There was a lovely short article in Seven Days this past week about the planned launch of Hel's Kitchen on August 3rd - "Hel's Kitchen Dinners Go Public" by Hannah Palmer Egan. I'd say this article tells you pretty much all you need to know, including the debt to history with Susan's Kitchen and the current partnership with Salt Cafe.
One thing mentioned in this article is the series of dinner parties that led up to launching this commercial venture. My partner (who I am marrying in two weeks) Lawrence and I have been hosting weekly dinner parties with a new theme each week. It's been an open invitation, and anywhere from 5 people to 35 people will show up on a given Thursday. Some of them we've met before, some of them we haven't. Like a restaurant. Without RSVP's. Or a kitchen equipped for dinners that size (it's not just an open kitchen, we're cooking where the guests are standing). Or, you know, income.
We've hosted Thursday Night Dinners for almost as long as we've been dating and are sad to see them end. One of the major concerns about opening Hel's Kitchen was that I'd start to hate cooking. I grilled Susan of the former Susan's Kitchen about this danger and she said she still loves to cook and entertain, so I feel better.
If you want a taste of the old Thursday Night Dinners, check out the Year of Menus page on the website Discovering Flavor. Each post comes with links to recipes, should you wish to try the menus out at home. These are just the tip of the iceberg of meals we've done - I've got almost 100 old themes in my archives, some of which are posted on the Hel's Kitchen Facebook page. Dozens more were on the "to-make" list when we decided to take the business leap.
There's a lot of food out there to explore! I highly recommend trying out some new cuisines in your own home kitchen. . . and of course try out what's on offer at Hel's Kitchen starting this August.