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The Kanchi Blog


A Pop Up Restaurant With a Difference

Posted on
28th May 2012

Only one day to go to this years’ Taste of Dublin festival, when we will be launching ‘Kanchi Dine in the Dark’ , an experiential dining event which will see festival goers served an exclusive tasting plate by legally blind waiting staff whilst immersed in complete darkness.

Festival goers will be guided to their tables by legally blind hosts, where they will be served food created by Ireland’s most acclaimed culinary experts. Without their sight to guide them, guests will experience the complex tastes, flavours and textures in a completely new and innovative way. In the blacked out dining room, everyone will be immersed in complete darkness, whether they are visually impaired or not. Each sitting will last approximately 30 minutes, after which guests have the opportunity to meet with the award winning chef who prepared their food, and to discuss cooking techniques and the local produce they have sampled.

Check out Tony Ward Kanchi Sounding Board member talking to Tom Dunne on Newstalk this morning about Kanchi Dine in the Dark Tony Ward on Newstalk

Challenging Perceptions of Difference

‘Kanchi Dine in the Dark’ will enable attendees to experience how, by removing one sense, others can be altered and heightened, encouraging them to value different abilities. Communication whilst in the dark is also fundamentally impacted which will see social interactions altered greatly from the typical dining experience. The aim of the event is to challenge perceptions of difference through unique experiences with a cutting edge and inventive food event.

Nikki Hegarty, Kanchi Network Manager and coordinator of the event said, “Kanchi Dine in the Dark was designed with the aim of challenging people’s perceptions in a manner that is enjoyable, engaging and fun. In this blackened out space, without even realising, guests will begin to tap into other senses, utilising their taste, smell, auditory and communications skills in a new and different way. Ironically, when you take away a participants sight, they see the person not the disability. Our goal with this event is to challenge how our participants perceive disability. We want to eradicate the stigma that surrounds this complex and multifaceted issue”.

Kanchi Dine in the Dark

Kanchi Dine in the Dark

The Chefs

The nine chefs confirmed to participate are: Oliver Dunne, Head Chef of Bon Appétit and the youngest Michelin Star Chef in Ireland; Malcolm Starmer, Head Chef of newly opened Bite in Dublin; Stuart O’Keefe, Private Chef featured on The Food Network (USA) and Stuart’s Kitchen (TV3); Ed Cooney, Executive Chef, the five star Merrion Hotel; Ross Lewis, Head Chef at Michelin Award Winning Restaurant, Chapter One; Master Chef Ireland contestants, Bridin Carey, Conal Markey and Richard Speedie. Radio personality Tom Dunne will also appear as a Special Guest Chef in collaboration with his wife Audrey McDonald of Private Caterers.
There will be several sittings each day for the duration of the festival for both lunch and dinner with 25 festival goers served per sitting.

Chefs Timetable

Thursday 6pm & 7:45pm
Ross Lewis of Chapter One

Friday 1pm & 2:45pm
Ed Cooney of The Merrion Hotel

Friday 6pm
Tom Dunne of Newstalk & Audrey
McDonald of Private Caterers

Friday 7:45pm
Stuart O’Kee_e of the Food
Network & Stuart’s Kitchen

Saturday 1pm & 2:45pm
Stuart O’Kee_e of the Food
Network & Stuart’s Kitchen

Saturday 6pm & 7:45pm
Bridin Carey, Conal Markey &
Richard Speedie of Seasons
Supper Club (Masterchef
Ireland contestants)

Sunday 1pm
Stuart O’Kee_e of the Fo


You must purchase a ticket to Taste of Dublin in order to access Kanchi Dine in the Dark.
Taste of Dublin, who have been a fantastic support to Kanchi in delivering Dine in the Dark, have kindly offered our supporters discounted tickets to the Taste festival. To get 15% Off any Ticket to Taste of Dublin visit www.tasteofdublin.ie or call 0818 30 00 30 and enter code KANCHI15. Offer ends 8th June.
Once at Taste of Dublin, the cost of entry to the ‘Kanchi Dine in the Dark’ pop-up restaurant will be eight Florins (€8 equivalent), which is the Taste of Dublin currency that is available on site. This will include the tasting plate and a glass of wine/ non-alcoholic alternative per person. Guests will be given tickets on a first come first served basis, so please arrive early to avoid disappointment.

The Author: Guest Blogger


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