Dine Around Downtown

Mark your calendars and register below!

“Dine Around Downtown: Cooking At Home Edition” is back with a special summer episode! 

Thursday, July 15, 4:00pm ET – BLUE SMOKE with Executive Chef Bret Lunsford


TheDine Around Downtown: Cooking At Home Edition” series connects audiences and chefs to support local restaurants from the comfort of your home. 

Launched during the height of the pandemic and hosted by James Beard Award-winning chef and author Rocco DiSpirito, the series features chefs from Lower Manhattan restaurants to cook up signature recipes and share tips for crafting everything from complex gastronomic delights to go-to comfort foods.

The series is FREE, and all donations go directly to a food-security charity of the restaurant’s choice. And if your inner chef is calling you, whip up your best version of a featured recipe and post a picture of your plate to Instagram with #DineAroundAtHome and tag @DowntownNYC to enter to win a 30-minute private virtual cooking class with the chef! 

Missed an episode and want to catch up on previous cooking demonstrations? The entire series is just a click away here

Stay tuned for more details about upcoming programs. You can also shoot us an email at DineAroundDowntown@DowntownNY.com and we’ll add you to our preferred mailing list so you receive news as it breaks!

And don’t be a stranger! Now that restaurant capacity is growing and the city is reopening, visit your old favorite haunts and new discoveries, or a place you’ve been meaning to try forever, to enjoy a celebratory meal with friends and family. Our Lower Manhattan restaurant community will be happy to serve you!



BLUE SMOKE: Learn To Make Erma Jean’s Fried Chicken And Creamy Coleslaw

THU, JULY 15 | 4:00 PM

Executive Chef Bret Lunsford – Born in Atlanta and raised in Texas and Mississippi, Bret grew up eating a variety of flavors native to the American South. Whether grilling with his father, making a pot of seafood gumbo with his granny or watching Julia Child and Emeril Lagasse on television, Bret’s love for food drove him to pursue a career in the hospitality industry. Bret studied at the University of Southern Mississippi, earning a Bachelor of Arts degree in music. Following college, he sought formal culinary training in New York at Culinary Institute of America. After graduating from CIA in 2013, Bret joined Union Square Hospitality Group as a line cook at Gramercy Tavern before joining the opening team of Untitled in 2015. In 2016, he transitioned to Blue Smoke as a sous chef and was quickly promoted to Executive Sous Chef. In March 2018, he became Culinary Director of Blue Smoke and in September 2019 was named Executive Chef.