Detroit chef serves galactic 'Star Wars' themed dinner in Corktown on May 4

Melody Baetens
The Detroit News

Cinco de Mayo isn't the only fun holiday next week.

May 4 is often celebrated by fans of the "Star Wars" franchise because it's "may the fourth," which sounds like "may the force" — get it? Detroit chef Nikta Sanches is using this fun connection to get creative at a pop-up at Corktown's Batch Brewery Wednesday. 

Chef Nikita Sanches will prepare a fun menu of eclectic dishes presented in a 'Star Wars' theme at Batch Brewing Company in Corktown on May 4.

Sanches said he hopes the Wednesday night dinner, "May the Fourth: A Galactic Brewery Experience," gives diners a chance to take a break and do something different. 

"Kind of just catch your breath and chill and relax and try to have a good time," he said. "Maybe try something new that you hadn't tried before or maybe doesn't look like it's from this planet, even though it is." 

Entrees include Grogu's pasta with cured meat, egg yolk, cheese and a garlic and herb sauce, jet-roasted krayt dragon with Tatooine rice (similar to Vietnamese beef) and braised bantha with tusken raider pearls. OK, it is not really horned, woolly bantha meat— it's mole-braised lamb with couscous. 

"The movies and the shows have inspired the food process in a way whether it's through names or ingredients, but ultimate it's creating a fun dining experience that incorporates the legacy of the movies and the shows," said Sanches, who is a real fan. He has a Grogu ("Baby Yoda") tattoo on his leg. 

Sanches, who has also orchestrated "Harry Potter" themed feasts around town, says arrive on time to one of two seatings, bring friends and get into the spirit of "Star Wars." People can dress up in "Star Wars" gear or costumes if they choose. He did a similar dinner series last year at Hazel Park's Frame, too. 

Chef Nikita Sanches of Rock City Eatery prepares truffles covered with pistachios and cocoa powder at a Detroit News Dish and Design event.

"The beauty of Batch is that it's a brewery ... it's a chill, safe zone," he said. "You sit down and you're just going to get bombarded with food. Shareable appetizers, shareable entrees and shareable dessert. The only decisions you have to make is what kind of delicious beer you want to get from Batch." 

Chef Sanches is known for his Midtown restaurant Rock City Eatery, which has been closed on and off since the pandemic started. He's unsure if it will reopen given the current state of the restaurant industry, including staffing issues and rising costs. 

"We're kind of just biding our time to see if things cool down, which I don't see happening any time soon. It's been such a crazy rollercoaster with COVID," he said. "Right now I'm focusing on these fun dinners and my big next project."

It's still in the infancy stage, but he said he's hoping to make a documentary and host a pop-up that will highlight the crucial role immigrants play in the restaurant industry. 

Seatings for Wednesday's dinners are 5:30 and 8 p.m., dinner will be served 30 minutes after each seating starts. Tickets are $66 per person (that includes a 20% gratuity) and can be purchased at Batch Brewing is at 1400 Porter in Detroit. 

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Twitter: @melodybaetens