op-up dining is hardly a new trend, but it’s one we certainly adore. And this spring, the latest to debut in AZ is Privato Supper Club. This exclusive, multi-course dinner takes place monthly at pop-up locations around the Valley, and is orchestrated by executive chef, Michael Denton.
“People nowadays thrive on an experience,” Denton says. “You buy your ticket and you’ll know the location and menu two days in advance.”
A one-of-a-kind experience is exactly what you’ll get. The guest list tops out at 30 and you’ll be treated to a five-course-meal with wine pairings. The inaugural event was held at a private Paradise Valley estate where guests were treated to fine wines, great food and beautiful views of Camelback Mountain.
“The location was incredible!” explains Katrina Fox, who attended the first dinner. “It was breathtaking. The home completely overlooked the city.”
Denton also owns Privato In-home Private Chef Services, which offers a range of exclusive dining experiences to discriminating clientele. He brings along a legacy of food appreciation that leaves out the pretentiousness and instead focuses on the pure joy of savoring an exceptionally prepared meal.
“I always appreciated growing up with good food and everything my family made was fresh,” says Denton. “Once I grew up and started working, I realized if I wanted good food, I’d just have to make it myself.”
Denton, a graduate of the University of Tennessee Culinary Institute, worked at several casual and fine dining restaurants, and did some catering, before moving to Phoenix. “I found out there was a big market for private chefs out here, so I just ran with it,” says Denton. He has now been working as a private chef in Arizona for four years.
Each Privato Supper Club experience features a new, seasonally-inspired menu paired with complementary wines. The inaugural dinner happened around the spring equinox and featured dishes such as orange ponzu poke with crostini, paired with Iconic Wines Heroine Michael Mara Vineyard Chardonnay and a lamb dish with veal demi-glace, truffle wild rice and rainbow carrots paired with Javelina Leap Merlot. The meal closed with a chocolate-lavender crème brûlée topped with a chocolate-dipped strawberry and paired with Fonseca Bin No. 27 Port from Portugal.
“I also do corporate events, but my favorite events are those that are really intimate where people are just enjoying each other’s company,” says Denton. As the company has been growing he has taken on sous chef, Steven Biddle, chef de partie, Kyle Jarko, and servers. He is also looking to add some musicians into the Privato mix.“I bring a restaurant experience. There aren’t many opportunities that you might have where you can eat at a restaurant and get to interact with the chef. This is the experience I bring.”
Photography by Asta Karalis Fletcher