“Jordan and I have discussed the idea of collaboration dinners several times over the last couple of years, especially spring 2020, when we were both at a bit of a standstill when it comes to food and wine,” O’Hearn says. “Dave Willocks at Bakers Table was the perfect third spark needed to put this in motion. It really came together quite easily once Dave gave us the go-ahead to do a dinner series.”
The event serves as a kickoff of sorts for both O’Hearn’s new wine venture, and Anthony-Brown’s highly anticipated restaurant, which has been struggling through pandemic-related delays.
“The process for opening The Aperture has been a long one—plenty of delays, slowdowns, adjustments, etc.,” Anthony-Brown says. “So to pass the time and stay busy, I’ve been working in the kitchen at Baker’s Table for the past few months.”
The Aperture is set to begin construction soon and before he left The Baker’s Table to fully focus on that, Brown explains that there was interest in having him host a special event.
“Dave and Porter [The Baker’s Table’s chef de cuisine] discussed the idea of me doing a menu takeover for a few days,” he adds. “The timing actually worked well since Baker’s Table will be closed through the end of the year, so we viewed it as a good way to finish out the year with something fun, collaborative, and new.”
The prix fixe dinner, which takes place Dec. 16-18, is $100 per person with optional wine pairings for additional $55 (click here to reserve a seat—seating is limited).
“We just wanted to do something fun, which especially warranted during the holiday season,” Anthony-Brown says. “It’s a great opportunity to showcase some new dishes and a collaborative experience in an environment that Chris and I are both comfortable in.”
O’Hearn, who recently left the natural and fine wines distributor wineCRAFT to launch Parcel, says The Baker’s Table collaboration isn’t the last you’ll see of him and Anthony-Brown.
“I expect you’ll see plenty more from Jordan and me,” he notes. “It’s always exciting working with like-minded people and he’s one of my favorites for bouncing ideas back and forth. We’ll find more ways to take care of people.”
Anthony-Brown agrees. “I can’t necessarily say this specific version of the event will happen again—the stars were pretty aligned for this to come together,” he explains. “However, I will say that I really hope that this continues to spark the collaborative nature of the food and beverage scene in our market.
“While the pandemic has been extraordinarily trying in countless ways, I do feel that it’s created a renewed sense of collaboration and community in our city, particularly within the restaurant industry. There are countless opportunities for different businesses and establishments to work together moving forward and create unique, one-off experiences – hopefully we continue to see that happen.”