It's clear by now that Jonathon Sawyer is a little bit rock 'n' roll, but this Sunday, March 15 from 6 to 11 p.m. he's taking his badassitude a step further with a metal-themed tasting menu ($66.66) and live show called Metal as F---. (Call 216-443-0511 to make reservations before they sell out.)
The event features a six-course collaborative dinner with Sawyer, New York City's Dieselboy, Chicago's David Posey, plus performances by local bands Lawskof, Seeress Prophecy and LA Kraze.
It's embracing the dark side, fine dining-style, with highlights like Roulette wings ("six wings in the chamber. one is weaponized [with Scoville powder]. pain is imminent").
We talked to Dieselboy (a.k.a. Damian Higgins) for a rundown and why you should definitely go.
CM: What's your role in this dinner?
DH: I actually conceptualized two of the dishes, a dessert and a pasta course. For a couple of the other dishes, Jon threw the ideas out there and I put some of my thoughts into it. I'll actually be in the kitchen cooking at well. It’s going to be a true collaboration.
CM: You're a well-known disc jockey, so pardon us for asking but, have you ever done anything like this before?
DH: Last June, I did a collaborative dinner in Texas at this restaurant called FT33. The head chef, Matt McCallister, he was a Food&Wine best new chef last year. It was myself, him and Alex Stupack, who has also been a F&W best new chef, and he was the pastry chef at Alinea, wd-50 and a bunch of Mexican restaurants in New York. On my own, I’ve done a couple of burger pop-up events in Holland. I’m a DJ but I’m passionate about food, and I like to stay involved in these cool little events to kind of test myself.
CM: So how did you get involved with Jonathon Sawyer?
DH: A few years ago, his wife (who is a longtime fan of mine I guess), she hit me up on Twitter. I had a show coming up in Cleveland, and she asked if I wanted to come visit the Greenhouse Tavern. I had actually been there once before. This time I went, sat at the chef’s counter, got to meet Jonathon, [then] he came to New York and we had dinner together one night. That was sort of the start of our friendship. I was in town within the last six months and we were talking, and he’s like, Man, we should do dinner together.
CM: How does Greenhouse sort of fit the metal vibe?
DH: There’s an edginess to it, and I know they play '80s video cassettes and shit, which is cool. … Their ideology kind of skews in that direction. I assumed this was their first, but this will be Greenhouse’s fourth metal-themed dinner.
CM: Tell us about your dishes.
DH: It’s easy to go to Halloween, so we’re trying to be not-too-corny and get this nice balance of really good food and ingredients that people have never had before. We’re going to a black pasta with two chambers [an uncut sheet of two ravioli]. One side is going to be blood sausage and black trumpet mushrooms, the other side is going to be cuttlefish, horseradish and whale ambergris. The sauce is called "burnoise," made with black butter. Dessert is a play on black forest cake: A devil’s food cake made with blood, smoked cherry jam, cherries. [Then] I had the idea of making a cherry sorbet with a lot of citric acid, which is what makes Warhead [candies] so sour, with a black-pepper meringue broken underneath it as well.
CM: Sounds very technical. Where do you get your talents in the kitchen?
DH: I’m an avid home cook. I eat out a lot when I travel, I’m friends with a lot of chefs, food writers. I go out to eat a lot, so whenever I cook at home I’ll always set the bar for myself [very high]. I’m also really into learning about food and learning about how to cook food.
For more information about the event, visit thegreenhousetavern.com/upcoming-events/metaldinner.