Take your sense of adventure and try Dining in the Dark on March 18th. The annual CNIB event that raises funds and awareness serves up another course of adventure at the Lion’s Gate Banquet Centre. Based on a concept made popular in darkness restaurants in Paris and New York City, Dining in the Dark takes guests on a sensory adventure as they put on blindfolds and have a taste of what life can be like when you have vision loss.
As well as your sense of adventure, your sense of space, of touch, taste and smell are all turned up higher, as you rely on them more than you’ve ever had to. Knowing you have an appetizer, you’ll lift your fork to your mouth to discover and appreciate a variety of textures and flavours. The chef at Casal Catering has a fantastic meal to serve you, as you join in this once-a-year event.
Dining in the Dark debuted in Barrie in 2013. As a young woman coping with low vision – Michelle Woolfrey – and her mother, Diane Woolfrey, imported the idea and made arrangements for the new adventure in Barrie.
You can try your hand at using your knife and fork. How do we pick up and use a knife? For us who have sight, we can take it for granted. For those who cope with reduced vision or a lack of sight entirely, they feel for the bump on the bottom of the handle – because it’s on the same side of the knife as the serrated blade.
The variety of greens have different textures, not just colours, something many of us take for granted. They each offer a different sensation as well as flavour on your tongue. You’ll discover that the shapes and colours you’ve always focused on are just part of the culinary adventure that chefs like those at Casal Catering consider as they create and serve their guests. In the darkness of the restaurant, you find you’ll be focusing not just on the challenge of adapting to getting the food to where it’s supposed to be – in your mouth and not on your lap – but the taste, perhaps getting more out of your meal.
With your tablemates, who quickly become friends if they weren’t before, you’ll discover a comradery as you venture on this new journey of discovery. Just as you think you’ve found your way, a new course will be served as you eat in the dark.
With just a little bit of coaching, a bit of advice about where your meat – the aroma of which makes you eager to dig in – is on your plate, you’re all set to discover what your other heightened senses, compensating for your lack of sight, will provide. Your main course – meat, vegetables and side – are all there for you to discover. Then finally enjoy your desert, another sensory delight, a course you’ll enjoy with more confidence as you more fully adapt to eating in the darkness.
The temptation you face might be to take off your blindfold – and that’s ok, as this news video about last year’s event says. Tell your friends you’re ready for another adventure by checking out the Facebook event page, and saying you’re interested. You might be surprised at who else is ready to join you on the adventure that darkness restaurants have on their menus.
Tickets, which cost $60 for the event that runs from 6 to 11 p.m., can be purchased online.