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Lord Michael Lewis

Chef's Table.

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Why would anyone want to sit at a chef's table? I just don't understand this kind of chef-worship. It's a meal for God's sakes, and you're paying -- to sit in the kitchen.

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Agreed

The only reasons one might want to sit in the kitchen are

a) to chef fuck

b) because you might get a few freebies thrown in

If the chef spends a considerable time poncing around looking after the chef's table, I would suspect that the other folk in the restaurant might have good reason to complain

The notion of the C'sT is derived from the rise of the celebrity chef. Now no longer an artisan producing a good product for an appreciative audience, the chef has become the star rather than the food.

S

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do lots of places have chef's tables? can't think of anything worse except the possibility of going on a date with Simon to Aberdeen Steak House.

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anything worse except the possibility of going on a date with Simon to Aberdeen Steak House.

Does that mean when you offered to "gnaw on my bone" the other night, you meant something different?

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I think it would actually quite fun to sit on the chefs table to watch the kitchen in action. Often you go to restaurants with an "open plan" kitchen barely visible through a stainless steel slit and you're squinting to see what's going on.

Having said that, I agree that this is NOT the reason most people would go. Maybe I'm just wierd

J


More Cookbooks than Sense - my new Cookbook blog!

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I think you are right John, if it was a case of seeing the kitchen in action, it could be fun. I suspect from most settings though you are away from the action

And, as you and FG say, if the reason is a) b) c) you and your guests don't give a damn

Any real chef would have been stalked by Lynes to work a stage by now anyway

S

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I'd rather work in a restaurant kitchen to see whats going on than eat in one.

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Any real chef would have been stalked by Lynes to work a stage by now anyway

who you calling a real chef??? :raz::raz:

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Any real chef would have been stalked by Lynes to work a stage by now anyway

S

I'm working my way through them, one by one.

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Restaurant kitchens are hot, noisy places. Not a good setting to eat in, for the most part, just as you don't really get the most out of a play when viewing it from backstage.

Having said that, I can see situations where you have enjoyed a particularly innovative meal and would like a better understanding of how it is produced and served. El Bulli has an 8-person chef's table in the kitchen, not at all removed from the action; Ferran Adria writes somewhere that a real understanding of his cuisine is enhanced if you eat in this way.

I would see a chef's table as an occasional change of scene and style, not at all something "more desirable" than a table in the dining room. And I would not want to eat at a chef's table until I had done so in the dining room and formed a strong view of the restaurant's style and performance.


Jonathan Day

"La cuisine, c'est quand les choses ont le go�t de ce qu'elles sont."

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Well I've tried the Kitchen Table at Charlie Trotter's (and he wasn't there that night, but no big deal) and it was fascinating to watch the activity in a top class kitchen, how a well run brigade should (and did) function. Terrific entertainment. Plus you usually get a more interesting and extensive menu than is available in the restaurant. And unlike Andy my skills (and inclinations) are not sufficient to work a stage in a top class kitchen.

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And unlike Andy my skills (and inclinations) are not sufficient to work a stage in a top class kitchen.

I have more inclination than skill, I can assure you.

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The Chef's Table at its worst is a marketing tool, a VIP table for status conscious cult of personality high rolling punters.

But at it's best--as at Arzak in Spain for instance--it's like having Sunday dinner at your Auntie's-only Auntie's got three Michelin stars. Friends of the house, visiting chefs, interested foodies can sit at a stripped down table, set up in the kitchen and meet the chef, meet the family, ask questions--and have the food explained directly by the chefs and cooks in a friendly and informal way while eating very very well. Curious about how they got that goose fat and truffle oil into that raw egg? They'll happily show you. Instead of a snooty waiter reciting ingredients in "menu speak", the chef tells you. And more often than not--as this IS the inbred world of cooking, there are friends in common, items of interest to be gossiped about--as the chef and cooks are likely to join you at the table for wine or cognac, maybe hang out having a few into the wee hours. And at Arzak's chef table, you can smoke.

It might surprise Working Class Hero Majumdar that a good number of two and three star chefs are actually really nice people--with interesting things to say (out of view of the press or the dining room). With their guard down and after a few glasses most will happily revert to their roots--usually a modest rural upbringing, sentimental memories of simple, unadorned country food--telling details that speak of the real origins of their style and repertoire. The experience CAN be entirely charming, disarming and comfortable--free of the rigors of dining room etiquette.

So many people who profess to love fine food and restaurants seem instinctively suspicious--even contemptuous of chefs-- the backstairs help putting on airs again (which of course is exactly what they've always been doing in the dining room). Excluding all the knuckleheads who are busily installing high tech chefs tables as just another high priced carnival ride, the Chefs Table CAN be a customer-friendly alternative to the straightjacketed formal dining experience--where you actually get to make new friends and even learn something about your food, where it comes from , what inspired it and WHO is actually making it. The last being an area about which most self-professed foodies are spectacularly ignorant.


abourdain

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It might surprise Working Class Hero Majumdar that a good number of two and three star chefs are actually really nice people--with interesting things to say

Name one

Would it be plausible to suggest that Not so working class hero Bourdain might get different treatment from the rest of us who are just viewed, by MANY chefs as ripe anus cheeks ready for the parting?

S

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<snip>

Adrian Ferra writes somewhere that a real understanding of his cuisine is enhanced if you eat in this way.

<snip>

Adrian Ferra? The mind boggles

Adam

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the rest of us who are just viewed, by MANY chefs as ripe anus cheeks ready for the parting?

S

How poetic :blink:

Simon Majumdar : everyday and in everway helping to strengthen chef/client relationship. Read it here (only?) on eGullet.com

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Just checked in the dictionary under Lynes

Means: someone who does not realise that being a good chef and being a good person are not alway the same thing

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to watch the kitchen in action. i've eaten at several, and never have had, nor expected to have, the chef come over to the table. nor did i fuck, or want to fuck, any of the chefs.

this is just one more case of people who don't understand something being more than eager to admit that they don't understand something. :blink:

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Thats funny, I looked it up and it said "A person unlikely to rise to obvious baiting".

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to watch the kitchen in action.  i've eaten at several, and never have had, nor expected to have, the chef come over to the table.  nor did i fuck, or want to fuck, any of the chefs.

this is just one more case of people who don't understand something being more than eager to admit that they don't understand something.  :blink:

and again, in English.

S

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to watch the kitchen in action.  i've eaten at several, and never have had, nor expected to have, the chef come over to the table.  nor did i fuck, or want to fuck, any of the chefs.

this is just one more case of people who don't understand something being more than eager to admit that they don't understand something.  :blink:

and again, in English.

S

someone might call that ad hominem.

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