Surprise me, chef!
If you love to eat to your heart’s content in a cheery, relaxed atmosphere with your friends, this new dining concept will surely interest you. The latest trend to hit the culinary world is communal dining or menus that have the ‘Feed me Chef’ option — where you help yourself to the chef’s signature food served in portions meant to be shared by a group, perfect for the sort of hearty and convivial dining that any fun evening calls for.
Before a group is served, the chef comes to the table and does a quick ‘interview’ of the guests, asking if they are allergic to certain food items, what is their meat preference, what they like and dislike in food, how hungry they are and so on. The chef then goes and puts together the dishes. He is around most of the time, and also keeps explaining the dishes as they come to the table. As you are served the courses one by one, you’ll be left wondering ‘what next’.
ACROSS THE GLOBE
On a vacation to Melbourne, I dined with a couple of friends at chef George Calombaris’ brand new restaurant Gazi, where an option of a 10-dish feed me menu priced at $65 per person, caught our attention. We decided to go for it at once. The food kept arriving on the table until we were full, and said ‘stop feeding us chef!’ During the trip I realised that this is one of the hottest foodie trends all over Melbourne, be it at the famed Chin Chin restaurant, or an eatery serving modern Thai dinner. The trend is equally strong in other parts of the world. At Tony Angelo’s Lakeview restaurant in US, you are served a scrumptious Italian spread if you go for feed me chef. At Fairmont The Palm, Dubai, the chef makes the concept even more interesting by teaching how to cook the Mezze and main course. Bo.lan in Bangkok too offers you the same concept.
IN THE CITY
Chef Manish Mehrotra of Indian Accent, Manor, offers you the same experience, and stunning presentations add on to the surprise element. “The idea is to simplify the experience for diners, so they enjoy the culinary sojourn,” he says. “You come to the restaurant without the stress of having to order from a menu, and you may discover something new that you would probably never order,” shares chef Bakshish, CEO Prime Gourmet. At the Pullman Hotel in Gurgaon, chef Tanveer Kwatra also offers a similar concept at La Riviera, but you have to make a request in advance.