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Dining in the Dark

Dining in the Dark

Dining in the Dark is a unique sensory awareness experience that gives guests a first-hand glimpse into the lives of those who are completely blind, taking them on an unforgettable journey in the dark. Created in Germany, Dining in the Dark is a one-of-a kind concept that has been enjoyed by many people across Europe before moving to America in 2005. It’s a culinary encounter of heightened senses that has been experienced by thousands wanting a peek into an unfamiliar world.

The Foundation Fighting Blindness hosts Dining in the Dark events in cities across the nation to raise awareness about the impact of retinal degenerative diseases and to generate funds for sight-saving research. By challenging guests to navigate a meal without sight, the eye-opening experience shines light on the Foundation’s important mission to prevent, treat and cure vision-robbing diseases such as retinitis pigmentosa, macular degeneration and related conditions.

The Foundation hosts two versions of Dining in the Dark.

Lights Out Dinners

At a “lights out” Foundation Dining in the Dark event, the room is completely blacked out, with staff taking every precaution so that light does not seep in, and eyes cannot adjust for nearly 30 minutes during the entrée portion of the meal. Visually impaired servers, who are trained especially for the dinner, use a system of ropes and stanchions to deliver the mystery food. They help guests navigate the meal in pitch blackness and share their own stories and experiences of living with low to no vision.

Visually impaired servers bring great energy to lights out dinners.
Visually impaired servers bring great
energy to lights out dinners

Masked Dinners

Using special light-blocking masks is another way the Foundation simulates blindness at some of its Dining in the Dark fundraisers. At these meals, the lights are very dim but not blacked out, and hotel staff members serve the entree to tables where each guest wears a blindfold for nearly half an hour to experience challenges of the blind community.

Diners get acquainted with their light-blacking masks – no peaking!
Diners get acquainted with their
light-blacking masks – no peaking!

Upcoming Dining in the Darks

Charlotte October 9, 2013
Northern Virginia January 22, 2014
St. Louis February 6, 2014
Orange County

February 27, 2014 

Twin Cities

May 14, 2014 

Dining in the Dark in the News

 

 

Opaque, the company that assists the Foundation Fighting Blindness in facilitating lights out Dining in the Darks, also has restaurants that offer a similar experience. Check out this video for more insight about this culinary journey into the unknown.

For questions about hosting a Dining in the Dark in your area, contact Jennifer Hecker at 310-450-2910 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .  For members of the media interested in writing about the Dining in the Dark experience, contact Allie Gebhardt at 410-423-0643 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

 

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