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The Nook Cookhouse gives diners a chance to eat in complete darkness

Put on a blindfold and turn off the lights, a Cambridge restaurant is cooking up a new and exciting experience for foodies in the region
Connor Blackmore stands behind the counter of his resturant

Turn off the lights and grab a fork, the Nook Cookhouse in Galt is offering a new way to enjoy your food. 

Having seen trends of TikTok and other social media platforms, Connor Blackmore wanted to bring fresh and innovative experiences to his customers.

"This was something that we thought we'd try and then it kinda caught on and we haven't looked back," said Blackmore.

"The customers go in completely blind, literally they can't see and what is on the menu is a mystery until they pop it in their mouths."

Having opened the Nook Cookhouse on St. Andrews Street just over a year ago, Blackmore has been searching for fun and exciting trends to get customers in the door and food on their plates. 

The Tri-City Food Ninjas braved the unknown and dined in the dark / Supplied photo

'Dine in the Dark' has been on the menu at the Nook since January. After the first couple of events, seats have been selling out and drawing in people from all over the province. 

One customer drove three hours to be blindfolded and fed Blackmore's delicious mystery food. 

"It's kinda wild to see people get this into something," he said. "We have one couple that comes in for every single Dine in the Dark and they love it." 

The menu changes for every dinner with some customers getting pork tenderloin with roasted vegetables and a coffee infused espagnole sauce and some get a boiled egg with sardines and cayenne pepper. 

Being completely blindfolded changes the sensory experience of eating and can enhance the flavour profile of certain dishes. 

Blackmore notes that when customers try to guess what they're eating, not being able to see the food can completely change how food is received. 

"We have some people confuse chicken with pork, but some can't even tell when they are eating a strawberry," he said. "When a group of friends comes in they love to try and guess what they're eating and the vibes are just unreal." 

The Nook recently started having themed meals in the dark with a Harry Potter night and a Fear Factor event based on the hit show from the early 2000s. 

In the show, contestants would have to eat non-traditional food like bugs, tongues and even cow testicles. 

"No one was served any bugs or cow junk," laughed Blackmore. "We had some food made with things like gummy worms and other concoctions of food that normally don't go together. You definitely have to be brave." 

Blackmore is open to having a night where all the customers have the understanding they might eat something out of the norm. 

Recently they held an international food tasting where they cooked multiple dishes from other cultures. 

"Something we like about those kinds of nights is that we can add in a trivia element to the meals and elevate the meal to more of an experience rather than just grabbing a meal."

One of the things holding the Nook back from going with more ideas for themed nights is obtaining their liquor licence. This has hindered their ability to pair a nice wine with a mystery dish or even have a cocktail night. 

Blackmore notes they are in the process of getting their licence and adds that you can still fully experience Dine in the Dark without alcohol. 

The Nook has several Dine in the Dark events happening throughout April and Blackmore maintains that this is the only place in the region that offers something like this.

"Cambridge is full of foodies. They enjoy eating local food and hopefully that means we can sell these out, and take the Nook to the next level," added Blackmore. "We are grateful that we get this opportunity from the community and as word spreads they only get bigger." 

For more information on the Nook and how to book for one of their themed dinners, visit their social media page.

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Joe McGinty

About the Author: Joe McGinty

Joe McGinty is a multimedia journalist who covers local news in the Cambridge area. He is a graduate of Conestoga College and began his career as a freelance journalist at CambridgeToday before joining full time.
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