Commune., a new monthly roving supper club focusing on local producers, is debuting next week with a coffee close-up.
The July 17 dinner at James Island's CUP Coffee Roasters -- prepared by The Lot's Alex Lira and Commune co-founder Cory Burke of Roti Rolls -- will feature a welcome coffee cocktail followed by four courses cooked with coffee. The menu includes coffee-smoked pig head croquettes paired with chickpea croquettes.
"Everything will be family-style, so served on large platters where everyone has to share," says Burke, who created Commune with Slow Food Charleston's Becky Burke and the Fork & Knife marketing agency.
Sharing is a core value of the Commune. Supper Cult, which describes its mission as "bring(ing) awareness to the amazing work that is being done here locally, while filling bellies with Charleston-grown ingredients, prepared by some of Charleston's best chefs." Each site-specific dinner is a collaboration between two chefs, who together develop four courses showcasing the handiwork of one brewery, farmer, coffee roaster or fisherman.
Among this year's pairings are Jacques Larson (Wild Olive, The Obstinate Daughter) and Daniel Heinze (McCrady's), cooking at Westbrook Brewing on Aug. 20; Lauren Mitterer (Wild Flour Pastry) and Michelle Weaver (Charleston Grill), cooking on the Abundant Seafood fishing docks on Oct. 16; and Kevin Johnson (The Grocery) and Jason Stanhope (FIG), cooking at Palmetto Brewery on Dec. 11. The complete schedule is here.
Dinners are priced at $75 apiece (or $125, including a t-shirt, alcohol and shuttle transportation.) The complete six-dinner package is available for $350. Proceeds benefit a charity of the chefs' choice.
All dinners are served family-style; each course includes at least one vegetarian dish. At the CUP Coffee Roasters dinner, "we will also have family style pickle plates spreading the length of the community table for sharing and topping," Burke says.
Thursday's dinner will celebrate a Rwandan roast ("kind of like a Creamsicle in a cup," a press release explains) and a coffee "grown, harvested, processed, roasted and brewed" by CUP Coffee Roasters' owners Robbie Dietrich and Esther Senft. According to the release, "the coffee prepared for Thursday's dinner will be roasted a couple of days beforehand so that the coffee is in its peak and freshest form."
"(They're) using super high quality beans and doing it right," says Burke, who's serving coffee Fernet milkshakes as an after-dinner drink.
For tickets, visit communecharleston.com.
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