I’m often asked the reasons why I travel to a particular destination. If I look back over my 20 years of hopping on planes, and back in the day buses, a huge motivator has been food. For the most part, regardless of where I traveled, food is a huge part of my why. From state fairs in Minneapolis, eating my way thru Philly, enjoying authentic Jamaican cuisine in Playa del carmen, ya girl eats her way around the globe.
Darius Cooks first came on my radar a few years back. I loved his “want a snack segments" on the internet and copped a few cookbooks, which confirmed what I already knew - the man can cook. As a frequent traveler, I’m never home, and it was my luck that the week I had plans to pop into his Chicago restaurant, he closed them down. Talk about a missed moment.
As famous as he was for adding cognac to everything, folks were saying he was a scammer, he had his own dedicated hashtag identifying all the wrong he’s allegedly done. I was kinda aware of the “scam allegations”, witnessed some of his internet clapbacks, but as a small business owner I’m someone who tries to extend grace and realizes situations may be more complex than a hashtag. Call me naive, but I personally don’t like bad or negative news - about anyone. I try to avoid gossip, stay out of business and situations that are above my pay grade - in short I mind my business.
I kept minding my business and then the Dining with Darius dinners rolled out and then sold out as quick as a girl could blink. When I saw the openings in Nashville I grabbed 2 tickets, as my bestie lives in the area and it would be a cool weekend. Armed with the worry about myself brigade, I hopped a flight and flew to Nashville to taste the food of this small business owner who I witnessed grow on the other side of my iphone screen.
The 7 course dinner was phenomenal, my favorite courses were the fried chicken salad with rose vinaigrette, shrimp and bacon macaroni and cheese, and the fried salmon bites with corn chutney (not sure if that's the name but that's what I’m calling it). All the attendees seemed warm and inviting, but my table was lit, so lit I plan to attend next years event with a few of this year's guests. Darius himself was cool, he reminded me of an old friend, personable, inviting, but also quiet. He was funny, he shined in his element, and he told me this event was for me and I could enjoy it how I liked, when asked about rules for the evening.
I can’t tell you who to support or how to feel about the people you see on the internet. Hell I still don’t know who did what, and for why. I’m glad i brought the tickets, glad I attended, and I’ll be back next year.
Can you see yourself spending a weekend in a new city for an intimate dining experience? Let me know if you want to tag along on any quick foodie escapes.
Hi, I'm Prissi, the owner and lead consultant at Prissi Travels.
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