Alternative Fashion Mob: Couture Cuisine

Shelley Mann, Columbus Alive

Alternative Fashion Mob, a new fashion collective here in Columbus, has planned an event that I am imagining (and hoping!) will feel like a mashup of two of my favorite reality shows, Project Runway and Top Chef. For Couture Cuisine, Explorers Club chef Dan Varga has created an elaborate six-course meal inspired by looks created by Columbus designers. So you've got roasted pepper "organza" served in a lamb Wellington, and meringue "pearls" in the dessert course--and while guests enjoy these stylish dishes, they'll be treated to a fashion show of the garments that inspired each one. Pretty cool concept.

Serving as Varga's muses are designers including Esther Myong Hall of Torn Angel, Crys Darling of Label Yourself, and Kelli Martin of Anti.Label, among others. You may remember Martin, who helped dream up the idea of the Alternative Fashion Mob, from her 2008 Project Runway appearance.

Oh, and each of the six course is paired with a wine, too, which makes these $74 tickets a great deal. This particular event serves as a fundraiser for the group's Alternative Fashion Week, planned for June, plus a portion of proceeds will be donated to CHA Animal Shelter. Buy your tickets online at

Here's a peek at the full menu:

Course One: "Industrial Nature"

Pickled artichokes, oven-dried heirloom tomatoes and local greens on a lavash flatbread structure, drizzled in tarragon vinaigrette.

Course Two: "Alice in Wonderland"

Fresh, black-and-white striped pappardelle filled with funky fungi, tossed in house-made roasted garlic vin blanc sauce, served over baby kale

Course Three: "White Trash Royalty"

Faux gras patty topped with house-cured bacon and a quail egg, smothered in tart cherry ketchup and arugula pesto, served on a brioche bun with a side of truffle fries.

Intermezzo: Watermelon Foam

Course Four: "'50s TV Dinner"

Petite portions of vegan Salisbury steak, creamed corn and buttermilk mashed potatoes, plus a mini cupcake.

Course Five: "Vintage Quality"

Lamb Wellington drizzled in petite syrah reduction and served with pommes boulangere.

Course Six: "Lavender Avant Garde"

Lavender blueberry mousse over chocolate planks, meringue pearls and berries.