Friends, however difficult the pandemic has been for the restaurant industry, this year has also reminded us of many of the difficult, chronic issues that our society continues to face. Among the local organizations affecting change is Detroit Food & Entrepreneurship Academy, which works with hundreds of students each year. Our team has elected to do what we can to help further their mission, so we’re delighted to announce that we’re hosting a benefit dinner next month.
Having hosted DFA students at Selden Standard for internships in the past, we know and love the organization. Tiffany and her colleagues are helping to address a troubling statistic: nearly 20% of young Detroiters are neither working nor in school. This is where DFA enters, co-creating with over 300 students year-round through leadership development programming rooted in schools, our food community, and our neighborhoods.
In their food entrepreneurship program, students become creators of their own food business projects – inviting all the self-discovery, innovation, growth that process generates. Through the after school, advanced, summer, and business-launch programs, young Detroiters gain a solid foundation in culinary arts, health and wellness, food systems, and business essentials. DFA’s project-based learning model invites students to work both as individuals and in teams to apply their learnings, engage with community, and launch a food-based business project with tangible impact. Participants gain the confidence, community connections, and hard and soft skills for professional, academic, and personal well-being.
DFA focuses primarily on youth aged 14-22, offering opportunities for hands-on educational attainment, growth of career skills, and personal and leadership development. Students who have been through DFA programs overwhelmingly report improved academic performance, confidence, and relationships with peers and adults alike. We’ve had some of these students work in our kitchen, and we’d love to see DFA’s programming continue to expand.
Can such an engagement-based program continue to be effective under such unusual circumstances? It can: since March 2020, Detroit Food & Entrepreneurship Academy has shifted to a virtual format, delivering programs digitally on Zoom. In the DFA team’s own words:
[Going online] has allowed us to open our doors to a wider audience. In a typical year we serve 13 school and community-based sites in Detroit. With the switch to online programming, we now have students from all over Southeast Michigan and as far away as North Carolina. We have continued with our Afterschool Leadership Programming, now open to all youth who apply and are oriented with us, and also have launched a monthly family cooking program, where families can cook alongside a certified chef to make a healthy meal. We currently have one in-person site at the Downtown Youth Boxing gym where we are supporting groups of students learning healthy cooking techniques, nutrition and fitness. In the winter months we will partner with local fitness leaders to offer free virtual movement classes to our youth and their families.
Although we are remote, we will be ensuring hands-on learning by delivering nourishing groceries, kitchen equipment, PPE, and fitness equipment right to our students’ homes. This will allow us to continue engagement with hundreds of youth across the region while helping families meet their needs.
While you’ll miss some great food and wine, you still have a chance to support a great organization. Visit the DFA website to help support their mission.
Tickets are non-refundable and available on a first-come, first-served basis. Should COVID concerns cause a shut-down or safety issues, we may reschedule for a later date. As always, we will do our best to accommodate all allergies and dietary restrictions, but we ask that you email us after booking so we have advance notice.
Friends, Guests, and Hopeful Denizens of the Selden Patio,
After 94 days, our doors will open again on June 18. Like many of you, many of us are eager to return to restaurants and to see familiar faces. And also like many of you, many of us want to experience the world as safely as possible.
Think of it like Truman Capote’s “Black and White Ball,” and expect everyone to be donning masks in one form or another. Just don’t be Andy Warhol and refuse to wear one altogether.
Wearing masks is one of the rules. There are others. Fortunately, the State has advised we post them for everyone’s convenience and reading pleasure:
In addition to wearing masks, the Selden team will be using other new protocols to ensure your safety – and theirs.
Other changes have less to do with safety and everything to do with ensuring you’ll have as good a time as you would have had at Capote’s Masquerade Ball: We’ve made some small touch ups to our dining room. And we’ve added some capacity for preparing food on our wood grill. Lastly, while our plates are still perfectly shareable, we’re adjusting portion sizes and the menu design so that it’s easier for diners to order a meal with courses of individual plates.
And for those guests at high risk who are unable to join us in our dining room, we’ll be launching online carryout ordering soon.
As has been widely reported, the COVID-19 pandemic has been difficult on the restaurant industry. That’s certainly true.
But it’s important to note that at 50% capacity, we couldn’t invite our entire staff back. Some restaurants are unable to re-open at all, and their staffs are without work. We were fortunate to be able to continue medical benefits for April, May, and June, but most hospitality workers have lost them if they ever even had them.
Some of our staff has lost family to COVID, and others must stay home to care for immunocompromised family, now unable to work in a public setting. Chances are good that some reading this are in a similar position.
We’re very much excited to see you again, but these few months have been a rather stark reminder that we’re quite privileged to be able to entertain our guests. So we hope you’ll join us – but if you have friends who work in restaurants or you frequent other restaurants, we hope you’ll offer them your support as well.
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In short, while we’ve learned that the SARS-CoV-2 virus is a bit like the masquerade ball guest who is going to overstay their welcome well past sunrise, it’s not a guest that need keep us from enjoying one another’s company responsibly.
We promise to do our best to maintain a safe dining room and to serve delicious food and drink. Likewise, please respect the rules. Capote and Warhol might have wanted a raucous party, but we’ll settle for a lovely (and safe) dinner with friends.
Thanks for your help, your trust, and your support. Cheers!
While Ashes & Diamonds is a relatively new producer, owner Kashy Khaledi is a familiar face in Napa. His parents own the acclaimed estate Darioush, and after a successful career away from wine, Kashy has returned home with his own project.
Collaborating with legendary winemakers like Dan Petroski (Larkmead, Massican), Diana Snowden Seysses (Snowden, Dujac), and Steve Matthiasson (Matthiasson, Stags Leap), he has put forth an array of classic Napa cabs, Bordeaux blends, and creative reds that have immediately garnered critical and commercial success.
We’ve proudly served their “Grand Vin” in the past, so we’re ecstatic to bring Kashy Khaledi to Selden for a five-course pairing dinner. Among the wines we’ll serve in his company is the Ashes & Diamonds Atlas Peak cabernet, essentially their tete de cuvée, which will debut in Michigan at the event.
Wednesday, November 13
$200/person, which includes tax and gratuity
(When reserving seats, please choose the number of guests, then scroll down to the red “Napa Dinner” button to make your reservation.)
Chef Andy’s been looking forward to working with some more luxurious proteins for this dinner and has drafted the menu in advance:
Beet, avocado, fennel, citrus
Mushroom broth, freekeh, brown butter
Brandied figs, chestnut purée
Parmesan risotto, au poivre
Yogurt Panna cotta
Please note that we’re always happy to accommodate any dietary restrictions and allergies. Please just kindly let us know in advance. Tickets are first come, first served, and are available online only.
Specialization can be an indicator of a wine importer’s commitment to presenting a thoughtful selection. In Patrick Allen’s case, that specialty is southern France. After moving there in 2002, he developed a rich portfolio of French wines from producers that span the underappreciated to the truly legendary.
Allen will join us for a dinner that will take guests all across southern France. From crisp coastal whites to bold, old vine reds to the classic dessert wines from Rivesaltes, he’ll teach us about these venerable French producers, from the underappreciated old-vine reds of Clos del Rey to the now legendary Provencal wine from Domaine de Trevallon.
Date: Thursday, October 24, 2019
Cost: $95/person, which includes tax and gratuity
What: 5 course dinner with 5 wines
(Please be sure to select the red “Wine Dinner” button rather than a dining room seat when making your reservation. Tickets are non-refundable and are only available online.)
We’re also hosting a sherry dinner with esteemed producer Valdespino on Wednesday, October 30th. Read more and buy tickets here.
“If I had a thousand sons, the first humane principle I would teach them should be, to forswear thin potations and to addict themselves to sack!”
When Shakespeare penned Falstaff’s words in Henry IV, sack was a synonym for one of Spain’s great wine traditions: sherry. While many of us grew up thinking of sherry merely as sweet wine collecting dust in the back of the pantry, most sherry is dry and uniquely suited to food.
So we’re delighted to host a sherry dinner featuring the sherries of renowned, centuries-old producer Valdespino.
Jamie Gil, export director for Valdespino, will be on hand to walk us through the wines and the unique terroir of the region. Having recently been to the heart of sherry country, Chef Andy will no doubt draw on some classic Andalusian flavors, but he’ll look to present some other cuisines as well. It promises to be an exceptionally fun and educational evening.
Date: Wednesday, October 30, 2019
Cost: $95/person, which includes tax and gratuity
What: 5 course dinner with 6 sherries
(Please be sure to select the red “Sherry Dinner” button rather than a dining room seat when making your reservation. Tickets are non-refundable and are only available online.)
For more information about sherry (and an old cocktail recipe of ours featuring sherry), check out one of our old blog posts.
Last winter, we hosted local importer and distributor Chip Delsener, owner of AHD Vintners, for a delicious, informative Vega Sicilia dinner. But as anyone who works with Chip’s company can tell you, he is known widely both in Michigan and in Bordeaux for being this state’s premier importer of Bordeaux wines. So we’re excited to have him back to present a selection of Bordeaux alongside Andy’s food.
The event takes place on Wednesday, November 28, at 6:30pm. This five-course dinner is a ticketed event at $150 per person, including tax and gratuity.
Bordeaux needs little introduction to many wine lovers. It’s widely consumed and written about. While the popular press does tend to focus on a handful of big names and luxury brands, the sheer scope of the region is even more staggering than many realize: From corporate-owned behemoths to small biodynamic farmers, big cabs to lush merlot, dry whites to sticky dessert wines, it’s a treasure trove of great producers, great stories, and great wines. Naturally, we’ll be showcasing a range of those regions, styles, and grapes.
Tickets are non-refundable, offered on a first come-first served basis, and are only available via our online reservations site. Price includes tax and gratuity. While we are happy to accommodate allergies and dietary restrictions, we kindly request that you let us know upon booking so we can plan accordingly.
Known principally for Barolo and Barbaresco, the wines of Piedmont are uncommonly diverse (and delicious). To take us on a “tour” of the area, we welcome Cameron Abbott of boutique importer The Piedmont Guy for a dinner presenting a selection of Piedmontese wines.
We’ll feature a wide assortment – from dry sparklers and whites to a series of Nebbiolo-based wines – including a side-by-side comparison of two single vineyard Barbarescos as well as a Barolo from the lauded 2013 vintage.
And of course, Chef Andy will prepare a five-course meal to accompany the wines.
Held on Wednesday, November 14, at 6:30pm, the dinner is a ticketed event at $100 per person, which includes tax and gratuity.
True to its name, The Piedmont Guy specializes in the many wines of Piedmont. While Barolo and Barbaresco are justifiably revered, the diversity of terroir and grapes make it one of the most exciting areas for buying, studying, and of course, drinking wines. And The Piedmont Guy is among the top importers in the country for seeking out exemplary family owned properties throughout the entire area. Their wines have been a recurring feature on our list for a few years now, and we’re excited to be able to present some of them in this way.
Tickets are only available online on a first-come, first-served basis.
We’re delighted to host Haus Alpenz founder Eric Seed for a dinner featuring an assortment of exquisite Madeira wines from producer Henriques & Henriques. Inspired by fall ingredients and his recent travels to Portugal, Chef Andy will prepare a five-course meal to accompany them.
Held on Wednesday October 24 at 6:30pm, the ticketed dinner will cost $100 per person, which includes tax and gratuity. We managed to pry a draft of the menu out of Andy, and it looks pretty exciting (see below).
As an importer, Haus Alpenz is among the companies most easily associated with the resurrection of interest in previously cherished products like vermouth, amaro, and, of course, Madeira. While many today associate Madeira with cooking wine or the back of a grandparent’s liquor cabinet, it has been a cherished style of wine for most of its 500-year history – perhaps most famously used to toast the signing of the Declaration of Independence.
If you’re new to Madeira, Wine Folly has a good introductory primer. But in short, it’s a long-lived, unique, delicious drink that happens to be perfect for a fall meal.
For the dinner, we’ll feature a number of products from Henriques & Henriques – from dry wines to single vintage to dessert-oriented styles – and Eric will be on hand to walk us through these underappreciated treats.
Tickets are non-refundable, offered on a first come-first served basis, and are only available online. Price includes tax and gratuity. While we are happy to accommodate allergies and dietary restrictions, we kindly request that you let us know upon booking so we can plan accordingly.
We’re excited to host two wine dinners at Selden this coming month. Tickets for each are only available online.
Wed, Apr 19 at 6:30pm – $100/person
Owned and operated by Matt and Sara Licklider, Lioco makes wines in a state-of-the-art cooperative using fruit grown by small farmers throughout northern California. (In fact, you can read about each farmer on their website.) While elegant, restrained pinot noir and chardonnay are their specialties – and will be on our reserve list soon – they make small amounts of other wines, including an outstanding old vine Carignan, which we’re proud to feature at this dinner. More info…
Wed, Apr 26 at 6:30pm – $130/person
Featuring Louise Chéreau of Chéreau Carré (Muscadet, FR), Claude and Olivier Deforge of Clos Cibonne (Provence, FR), and José Antonio Garcia (Bierzo, SP)
One of our favorite wine importers is De Maison Selections, which brings to the States a number of wines that our regular guests will recognize – not the least of which is Clos Cibonne, the only still rose we’ve ever poured by the glass. Representatives of three of the wineries in their portfolio will join us for dinner to share their stories and guide us through their wines.
Their visit will give us the opportunity to pour some outstanding treasures, including a 2009 single-vineyard Muscadet from 80-year-old vines and a 2009 bottling of the prestigious Vignettes cuvee of Clos Cibonne rose. More info…
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As an aside, these wine dinners represent the types of wines that we love to feature at our restaurant. It’s a different approach than large, commercial producers take, and we’re able to bring these winemakers to Selden because of the work we’ve done building partnerships with suppliers and wineries. In that spirit, an article published in the New York Times last week on the “virtues” of so-called industrial wines inspired us to share some thoughts on how and why we choose to work with certain wines. Enjoy!
On Tuesday, September 20, 2016, Chef Andy will be designing a seasonal, five-course, shared plate meal based around several delicious beers from Brouwerij De Leite and Brasserie Artisanale de Rulles — two small production craft breweries in Belgium. We’ll be joined by the importer as well as master brewer Luc Vermeersch of De Leite to talk briefly about the brews.
We’ll be featuring five beers, including the contemporary classics La Rulles Blonde and Brun as well as a limited production oak-aged sour, Fils a Papa, from De Leite. Andy’s menu will be selected from the best produce we can find that week, and the way things are looking, we’re hoping to start to see squash, apples, and other early fall specialties.
The dinner will begin at 6pm on Sept 20th. Tickets are only available online.
Brasserie La Rulles is a relatively young brewery (at least in Belgian terms), opening its doors in 2000. The local river is the water source for these quintessentially Belgian brews. His efforts have been highly regarded by critics, including the late Michael Jackson, since the breweries inception.
The name ‘Leite’ is derived from the Dutch word ‘laagte’, meaning down below, which refers to a location in Ruddervoorde near the brewery where a small stream flows along the local mill. De Leite makes a wide variety of beers, but has perhaps become most well known locally for its outstanding sour cherry ale, Cuvee Souer’ise.
These beers are all imported by a small Michigan company called Amport Distributing specializing in balanced, flavorful beers from Belgium. Switzerland, and Italy.