Oooh, I just received my second invitation to dine with Salt Lake's private dinner club. I guess I behaved well enough last time.

The invitation is - again - mysterious: "If you would like to be invited to dinner, please send me an email."

I received one like it last month, accepted the invitation and waited to see what would happen.

Cost and details followed: a multi-course seated dinner for no more than 40 people, prepared by talented and personable chef Michael Norman, with entertainment by Kimberly Summers, a display of artworks owned by Billingsley.

Guests were asked to prepay $75.

Oh, the location? That would come later.

Except for a memorable meal cooked by ex-Talisker chef at Rikka in Park City a few years ago, this is the first underground restaurant I know of in Utah. Justin Kinnaird, host and organizer, calls it "By Invitation Only," - he polished his impresarial skills working with Valter Nassi at Cucina Toscana for many years.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So you know he knows show biz.

We showed up at our first one a few weeks ago - the location turned out to be a ginormous gated house for sale on a Holladay country road. For sale, if you've got the jack.

Guests explored the house and looked at Dodge Billingsley's art collection while Chef Michael Norman and his all-star crew cooked in the exhibition kitchen.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

When it came time for dinner, I stayed in the kitchen to watch the choreography instead of going to the downstairs dining room where Kimberly Summer crooned to the guests. Actually, I did more than watch - Chef drafted me and I helped garnish the regiments of plates before they were carried downstairs.

The kitchen is always my favorite place to be during any party.

Chef Norman has cooked for celebrities as diverse as Andy Warhol, Diana Ross and Frank Sinatra - he can cook, converse, boss people around, slice a coulibiac and make a mean bearnaise all at the same time, and the polished granite bar was definitely the best seat in the house.

This latest invitation is for dinner at a completely different place, with different entertainment (Daniel and Jennifer Tarasevich), art by Josephine Nadeau and a completely new - and you can bet, surprising - menu cooked by a different chef, Adam Kreisel.

Carrie Butler will photograph the evening again. She took these pictures - with the exception of the blurry one of me.

Cool? I'd love to see more of these dinner clubs in SLC.