Cozy Farm-to-Table Feast: Underground Fine Dining

An intimate gathering celebrates the last of the season’s local harvest, prepared by Underground Fine Dining.

Article by Emily O'Brien

Photography by Alexandré Hooson

Originally published in Boulder Lifestyle

Before the season’s end, friends gathered to break bread at a private residence in Boulder, catered by Underground Fine Dining.

Chef Dustin Brandt says, “The menu writing process for my private dinners start with me asking my clients what their likes, dislikes, or favorite ingredients may be.”

Brandt then creates and discusses a menu draft, ensuring the meal is planned to perfection. “Every menu is unique and designed with my client's taste in mind. It keeps things fresh knowing that each menu will never be duplicated,” says Brandt, who owns and runs the company with his wife Andrea.

The menu this night entails inspiring produce from Mark DeRespinis at Esoterra Culinary Garden mixed in with some of fall’s comforts.

Brandt says, “Working in restaurants and coming up in a culture that lacked the focus on a healthy work life balance was part of the inspiration to start Underground Fine Dining. I wanted to find a way to share my passion without sacrificing 80 hours a week in a kitchen."

Travel and the freedom to create flexibility were key. “I simply wanted my world to become more unpredictable which I believe leads to evolving inspirations.”

The company’s cuisine has a strong background of French and Italian, influenced with inspirational flavors uncovered while living and studying food in Mexico and traveling throughout Southeast Asia.

What sets Underground Fine Dining apart is how they embrace spontaneity. “There are no rules, leaving no boundaries on where, when, or how a dining experience may come together,” says Brandt, iterating they’ve cooked on houseboats in the middle of nowhere, on cross country tours doing pop up dinners with bands, at beer pairing dinners tucked inside brewery warehouses and more. “We’re always up for an adventure.”

Our CCL Creative Director Alexandré Hooson experienced the Underground Fine Dining Experience first hand. She says, "While having Dustin in our friends home, he adapted to the space and it felt like he was part of the family. The balance of energy with the cooking, serving, presentation of each dish, and clean up was seamless. I felt like we could do this every week." 

She adds, "The colors of the food, the balance of textures and flavors was artful. There was a minimalist approach to the experience while at the same time, the flavors popped and the night was abundant."

On the menu:


1st Course:

Seared Diver Scallop

Melted leeks, baby fennel, green fennel seed, citrus laced marigold leaf, crispy pancetta

2nd Course:

Vadouvan Roasted Cauliflower

Cauliflower puree, sprouting cauliflower, bay leaf brown butter, delicata squash, toasted farro,

3rd Course:

Fresh Tagliatelle Pasta

Foraged mushrooms, parsley pesto, Calabrian chili, pecorino romano, braised oxtail crostini

4th Course:

Pan-Seared Duck Breast

Achiote glazed sweet potatoes, carrot mousse, caramelized brussels sprouts, kumquat, duck jus

5th Course:

Carameled Apple Crepe

Whipped cinnamon crème fraiche, candied ginger, pecan crumble

Underground Fine Dining turns your home into a restaurant.

+ Strives to source responsibly and serve organic local products­

+ Provides a fine dining experience without the pretentiousness that is often associated with it

+ Specializes in intimate 4-5 course plated meals for 6–30 people

+ Dinners hosted throughout Colorado—and beyond when requested

No Fluff Just Flowers

Bluebird Floral Design launched in August 2020 by Ari (Boulder Location) & Becky (Minneapolis Location) to bring us exquisite floral design combined with a made-simple ordering system. Of the fresh daily floral options, you pick the color scheme and size and it’s DONE! 

Bluebird Floral Design are experts in weddings and now provide arrangements for events and dinners. All floral from the Underground Fine Dining Dinner was brought to you by Ari at Bluebird. 

Stay tuned for centerpiece, wreath, and flower crown Workshops.

IG: @bluebirdfloral.boulder

WEB: www.bluebirdfloral.com

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