There isn’t a lot to wonder about when it comes to the name: Stag Dining Group (SDG) was founded by a group of bachelors. These dudes had something in common: they really loved food. Cooking it, eating it, learning about it. Now they’re serving it, producing clandestine dinners that are, ironically, putting them on the map.
Guests are invited to secret—and uncommon—locations where delicious courses are served family style and everything is sourced with an eye on sustainability. Stag Dining isn’t only focused on the foodie experience; they’ve created both a company and a community.
Clean Plates caught up with SDG’s co-founder, Anil Margsahayam, in Los Angeles recently. While he refused to disclose the location of the next event, he did talk about SDG and what he’s learned about the power of community.
Q: Stag Dining seems like an ambitious endeavor for a group of friends who just love food; how did you decide to build a supper club?
A: Well, it wasn’t just that we loved food. We each had something to bring: Jordan and Ted are chefs, Emory is creative and a technophile, Matthew has a business background with a focus on sustainability, and I am a producer. Our original idea was to buy a food truck, but we thought [it best] to host a practice dinner first. When the two nights sold out before we had a name or business plan, we knew we had something special.
Q: How does SDG’s dedication to sustainability play a role in your dinners?
A: When we design each menu, we look to local resources with organic products. This guarantees the food we serve is not only seasonal, but regional as well. When we go somewhere new, we immediately find the local suppliers. A surprising aspect of our job has been meeting all the amazing people with a like-minded approach to food; we have become a part of a large but tight-knit community. Our mission to make smart, conscious choices sometimes makes our job a little harder, but it always means high quality results.
Q: But a night with Stag Dining Group isn’t just about the food, is it?
A: No! Our supper club is so many things. We choose a theme and run with it in every direction. We choose unique locations, we decorate with precision, there is often a live music and art component, and everything is a result of collaboration—even the meals are served family style. Our guests tell us over and over: while they loved the food, they had fun. That is so important to us.
Q: What’s coming up for Stag and, most importantly, how do we go to your next event?
A: It’s easy; we appreciate exclusivity, but we never want our community to stop growing! Visit our website and sign up, it’s as easy as that! Our events were in San Francisco and after a successful test run last year, we’re looking forward to doing more in Los Angeles and Southern California. We still fantasize about a food truck—as long as we keep having fun, Stag Dining Group will keep on creating food!
Images courtesy of Stag Dining Group.