Chef Bryan Collante at work.

If in translation something is lost, can something new be gained, too?

When asked about the “Lost in Translation” title of his February 4 pop-up dinner with Dinner Lab in Chicago, Chef Bryan Collante said he doesn’t want guests to take the dishes too literally: the menu was inspired by his Filipino upbringing. By day, he is the executive chef of Untitled Supper Club, 111 W. Kinzie.

With 100 guests, this dinner was Chef Bryan's largest pop-up of the four he's done with Dinner Lab. Brooks Hart of Dinner Lab said the three-and-a-half-year-old start-up tries to create "something magical" with every dinner. In 33 cities across the US, Dinner Lab's curation team finds talent "who may not be out there" in the greater dining public's awareness.

Welcome to Dinner Lab at Workshop Chicago.jpg
... even if we're just dancin' in the dark.

... even if we're just dancin' in the dark.

An interesting venue in an interesting neighborhood. Workshop Chicago is located off the north branch of the Chicago River, where it meets an asphalt manufacturer, Kendall College and the boat yard on Goose Island. Workshop is a coworking and event rental space at 935 W Chestnut. 

An interesting venue in an interesting neighborhood. Workshop Chicago is located off the north branch of the Chicago River, where it meets an asphalt manufacturer, Kendall College and the boat yard on Goose Island. Workshop is a coworking and event rental space at 935 W Chestnut. 

Clockwise from lower left: caldereta; kilawin of raw salmon with a ginger emulsion, pickled fresno chili and cucumber; longanisa (smoked pork sausage, not pictured) with a beet-marinated egg and toasted brioche; siopao. Chef Bryan said the longanisa, which was in a sous vide bath during the staff plating, was "modern," read: not as red.

Clockwise from lower left: caldereta; kilawin of raw salmon with a ginger emulsion, pickled fresno chili and cucumber; longanisa (smoked pork sausage, not pictured) with a beet-marinated egg and toasted brioche; siopao. Chef Bryan said the longanisa, which was in a sous vide bath during the staff plating, was "modern," read: not as red.

Fun fact: these tiny, tiny siopao do not have paper underneath them. The siopao is a five spice pork belly tucked into a steamed bun, served with a hoisin barbecue sauce and togarashi (a Japanese spice mix).

Fun fact: these tiny, tiny siopao do not have paper underneath them. The siopao is a five spice pork belly tucked into a steamed bun, served with a hoisin barbecue sauce and togarashi (a Japanese spice mix).

The caldereta was a braised lamb (not the traditional beef), butternut squash, manzanilla olives, 'nduja (an Italian spreadable pork salami) and taro root (instead of potato).

The caldereta was a braised lamb (not the traditional beef), butternut squash, manzanilla olives, 'nduja (an Italian spreadable pork salami) and taro root (instead of potato).

Not so literal. His Halo Halo is a chunk of purple yam cake, condensed almond milk, puffed rice and toasted coconut.

Not so literal. His Halo Halo is a chunk of purple yam cake, condensed almond milk, puffed rice and toasted coconut.

Chef Bryan prepares his cooks and servers for service with a run-through of the menu's finished plates.

Chef Bryan prepares his cooks and servers for service with a run-through of the menu's finished plates.

100 plates, 100 bamboo leaves on the pass.

100 plates, 100 bamboo leaves on the pass.

Cooks plate the first course.

Cooks plate the first course.

Full house.

Full house.