You Asked: What Exactly Is an Underground Chef?

by in Community, June 11, 2013

Underground Chef Russell JacksonFans saw Russell make an incredible comeback this past Sunday night on Star with his bacon-bourbon marmalade burger. But when it comes to Russell's point of view, viewers are still stuck on this one question: What exactly is an underground chef?

Let's start here: Subculture dining is a version of an underground supper club. Simply put, it's an exclusive dining experience, almost like a dinner party where the guests have an intimate experience with the chef. It's a time for the chef to try new dishes, think outside the box and create something different from the usual dining experience. Just because you hear "underground chef" or "underground supper club," doesn't necessarily mean the meal takes place in the basement of a space or "underground."

Underground (n): a secret operation.

Underground ChefHow does one find out about these dinners? Usually through social media, otherwise it's word of mouth. These dinners can take place at a home, a restaurant that has lent its space after hours or other public spaces.

Moreover, an underground restaurant has an underground chef (aka Russell).

Do you have a question? Tell us in the comments below or visit Twitter and use hashtag #FoodNetworkStar.

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Comments (9)

  1. Susie says:

    Been to several and they are exquisite!!!

    • kevin says:

      Me too.

      But we call in cooking at home for friends.

      Pretentious hipsters try to turn normal activities into some phony exclusive experience, what a joke.

  2. Vikki says:

    Okay am I the only one who thinks Russel and Vic Vegas from the last season are one and the same????

    • Shannon says:

      I feel like The Pie guy is more in line with Vic. Overdone and blowzy. Vic however grew on my and I ended up liking him.

      • MoHub says:

        I loved Vic and wished he'd beaten Penny in Chopped All Stars when they competed. I also kind of wished for him to do show with Jeff Mauro contrasting East Coast and Midwest Italian-American cuisine.

        • Callie Carver says:

          Good Idea, that would be a good POV, call it East Coast meets West Coast, give them each an ingredient, and they each would make a dish from their part of the country perspective.

          • Shannon says:

            Callie,Good Idea. That would work great with Vic and Jeff. They have great personalities for that type of show, lots of humor. Poor food network, I understand now why they have such a problem with their programming all of the great creative minds work here, (for free) as fans on the blog! I really think that's a GREAT idea, I could see Mark Summers producing that one, he has a great sense of humor too. Never,Never Bobby Flay as the producer for it, he is too dry. He would dry up the idea !

    • Crouton40 says:

      Rodney and Russell seem like they both go with Vic Vegas to me. Danushka reminds me of both Dzintra (they both talked about "the Womb) and even more so last year's Penny (for the sarcasm). Last year, we had a young male named Chris. We do again this year, even though they may be entirely different. Some people make the comparison of Stacey to last year's Emily Ellyn but with that, I don't agree. Stacey is pleasant but Emily had much stronger credentials in her cooking background and was more bouncy than Stacey. Andre, concept-wise reminded me of last year's Judson but I think Andre was more real and Judson was more of a slick-talker.Viet, when he talks, his inflection and even his voice itself sounds (to me) quite a bit similar to the asian guy who played the psychologist on Law & Order Special Victims Unit.
      None of this is to say that anyone is "bad". These are just things that pop into mind when I think of this or that person. Of course, they are different people.

  3. ray says:

    The only connection between Stacy and Emily Ellyn is the POV. Stacy claims her POV is "take the vintage stuff and make it modern." Where did we hear THAT before? Is there any substance to back this up. Our only glimpse into her real life was the RI episode on her failing restaurant. Even on RI the designers come up with a new theme (a POV) for the diner.