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More on John Shields' Pop-Up Plans

John Shields
John Shields
Photo: Town House
Missy Frederick is the Cities Director for Eater.

Former Town House chef John Shields drummed up some excitement last week when he said on Twitter he'd be holding some pop-up events in Washington. The chef checked in with Eater to share some more details about what he has up his sleeve.

The first pop-up dinner should take place in three weeks, Shields said. He has a space lined up for it, but is keeping the location under wraps for now. Those unfamiliar with the chef's cooking can get a sense of some of the dishes he's been working on from his blog. He's going to try to treat his pop-up dinners as much like a mini-restaurant as possible.

The price of the pop-ups will be around $120-$125 per person for eight courses. The chef said he knows the price isn't cheap, but said he needs to cover his costs, particularly having to purchase some products at retail prices, and his need to travel from his current base outside Philadelphia to D.C.-area farms and vendors. The pop-ups will have a soft opening period and transition into taking place on Sundays and Mondays — they'll rely on Twitter to get the word out. "The thing I want people understand and hopefully appreciate is there's no pretension with us," he said. "The food may be creative but it has soul, if you will, behind it."

Shields had a few reasons for hosting pop-up dinners, he said. "We need to get back in the kitchen before I go nuts," he said. He also wants to start feeding his future clients, as the chef and his wife Karen Urie are still planning to be based in D.C. and open a restaurant here. "We're also very interested in seeing the reaction from our guests," he said. "Can we actually cook creative [and] delicious food in D.C. and be a viable business?"
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