Hélène Darroze launches chef’s table communal lunch formula at the Connaught
By now we’ve all heard of chef’s tables. It’s a premium experience offered usually by the more refined restaurants. The proximity to the kitchen changes each time: the closer the more exclusive. Billing-wise, it will take a toll. There’s no rule about the format: some restaurants will have a regular menu with a significant minimum expenditure, others will have a special selection of dishes drafted for this. Because the table is just one it means you’ll have to be a party of six or even more to be able to book it – and that’s why many people didn’t even have the opportunity to consider it.
Two-Michelin-starred Hélène Darroze at the Connaught have recently refurbished the restaurant and the brand new chef’s table is impressive: a dramatic pink marble piece set on a Terrazzo dais so that guests sit opposite the kitchen from a higher position. It feels like the dress circle of a theatre, the service a spectacle to watch.
Naturally, it’s an expensive affair. However, the restaurant is launching a brand new formula at lunch, which will open their exclusive table to more casual diners willing to taste and share the French chef’s cuisine. Sharing is in fact the concept of this offer: guests will be able to book and sit with other people who chose this experience for their lunch. It’s a communal yet intimate format, more informal and affordable than an evening booking.
Priced at £65, the menu includes a selection of canapés, a starter, a main course and a dessert – with a glass of champagne Billecart-Salmon Rosé non vintage. All the elements of a chef’s table will be there: the manager and the chef will introduce the dishes, interacting with the guests. The food, too, will be made to share: a Baleric island octopus will be cooked, barbecue-flamed and portioned at the table; fillets of Cornish cod will be fricasseed in a cast iron pot, with clams, beans and chorizo.
Last but not least, after the dessert – a Paris-Brest or their armagnac-soaked baba – diners will receive a bag with their menu as well as a canelé: a unique experience from start to finish.
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Photos: Filippo L’Astorina
Lunch at the Chef’s Table at Hélène Darroze at the Connaught is priced at £65 per person for a three-course blind menu and is served every weekday. Dinner at the Chef’s Table is priced at £200 per person for a seven-course blind menu. For dinner, the table is available for a minimum of six guests and a maximum of 12. To book email email@example.com or call 020 3147 7200.