Eating & Drinking

Celebrated American chefs share spotlight with Michael Blackie at NeXT event

The guest-chef pop-up dinner is officially a thing, with the concept taking hold at restaurants small and large. Chef Michael Blackie of NeXT is an acknowledged pioneer of the movement (he has hosted pop-ups since his Brookstreet days and has put together NeXT’s monthly “3 Chefs 1 Dinner” night for the past three years). And he has a year-end blockbuster event planned for Wednesday, December 12.

Photo: courtesy Michael Blackie / NeXT
Photo: courtesy Michael Blackie / NeXT

Charcuterie whiz Spencer Gomez of Atlanta’s Holeman & Finch restaurant joins DJ, chef, and Italian cuisine connoisseur Brent Weathers of Brent Weathers Cuisine in Houston. The two will team up with Chef Blackie to impress both guests (and each other) as part of an evening that is intimate and entertaining, full of showmanship and fab food.

Photo: courtesy Michael Blackie / NeXT
Photo: courtesy Michael Blackie / NeXT

What compels Chef Blackie to share the spotlight?

“For me, it’s a chance to hang with my mates — and fill the restaurant on a Wednesday night!” says Blackie, who has a huge network of chef-friends around the world.

Photo: courtesy Michael Blackie / NeXT
Photo: courtesy Michael Blackie / NeXT

The congenial chef has even gone so far as to renovate his basement to host his buddies, putting in two bedrooms with en suites. When they’re not performing their culinary magic for upwards of 150 guests at NeXT, visiting chefs kick back at his house, where his wife, Jillian, does the cooking.

Photo: courtesy Michael Blackie / NeXT
Photo: courtesy Michael Blackie / NeXT

Find it: The evening at NeXT, which runs 6-10pm, starts with cocktails and canapés before moving on to a 9-course sharing menu. $115, with an optional $38 wine pairing (3 flights).

Hot Tip: Don’t be late! The first hour of the evening is devoted to a meet-and-greet reception, with cooking demos and a display of techniques by the trio of featured chefs. This is your chance to check out their style (and pick up tips).

Photo: courtesy Michael Blackie / NeXT
Photo: courtesy Michael Blackie / NeXT