Commis for CHKD

I’ve been checking out pop-up restaurants in the area lately. They’re not really new here but I’m seeing a lot more than there used to be – which great news for all of us! If you’re not familiar with what a pop-up restaurant is, it’s basically a restaurant setup in a temporary location. If you’re a fan of Kinfolk or Pinterest I’m sure you’ve seen a ton of photos of lots of pretty people eating in pretty locations and thought, “That would be cool to do!”

It is and you can do it too, here in Hampton Roads. I’m going to write-up a few in the area you can catch to experience it firsthand.


First one I’m going to tell you about is Commis.

I finally made it to one of the Commis collaboration dinners the other month. The term commis is used in the kitchen for someone who assists the chef or specifically the person who gets to do a lot of the grunt work to put a dinner together. It makes me remember my short lived experience in the Spinnaker’s kitchen, a restaurant that used to be in Lynnhaven Mall, Virginia Beach. This was back in the 80s and one of my jobs was to make sure the flower pot bread wasn’t sticking to the clay pot it was baked in among other things.
IMG_6555In the case of Commis collaborative dinners, all the players have moved beyond the role of assistants in the kitchen to running them. At the last Commis following chefs were in the kitchen: Ross Riddle (Hashi Food Truck), Dylan Wakefield (Pendulum Fine Meats), Ian Hock (Esoteric), Matt Hayes (The Cutting Edge), Steve Marsh (LeGrand Kitchen), and Kevin Ordonez (Alkaline). The front of the house was staffed by the wives and friends of guys in the kitchen with equal skill.

The dinner I photographed was held at Pendulum Fine Meats in Norfolk and it was benefit CHKD and Commis was able to donate over $12,000! They had two sittings for total of 46 people fed. Everyone in the kitchen helped each other out with whatever individual chef’s plate was being put together at the time and getting everything completed like clockwork. It was fun to watch.

Check out the photos below and follow Commis’ facebook to find out when the next pop-up will be held. Tickets sell fast, so if you want go buy them as soon as they are available.

To see all the photos from the Commis dinner, follow this link.

I’ll tell you a little bit about Blue Tape in the next post. You’re in luck too because there will be a Blue Tape pop-up July 22 at The Tar Roof in Pungo.

P.S. – Sorry for the break, been super busy lately. Birthdays, visitors from out of town, our son got married, graduations, a commissioning, and tons of events! See what I’ve been up to by following me on Instagram @iheartfoodvb.

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George W. Culver is Eater-in-Chief at and contributes to several online and print publications. He makes a pretty mean Thai Basil Fried Rice too.