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Data-licious: How Dinner Lab Used Feedback to Improve Food and Conversation A members-only supper club feeds a national pipeline of rising-star chefs.

By Jason Daley

This story appears in the March 2015 issue of Start Up.

KatieBird Photography
A Dinner Lab set-up in an L.A. warehouse.

In 2011 Brian Bordainick moved to New Orleans—his assigned location with Teach for America—and soon became fed up with the city's late-night dining choices. Not a cook himself, he invited a dozen people to a neighbor's house for a Thai meal prepared by a friend.

The food was exceptional, but the then-26-year-old Bordainick was struck even more by the intimacy created by the space, and the conversations stimulated by the food and the chef's story. So later that year, he hosted a pop-up Indian meal for 85 people in a former brothel in downtown New Orleans. He continued hosting pop-up dinners featuring local chefs in and around the city until the idea for his company, Dinner Lab, finally crystallized.

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