Home ♃ Recent Stories ☄ A Black-Owned Dining Event Not to be Missed 

A Black-Owned Dining Event Not to be Missed 

Michael Sparks is CEO of Underground Kitchen, the ‘creative force’ behind the Black-owned fine dining experience. (richmondmagazine.com)

Amara Amaryah


The Underground Kitchen is a unique Black-owned fine dining experience not to be missed. Popping-up in secret locations across the country, the true success of the experience is found in the combination of the intimate with the luxurious. The Underground Kitchen has even been hailed as the “most exclusive dining ticket in town.”

After a solid 35 years of working in the fashion industry as a designer, Michael Sparks, CEO of Underground Kitchen, created the unique fine dining pop-up experience. Sparks is the ‘creative force’ behind this Black-owned fine dining experience of culinary excellence and has prompted collaborations between the underground Kitchen and some of the best chefs on the East coast.

The concept began as Sparks, moving fresh from New York to Richmond, through New York-style dinner parties for the community, all profits going to organizations that provide support to local areas with food insecurities.

On the website it provides some anticipation for future diners: “From the secret location to the undisclosed menu, it’s all about surprise, delight and the art of the meal.”

Typically, the experiential dining experience keeps the location secret until 48 hours before prior to the event. So far, the exclusive Underground Kitchen events have popped-up in 42 cities, many of which taking place in the Richmond, Virginia area.

With four-to-seven course menus, diners can expect the best from the Underground Kitchen. Some emerging chefs in the country are given the freedom to experiment and create an unforgettable, fresh underground dining experience.

The true essence of the Black-owned fine dining experience is community. At the heart of the UGK lies a commitment to working with and in the community in the most experimental, magnificent manner possible.

As part of the underground experience, the dining experience is designed to educate guests beyond the plate. Expect to find out about where food comes from, how the menus are developed, the details of the gourmet cooking techniques and a chance to meet the team behind the experience.