Underground Dining Groups: Q&A With Anna Brana of Brana Food Group

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This week marks the underground dining groups series' halfway point. With only two groups left to go, here's a recap (in case you missed one or want to go back and re-read one): South Florida Foodies, Cobaya Undergrond and Algonquin.

True South Florida food lovers will be glad to read about some old favorites once again. Remember Restaurant Brana in Coral Gables? The chef husband and wife team behind the circa 2006 restaurant resurrected back onto the dining scene in 2008 with a new concept, called Brana Food Group- an underground dining club/restaurant. Since then, chef Jeffrey Brana and wife Anna Brana have offered guests a truly intimate (dinners range in size from 8-10 people) and unique dining experience where the food takes center stage and is artfully prepared using the most innovative culinary techniques and freshest food that is locally sourced from Homestead. Even better, most of the proceeds from the dinners go to sponsor a local non-profit charity.  

We're letting the cat outta the bag on this one. Find out how to join this underground group after the jump. 

Clean Plate Charlie: How did the dining group originate, and who are its founders?
Anna Elena Brana: This is not a traditional dining group in the sense that the same group of people travel around to different restaurants. This is instead an underground private dining club/restaurant. It started in its original form in 2008 as an outlet for us (my husband Jeffrey and I) to present adventurous food to guests willing to seek out a level of dining quickly disappearing from South Florida aka the underground dining group

How are events coordinated? Who creates the menu and who cooks the majority of the meals eaten?
In order to attend any of the events that we host, guests must first request to be on our mailing list. To be added to the mailing list, please email your information to branafoodgroup@gmail.com. Guests are informed about upcoming dinners through email. We try to host dinners on a weekly basis, and if all else fails, at least once monthly. The dinner's location is announced to registered event guests a few days prior to the event. All dinners are BYOB and most dinners are held on Saturday evenings. All menu items are created and executed by chef Jeffrey Brana. 

What is the mission of the group?
The mission is to provide an outlet for adventurous food and dining in South Florida in an unpretentious environment, with the main focus on the overall dining experience. A portion from each dinner goes to benefit a non-profit organization called Cancer Connections. Cancer Connections is a non-profit organization committed to the overall well-being of all cancer patients. This is achieved through niche programs in coordination and cooperation with the medical community and non-medical community. Essentially, at least in the short term, the dining group, has been set up to raise awareness about Cancer Connections and to drive small private investments to the organization. 

Do you want the group to become more mainstream, and if so, what are you doing to achieve this goal?
Since it is an underground club/restaurant, mainstream is a subjective term, but yes, we want more people to experience dining in this manner and to raise awareness about the organization. You may visit our website, Brana Food Group, for more information on previous and future dinners, plus view pictures and learn more about us. 

Give me some ideas that are brewing in your head for future events.
We have a tentative schedule setup for the regular dining club events and we are working on several outside events. Check out our website or sign up for our mailing list to stay up to date on all upcoming events. 

Upcoming Dinner Schedule
  • Saturday, March 26
  • Wednesday, April 6 at Chow Down Grill (special event fundraiser for Common Threads)
  • Saturday, April 9
  • Saturday, April 16
  • Saturday, April 30
For more information or to join the Brana Food Group, visit their website.


Follow Clean Plate Charlie on Facebook and on Twitter: @CleanPlateBPB.

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