A new kitchen, bar and event space called delecTable, from the Madison man who brought vomFASS to the U.S., is coming to University Avenue.
"It's an innovative kitchen-bar concept with the idea that it can be used for many different things," said delecTable owner-founder Justin Gibson.
DelecTable will offer cooking classes, and a full bar, as well as reservation-only dinners every Saturday evening. The dinners will have one seating for 28 people at the Shorewood Hills flagship vomFASS retail space, 3248 University Ave. A 12-foot door can separate the two spaces.
The idea is to expand upon the open kitchen or chef’s table concept, Gibson said. The dining area will have 32 traditional seats and another 20 seats at a center island and a bar, Gibson said.
DelecTable is set to open Thursday with a six-course wine and food pairing featuring Optima Winery owner Nicol Duffy and winemaker Susie Bynum. The first Saturday dinner will be held Sept. 30. Tickets for those events and others are available through Eventbrite.
Gibson said the chef-led dining experiences will be intimate and designed around the space's island, where everyone can see the chef easily. Diners can also get more detailed views of the chef at work on three big-screen TVs.
Combined with the vomFASS retail space, the event space will lend itself to many uses, Gibson said. "In addition to a banquet dinner, we can add a wine tasting or a Scotch tasting, or anything like that."
As far as he's aware, nobody's doing anything similar to this extent in Madison.
Matt Pace, who previously worked as executive chef at the Avenue Club and Monty's Blue Plate Diner before becoming culinary development director for Food Fight restaurants, will be culinary director of delecTable.
Kristin Williams, who had her own culinary business and has worked at vomFASS since 2014, will be delecTable's executive chef.
Gibson, 40, discovered vomFASS and its oils, vinegars, wines and spirits while studying in Germany in 2005 on an exchange program in graduate school. He found it a perfect place to buy gifts for friends and family back home.
Later, with his father, David, he secured the franchise rights to bring vomFASS to the U.S. The Gibsons opened the vomFASS on University Avenue in 2007 and still own it. A State Street store with different owners opened in 2015.
There are now about 30 vomFASS franchise locations in the U.S., and last summer, the parent company bought them back along with the U.S. division's franchise rights. That provided the seed money for Gibson to start delecTable.
While at UW-Madison, before discovering vomFass, Gibson got his start in the hospitality business at the former White Horse Inn, where he worked his way up to catering manager. He was also a onetime general manager at the erstwhile Damon's in Madison.
DelecTable will offer ticketed public events on Thursday evenings including winemaker dinners, guest chefs, and cocktail and spirit tastings. Its space can also be used for private events.
For more information, visit delectableXp.com or call 608-204-0300.
People these days are looking for new, interactive ways to connect around food and drink, and have become more interested in how food is prepared, Gibson said.
"We're really focused on making it a really enjoyable, memorable experience."