Having already covered many of the wild, culinary adventures put forth by Underground Eats in New York City, like Absurdity at the McKittrick Hotel and the Breslin Butcher’s Ball, we thought it was high time we showed you the team behind the company. When you meet Harris Damashek and Adam Sirois, you can tell immediately they just love what they do. In many ways, they combine the best of New York–an intrinsic knowledge of great culinary tradition, a desire to push the boundaries of it, and an ability to navigate the delicate boundary between exclusive and pretentious (of which they are never the latter).
At Pork & Pinot with Chef Dave Martin (Top Chef) last week, we hung out with Harris, Adam and their other partners, Julia and Mikaela, at the so-called “Kids Table.” The pinot flowed and we discovered that Adam used to run a design-your-own cereal startup called Me & Goji, which enables him to now claim that he’s a “cereal entrepreneur turned serial entrepreneur.” Harris founded the first virtualized interactive agency which specialized in design and development for luxury and premium brands, such as Bombay Sapphire, Accenture and Bacardi. The union of food and technology brought them together.
More than just covering Underground Eats events, Untapped Cities is proud to call them one of our partners, and in a recent brainstorming meeting, it’s clear how deep their creativity runs. With nearly 100 events since February, constant reinvention is key to their business. And of course, they capitalized on a fundamental need in the New York culinary scene. Says Adam,
We began realizing that while boundary-pushing food events were going on all-around us, from pop-up restaurants, to supper clubs, to amazing culinary classes, there was no central location that aggregated them all. Staying-up on what was going down required subscribing to dozens of newsletters, following hundreds of websites and navigating irrelevant spa discounts and lousy open-bar deals. Underground Eats solves this problem and offers a central platform for culinary-minded people where our members can browse and buy tickets to the best and most exclusive alternative dining experiences.
For chefs and restaurants, they can now host professionally marketed events without sacrificing the time and money that should be spent on the most important product: the food.
At Pork & Pinot, each of the four courses prepared by Dave Martin was paired with Row Eleven pinots. The first course was a salad of organic organic barley, Nueske’s applewood smoked bacon and roasted mushrooms combining flavors we didn’t know could coexist so perfectly. Next came the hoisin and cider-marinated heritage pork tenderloin with peach and plum salsa and summer squash ratatouille, followed by Saranac root beer-braised heritage pork with heirloom tomato, watermelon and blueberry salad (somewhere in there was also smoked chipotle butter) which may have been one of the best things I’ve ever tasted. Dessert was a crÃ¨me fraîche panna cotta with bacon and dried cherry shortbread cookies.
A DJ spun in the corner of the lounge, chef Dave Martin made jokes, putting the diners quickly at ease, and the bartenders secretly offered us tequila in honor of Tequila Day. We were curious though, what were Harris and Adam’s favorite dishes right now, especially that they’ve been able to sample nearly everything New York City has to offer through Underground Eats? For Adam, it’s the grilled shrimp and chorizo at Seamus Mullen’s new pop-up at The Standard Plaza (they were there again last night) and for Harris, the Kung Pao Pastramai at Mission Chinese. He says, “I can almost feel my face again…time to go back!”
That’s enough of a recommendation to make it our next Sunday in Chinatown exploration.