There’s one restaurant trend that seems to have been around for as long as I can remember, but one I have yet to try myself: the Chef’s Table. It’s a concept so simple and yet so alluring that people are willing to shell out $200 or more, per head, for it!
Basically, a chef’s table is a table inside the kitchen itself. The diners have the pleasure of watching their meals prepared by the chef and his staff, and sometimes even have their meals served by the chef himself. For the diners, it’s a nice little touch of flair that makes an evening out go from memorable to unforgettable. For the kitchen staff, it’s a way for the chef to keep everyone on their best behavior.
There are two caveats about a chef’s table, however. The first is that due to the immense amount of concentration it requires from the kitchen staff, it’s only run on off-peak days where the restaurant isn’t as busy. The second being that they’ll most likely run a Prix Fixe Menu or a Tasting Menu, just to ensure that everything is served quickly. This doesn’t mean that the quality of food goes down however. These measures are to ensure that both kitchen staff and diner are all enjoying themselves and not losing their collective sanity.
I can really see the appeal of a chef’s table. It’s dinner theater and some culinary education all rolled into one wonderful, albeit expensive, package. Diners are always curious as to where their food comes from and how it’s produced and made for them. The chef’s table is the perfect chance to showcase all of that, especially if the chef is nice enough to field questions or just chat with the diners. It forges a connection between the kitchen and the diners that you just can’t achieve through waitstaff. Also, it gives the diners a chance to give the chef instant feedback on dishes, which is a plus for everyone involved.
A chef’s table is also a great way for a restaurant or hotel to show off and impress VIP clientele. Having an important guest and his or her party dine at a chef’s table is the perfect way to ensure their patronage and wow them into coming back. It’s a wonderful concept and one I must try at some point, and so should you!