Chef Kate Williams Highlights Detroit Culinary History with Pop-Up Series

Dine like it’s 1853, 1907, 1926, and 1946
culinary history - chef kate williams
Chef Kate Williams’ new pop-up series highlights Detroit’s culinary history. Menu items from the 1853 dinner are pictured above. // Photograph by Marvin Shaouni

After announcing the permanent closure of her beloved Corktown restaurant, Lady of the House, last month, Chef Kate Williams is back in action with a unique pop-up series for foodies and history buffs alike.

Williams’ restaurant Karl’s, a classic diner with a twist located in the Siren Hotel, will transform into Kate’s during the run of the series, which takes place on four weekends from March 19 through April 10. Each event features a five-course meal based on a year that is important to the city’s culinary history and has a connection to Williams’ ancestors.

The series starts in 1853, the year Williams’ ancestors arrived in North America, with a menu of oysters, carrot soup, Johnny cakes, smoked butter poached potatoes with caper relish, corned lamb and fermented cabbage with mustard gravy, and whiskey pudding and a brown bread cookie for dessert. Other pop-ups include Detroit in 1907, “A Night in French Detroit;” Detroit in 1926, “Detroit’s Glamour and its Wurlitzer;” and Detroit in 1946, “The American Home Cuisine Boom.”

culinary history - chef kate williams
Items from the Detroit in 1926, “Detroit’s Glamour and its Wurlitzer” dinner are pictured above. // Photograph by Marvin Shaouni

“Food is an integral part of Detroit’s history, and this series will show the evolution of food in the city,” says Williams in a press release. “We’ve chosen years that highlight key times in the area’s history and are excited to share these menus with the community and to create unique and memorable dining experience.”

Williams worked with Bill Loomis, author of Detroit’s Delectable past, to inform the event menus and atmosphere. Along with their five-course meal, diners can enjoy a curated playlist that features music from each period.

Guests can purchase their tickets and reserve their seating time — either 5:30 p.m. or 8 p.m. — online. Tickets are $120 per person and can be purchased as single tickets or in groups of two, three, or four. A $30 beverage pairing can also be purchased online.

For more information and to purchase tickets, visit eventbrite.com.  

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Emma Klug is a senior editor and digital content coordinator at Hour Detroit. In her role, Klug writes and edits stories on community, art, food, and lifestyle topics for hourdetroit.com, edits the Hour Daily newsletter, and is involved in planning and proofing the monthly print magazine. She also oversees the editorial web internship program for the magazine. A graduate of Columbia College Chicago, Klug has been with Hour Detroit since 2016. She has also contributed to Hour Media publications DBusiness magazine and Metro Detroit Weddings magazine. You can reach her at eklug@hour-media.com.