Inspired by the Japanese Izakaya (think Gastropub or Tapas bar), Dragonfly is where locals have been coming for over 10-years to make meaningful connections with friends, family, and co-workers over sushi, robata, saké, shōchū, and spirits. Our Tokyo Soul dinner event is another extension of that concept.
Tokyo Soul was conceived by our chef de cuisine, Dequane Stobbs. The dinner event incorporates a modern interpretation of Southern Soul Food done with a Japanese twist. To give the dinner purpose, a grounding in our community, we’re excited to partner with the Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida. To help people understand the concept, we spoke with Dequane Stobbs about the upcoming dinner.
What do you love about cooking at Dragonfly?
What I love the most about cooking at dragonfly is that I get to express myself through cooking daily. Coming from a Caribbean background, I’ve always enjoyed exploring flavors and incorporating Caribbean techniques.
What inspired you to build this Japanese/Soul Food dinner event?
At Dragonfly, we’re committed to our cultural values and creating meaningful connections with each other, our guests, and the community as a whole. Whether it’s sponsoring the Dr. Phillips Little League, helping our guests celebrate memories, or partnering with great organizations like the Second Harvest Food Bank, for us it’s always about Family, Food, and Community. Those same three pillars are what soul food was all about, so it was a natural connection.
What is your favorite dish on the menu? Why?
I love all of the dishes from our Tokyo Soul Dinner menu, but the ones I think are the best Japanese interpretation of a Soul Food classics are the Robata Grilled Spare Ribs and the Udon & Cheese.
What are the natural similarities between soul food and Japanese cuisine?
Japanese street food is basically Soul Food or Comfort Food because they are both home cooked meals that bring people together.
Are there any other dinner events you’ve got planned for the new year?
From Sushi classes to pairing dinners, Saké tastings to Seasonal Omakase, we do a variety of events throughout the year. We’d love to stay in touch with you! Just sign up to follow us on our website here.
Why did you choose to partner with the Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida for this event?
Over the last 10 years, we’ve witnessed first-hand how committed Second Harvest is to the community. Whether its during times of crisis (like hurricane disaster relief), or everyday programs like Kids Cafes, the Culinary Training Program, or the Back Pack Program—Second Harvest is out there working to make our community better. We admire the work they do, and want to be a part of it.
How does the Tokyo Soul Dinner help support the Orlando Community?
We’re making a cash donation of $5 for every Tokyo Soul ticket sold. That donation will make it possible to provide 20 meals for neighbors in need. Additionally, we hope to engage with Second Harvest on other programs as we head into the holiday season.
Please join us on Thursday, November 9th, as we gather around the dinner table, share a family-style meal with other neighborhood locals, and fight together to help in the struggle against hunger. Together we can help bring other families together one meal at a time.
– Jennifer Ha, Sales Manager
Dragonfly Robata Grill & Sushi