About Dark Dining
Dark Dining is a fine dining experience that benefits programs and services provided by CABVI. The event raises awareness about visual impairments by allowing guests to experience a night with senses other than sight. Guests eat a delicious, multi-course meal while wearing blindfolds that simulate different visual impairments such as glaucoma, cataracts, macular degeneration, and diabetic retinopathy.
The concept of dark dining was developed in 1997 by Michel Reilhac. The original concept involves eating while the room is dark rather than guest eating with blindfolds. Two years later, the first full-time restaurant, Blindekuh, was then opened by Jorge Spielmann, a blind clergyman. Spielmann created Blindekuh after guests ate a meal in his home blindfolded and noted that the taste and smell of their meal were enhanced. Several dark dining restaurants can be found all around the world.
Great food is not the only thing Dark Dining has to offer; auctions and fun activities are all part of the grand event. Previous auction items were jewelry, gift certificates, baskets, and rare, one-of-a-kind experiences. Some local businesses that donated to the auction include Twin Ponds, Turning Stone Casino, and the Yahnundasis!
Another Dark Dining tradition is the local celebrity host that brings the whole evening together! Previous hosts have included Utica College men’s hockey coach Gary Heenan, Honorable Ralph Eannace, and New York State Senator Joseph Griffo. Senator Griffo hit a home run when then-Governor David Paterson, who is legally blind, helped promote the event three years in a row!
Dark Dining raised nearly $1 million towards programs and services for blind and visually impaired individuals. We hope you join us for an evening of live entertainment, mingling, and delicious food that benefits a great cause!