Internationally awarded celebrity Chef David Burke will host “Dinner in the Dark” at THE GOAT by David Burke in Union Beach on Thursday, Jan. 18 at 6:15 pm. A percentage of the proceeds will benefit New Jersey Blind Citizens Association (NJBCA) and their programs. Tickets are $100+ per person and are available online at thegoatbydb.com.
This will be the second “Dinner in the Dark” that Chef Burke will host for the organization. The first event was held in October.
NJBCA is celebrating 113 years of service to the blind, visually impaired and those with deteriorating vision. It is their passion to be able to continue on their journey of unlocking opportunities, opening doors and fostering an atmosphere of confidence, empowerment and community for their “Campers” at their facilities in Leonardo, known as Camp Happiness. Founded in 1910, this nonprofit, non-sectarian, tax exempt organization, offers free services to the blind and visually impaired community. Their mission is to enhance the quality of life for the blind and visually impaired through education, socialization and fostering an environment of hope and purpose.
After being shut down during COVID-19 in 2021, the organization brought in a nonprofit specialist, Sarah Thoma, as its new executive director, to restart programs and bring the organization back to life. Today, with the aid of a small staff and a few volunteers, they now have a handicapped accessible facility, run multiple programs each week, provide meals and food, program transportation to the Campers and act as a resource around the state for the visually impaired community they serve. Some of their Campers recently won awards for their artwork at the Monmouth County Fair.
Chef Burke has said his “Dining in the Dark” idea came to him while at one his nine award-winning New Jersey restaurants located in Morristown, also the site of the highly regarded The Seeing Eye® dog training program, whose mission is to train guide dogs that help blind people be more independent. The special service dogs are often seen on the sidewalks in training with the trainers and a dog’s new visually impaired owner.
At his “Dinner in the Dark” — held at either Red Horse by David Burke, Rumson or The GOAT by David Burke, Union Beach — guests are blindfolded and guided through a four-course dinner paired with signature cocktails and wines by Chef Burke and his experienced culinary team. By taking away one of their senses, Chef Burke shows his guests how to tune into their other senses. The experience has been called “very different, surprisingly social, mind-blowing, delicious and overall a lot of fun.”
Years ago, NJBCA once held blindfolded dinners to give the family and friends of their community a sense as to what it is like to be visually impaired. So, after hearing about Chef Burke’s “Dinners in the Dark” events, Thoma asked Chef Burke to hold a dinner to benefit NJBCA and simultaneously raise funds and awareness about NJBCA’s programs and Campers.
Chef Burke, known and often recognized for his charitable efforts, generously agreed to host this unique dining experience to benefit the NJBCA community and its programs.
Please consider joining this special occasion on Jan. 18 to learn more about the NJBCA organization and its work in the community while enjoying a totally unique themed Chef David Burke dining experience! Reserve your spot soon as space is limited.
Donations to and volunteers for NJBCA are always welcome. To learn more, visit www.njbca.org.