Embracing Fun (and Egg Rolls) at Ekiben's R&D Night

Caroline Hatchett

Once a month, Chef Steve Chu and his team host R&D night at fast-casual Ekiben in Baltimore. Three to four cooks choose a dish-as-experiment. Once finalized, they add the menu items to Ekiben’s online ordering platform, and the dishes sell out in minutes. There’s no budget, and the experiments break even (at best). 

What R&D night has done is invite wonder back into the...