaking of, the best 50 list comes out tomorrow. It’s always interesting and exciting to see what new food and cultures make a splash on the world’s culinary landscape. 

As for progress, we’ve been thinking about it, talking about it, and planning for months. But we’re pleased to announce that our first pop-up, once I return, in June, will be at Urban Roots Farm on June 23 and 24 (barring any wild and unexpected hang ups, like me marrying a Danish girl and staying here forever). Our pop-up at Urban Roots last summer was one of our favorites we’ve done and we’re incredibly excited to be going back, and working with such amazing people, again. More details to come, of course.

Again, thank you for keeping up, the love, and the support.

DE

 

 

 

 

 

copenhagen | week five

March 28, 2017

Headlines:

Staff Reunites After NYC Pop-Up

Daniel Receives Chef of the Year Nomination

Kristian and company returned from the pop up at Chef’s Club in NYC this week. Little was said about the actual pop-up, aside from that it went well, and the first shipment of monk fish they received was shit. They ate at Eleven Madison Park (the number three restaurant in the world right now). Leonardo DiCaprio ate at the table next to them. They all said the service was amazing, and the food was good, but not the best meal they’ve ever had. To me, it simply reinforced the sentiment I’ve been developing that, perhaps, awards should be taken less seriously. Perhaps it’s all subjective, and, “the best food in the world,” means something different to each person. And who knows, the best restaurant out there could be in Austin or Perth, or somewhere the Michelin guide doesn’t review. I guess what I’m getting at, is I believe restaurants should be about their food and their guests, rather than fame, recognition, or accolades.

Having everyone back feels nice. Things just felt off while part of the team was away. Things have been different this week at the restaurant. Everyone is trying just a little harder to make it a better atmosphere to work in, and not so crushing, day in and day out. I can see people stretching their patience and taking deep breaths. Tones are more subdued, albeit stern. I know it takes effort to be more composed, especially in the pressure cooker type environment in which we work. Nevertheless, I appreciate the effort on everyone’s part to be a better, more patient, more compassionate team.

I am the last intern. The other intern had his last day today, and returns to Estonia later this week. This means I am the de facto best, and worst intern.

The horizon is daunting. In the coming weeks, we’ll be putting new items on the menu, and will begin to receive overwhelming amounts of fresh produce from the farm, meaning more and more man hours to break down, clean, prep, and store each new ingredient. It seems we’ll also be adding patio seating outside, meaning an additional 40 seats available for lunch service (which, to date, has been negligible) and dinner service. May 15, we’ll be receiving 15 new interns. That’s exciting for everyone at the restaurant, as it will help to alleviate some of the workload. However, May 15 is also my last day, meaning I won’t get to reap any of that reward. Kristian reminded us that the coming weeks will be hard, but if we can make it through until the next round of interns, we can make it through anything. It’s how I’ve felt and what I’ve told myself through this whole experience.

This week, I received news that Feast Magazine has nominated me for Chef of the Year in Southwest Missouri. It came as a huge surprise. It took me a bit to process and figure out how I really felt about it. Initially, it made me feel guilty. 108 has shown me how much more I have inside me, how much harder I can work, and how much more I can give. The nomination made me feel guilty because I felt like I hadn’t pushed hard enough to deserve such high praise.

Cassidy Rollins, our beautiful and badass FOH manager, was also nominated as Rising Star of the year. She does an amazing job, and we couldn’t do the pop-up without her. She keeps us organized, looking good, and feeling good. She may not always be in the spotlight, but she deserves all the praise we can give her. I’m incredibly glad to call her my friend and my partner, and am thrilled that her efforts are being recognized by Feast.

I’m not sure who told Kristian about the nomination, or how he found out, but he was incredibly excited for me and very supportive. He posted about it on our staff’s Facebook page and told everyone to go vote for me. He congratulated me on multiple occasions. It felt incredible, but extremely humbling at the same time. That’s the biggest feeling that has come out of the nomination:  humility.

To be mentioned on the same list as my boss and mentor, Wes Johnson, as well as other incredibly accomplished chefs, means a lot to me. Perhaps, what means the most is that the nomination wasn’t slighted toward my age (for example, something like best new chef, young gun, up and comer, etc.). I am young, and I have a lot more to learn and a lot more to give. I’m incredibly grateful for the experience I’m having here in Copenhagen, and for the platform I’ve been given back home.

I can’t say it enough or to enough people, but thank you. Thank you to our guests for believing in us. Thank you to my partners for supporting this crazy dream with me. Thank you to those who’ve worked behind the scenes to give us the time and resources we need—Wes Johnson and Travis Jenkins. Thank you to Ana Pierce, Greg Holman, Vivian Wheeler, and everyone else who has written about us. And thank you to everyone else who’s pushed, supported, and cheered us on. If you haven’t voted, we would deeply appreciate it. You can do so here.

I have a lot more to say, but that seems like enough prattle for one week.

Cheers,

DE

Mother's Brewing Collaboration

We are incredibly excited and honored to announce our collaboration dinner with Mother's Brewing Company on February 17 and 18, taking place inside the brewery itself!

For this dinner, the progress team has worked closely with with some very talented Mothers to create a proprietary progress beer that will only be available at the dinner.

This week, the progress team met with David Soper, Mother's head cellarman, tapped several barrels of beer that have been aging in Heaven Hill-Rittenhouse Rye Barrels, and selected our two favorite barrels. That beer is being transferred to freshly dumped barrels from J. Rieger & Co. in Kansas City to finish its aging process. This beer will be, without a doubt, incredible.

The dinner will take place on two nights. On February 17, we will be offering a limited 7 course dinner, with each course paired with a Mother's beer, as well as the one of a kind progress beer.

On February 18, we will be hosting a 5 course dinner for roughly 30 guests, again, featuring the progress beer, as well as several more beers from the Mother's portfolio.

Tickets will go on sale for this event in the next couple weeks, so stay tuned as we count down the days until tickets go on sale.

We are hugely excited and honored to be working with such a well known and well loved institution in this city. Cheers to progress!

January Event

Progress returns in January 2017.

The team has taken the month of December off in order to focus on industry demands, private parties, as well as, time spent with friends, family, and one another. January 14, 2017, Progress will return.

The theme of this dinner is pork, and will consist of four courses, as well as an amuse bouche to begin your meal. Wine service will be offered in the form of one bottle, per two guests.

Dinner will take place at Neighbor’s Mill Bakery & Café, in Springfield, on January 14, at 7:30 p.m. If you haven’t visited this lovely space and enjoyed their food, we highly encourage you to do so. The building is beautiful and the breads are delicious.

For this dinner, seats are being sold by the pair, with 15 tickets available, making for a total of 30 possible seats. Tickets are $125, and each ticket will entitle the buyer to bring a guest. To reiterate, the purchase of one ticket, from our ticketing website, for $125, will allow entry of two guests to the dinner.

As seats are sold by the pair, each duo of guests will receive a bottle of wine to share during the dinner. However, guests have the option of pre-purchasing cocktail service, again, through our ticketing site, which will provide the pair with an aperitivo to begin the meal, as well as a cocktail during the meal. The cocktail supplement is $30 and provides cocktail service to both guests.

We are very excited about this dinner, and look forward to seeing you again, serving you incredible food, and providing you with another, unique, Progress experience.

Tickets are on sale now through our ticketing website at www.progresspopups.bigcartel.com

Sold Out // Spring Events

Thank you all so very much for your incredible and eager support. We sold out all of our tickets for the November 19 dinner within 24 hours of the announcement via Facebook. Thank you, thank you, thank you. 

Our previous post, regarding the dinner, and our winter hiatus, went into a draft folder, rather than being published. That being said, we encourage you to read it (below) to learn about what we're doing this winter. 

We are in discussions with several local businesses right now, regarding our Spring and Summer events. If you are a local business owner, and would like to collaborate with us to host a pop-up in your space, please reach out to us, either via our contact page, or by email at progresspopups@gmail.com. 

Again, thank you for the overwhelming support. We love you all. 

-progress team