Special Dinner in the Dark to Honor Nikki Delamotte

click to enlarge Special Dinner in the Dark to Honor Nikki Delamotte
Jacqueline Bon
For next month’s Dinner in the Dark, the long-running “jam session for chefs,” the organizers have teamed up with the family and friends of Nikki Delamotte, the local journalist who was killed back in November. The event will take place on Monday, February 18, at the 78th Street Studios (1300 W. 78th St.), an arts-filled location where Delamotte spent much of her time reporting.

This "celebration of life" is being co-hosted by Revival Social Dinner and will benefit a local philanthropic effort to be selected by family and friends in her honor.

"Nikki wasn't just a young, talented writer, but a beautiful soul beloved by many in the city of Cleveland,” explains Dinner in the Dark founding chef Jeff Jarrett. “Her works covered the culture of the city: food, fashion, music, and art. She gave a lot of people their first break by writing about the passion and talent that they were bringing to this city. She was kind, always willing to listen and help.”

Unlike most DITD events, this one will not be an intimate sit-down dinner with a handful of chefs, but rather a sizeable display of culinary talent where 20 or more chefs will be offering small dishes at tasting tables, much like you’ve seen at numerous food events. Like all Dinner in the Dark events, the chefs will remain a surprise until the night of. Organizers hope to sell about 300 tickets.

"Nikki loved telling the stories of all Clevelanders doing amazing things,” said a family member in a statement. “In particular, she had a connection to spotlighting everyone who makes the local restaurant scene so vibrant and well-respected, from veteran bartenders and back-of-house employees to talented chefs, bakers and business owners. Nikki was also notably supportive of the restaurant community's generosity, and spent several years as a volunteer guest server at the Greater Cleveland Food Bank's Market at the Food Bank, which supported Harvest for Hunger. That so many chefs are coming together at Dinner in the Dark to give back in her honor is a wonderful tribute. She'd be bashful about the attention, but it's a fitting testament to her impact."

Tickets (available here) cost around $40 with fees, with all proceeds going to the charity of Nikki's family’s choosing. In addition to the food, there will be beer and wine, a silent auction and live entertainment.

“Nikki always seemed to see the bright side of the city, the hope and prosperity that was forever just around the corner,” adds Jarrett. “But her work made it tangible...well beyond her years. The city lost one its greatest voices for future generations."
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Douglas Trattner

For 20 years, Douglas Trattner has worked as a full-time freelance writer, editor and author. His work on Michael Symon's "Carnivore," "5 in 5" and “Fix it With Food” have earned him three New York Times Best-Selling Author honors, while his longstanding role as Scene dining editor garnered the award of “Best...
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