SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — Running a restaurant is tough. Just look at the number that closed their doors in Sacramento. But one chef has found a solution right in the comfort of his own East Sacramento home.
Chef Josh Bieker calls his fine-dining venture with his wife the “Dinner Series at The Gallery.” Bieker preps for meals with a purpose. He enjoys what he does.READ MORE: Texas-Based Photographer Captures Sacramento Couple's Proposal, Calls On Twitter To Track Them Down
“It’s the structure, the precision and the organization of it,” he said.
After nearly three decades of long hours working in restaurants, Bieker took a risk.
“I knew I wanted an outlet. I knew I wanted full control of what I was putting out. I was not going to compromise on anything,” he said.
He opened up a pop-up restaurant in his own home taking his culinary acumen and serving meals to small groups.
“My vision is that I want to sit here and see everybody’s experience. It can be intimidating sometimes because there is nowhere to hide here,” he said.
Bieker cooks and his wife hosts. It’s an intimate experience of people sharing a table for an eight-course meal. They don’t know each other or the dishes that will be served.
“I’ve never had dishes that just pop in my mouth. [It] gives me an experience I can’t explain,” said Mark Abungin.READ MORE: Concern From Community After Bullets Fly Through West Sacramento Apartment
Abungin is one of many repeat clients.
“You have the relationship with the chef. You get to talk with him directly, you get to talk with everyone directly,” Abungin said.
Authenticity and attention to detail are paramount. From the first course — an oyster emulsion with a Spanish jelly — to an onion cappuccino, then a scallop with miso and reduced citrus. Even the cocktail is made with homemade tonic.
“Design and aesthetic, and everything else is very important to me,” said Bieker.
With years of food safety training, Bieker is confident in his abilities. But the county currently does not allow a restaurant to be run out of a home. That’s why they only ask for a suggested donation of $75 per person. Bieker hopes that changes.
“So if you are catering for wedding of 100 out of your house there is going to be a problem there. But if you are cooking for eight people or 10 people, I absolutely think that should be legal,” he said.
Because with the rising costs of doing business, including a higher minimum wage in California. He says it’s something more chefs are considering.MORE NEWS: Husband Pleads Guilty To 2019 First-Degree Murder Of Wife Heather Gumina Waters In El Dorado County
The Gallery books up to a month in advance to plan their menus and the first one to respond gets in. They book sometimes just minutes after sending out notices.