The “hidden dinner club”
If you’re in Miami and planning a dinner party or event the Copperbox Culinary Atelier, an underground epicurean workshop recently opened in Miami’s Wynwood arts district.
Don’t worry if you haven’t seen Copperbox Culinary Atelier, described as a “secret social gathering spot” and “hidden dinner club” with no signage, only a small copper plaque that suggests historic designation. An understated and hidden-in-plain-sight communal dining experience is abuzz in Miami in the form of an “epicurean workshop,” curated and orchestrated by Venezuelan-born Chef Gabriela Machado and open as of March 1, 2013 for private dinners throughout the week, and individual reservations Thursday and Saturday only.
Tucked away in a copper-colored cement building, a former gritty woodshop in Miamis Wynwood Arts District, the bohemian chic Copperbox Culinary Atelier is where a maximum of 24 guests enter the concealed doorway, bell rung by a suited doorman standing sentinel on a tree-lined side street. Guests arrive at the sophisticated, yet welcome-to-all setting promptly at the appointed time (never allowed in early) and glide into another world; a calming oasis, where cell phones, cameras and social media are strictly forbidden.
This is just the beginning of the new, personalized, ingredient-driven dining experience Chef Gabriela originally created only for by-invitation and -association dinner parties. As word-of-mouth spread for private dinners, Chef Gabriela and her tribe expanded their repertoire to launch Atelier Nights Thursday and Saturday evenings for those-in-the-know. Often sold out weeks in advance, they’re popular with people who crave something new and are excited by a dazzling social collision that doesn’t exist on the Miami dining scene in this warmly choreographed way. Who will you meet tonight? Musician, artist, author, boho-chic traveler? Anything is possible.
Guided by world travel and Asian & French techniques, Chef Gabriela and her tribe develop two concurrent seasonal seven-course menus for both private dinners and Atelier Nights that change every two months, sourcing fresh and exotic ingredients locally and globally as quality and availability allow (she can often be seen the morning of her dinners picking microgreens and flowers at the Little Haiti Community Garden). In an unusual twist, Chef Gabriela hosts “Societe entre met” evenings before each menu is rolled out with a maximum of 13 past patrons