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SAVOR Le Petit Chef: A singular, (literally) animated experience
by Andrew Davis
2023-01-29

This article shared 2710 times since Sun Jan 29, 2023
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There are experiences and then there are EXPERIENCES.

If you're familiar with those recent Immersive Van Gogh and Kahlo events, imagine that transferred to a table setting and you have an idea of what's involved with Le Petit Chef at the Fairmont Chicago (200 N. Columbus Dr.; www.fairmontchicago.com/le-petit-chef/&, an animated experience that's the brainchild of Filip Sterckx.

Before I get into what's involved, I feel I should list a few drawbacks. If you tend to eat slowly, this might not be the right event for you—especially the earlier 6 p.m. seating. (Seatings are also at 8:30 p.m., with both on Thursdays through Saturdays.) Also, because there's a specific story that's used for the dinner, the menu (which has two courses featuring meat) won't work for dedicated vegans and vegetarians. Lastly, the price for a dinner ($155, with more to upgrade each course with a matching wine pairing) might be a bit much to swallow.

However, if you're able to get past all of those hurdles, you're in for quite an evening.

Le Petit Chef is the story of the smallest chef in the world. Said story unfolds over a lavish five-course meal as your table seemingly comes alive with animation that covers everything from Italy to Andy Warhol. At certain points during the experience, the story halts to give time for the servers to emerge with a dish. The courses are as follows:

—Tomato Three Ways: This tasty but acidic dish contained raw, compressed and pickled tomatoes with green tea, herbs and feta.

—The Art of Carrots: This vegetarian dish—carrots, quinoa granola, mandarin oranges, baby greens and pesto—was delicious and had a wonderful mix of textures.

—Chicken roulade: Probably one of my favorite courses, this consisted of bacon-wrapped chicken medallions with pickled mushrooms, haricot verts, potato and wild cranberry.

—Grilled filet of beef: A well-cooked (as opposed to well-done) filet came with spinach, mustard seeds (which burst like caviar in my mouth), onion and beets with an ornate garnish consisting of bitter chocolate.

—Hazelnut mille-feuille: This dessert (also called a hazelnut napoleon) was actually served in a wine glass, resembling a terrarium—albeit a delicious one. This dish was the most intriguing in that rum sauce was poured on the chocolate cap, briefly setting it aflame.

Le Petit Chef has something for so many people. The animation is captivating and even educational, and the quality of the dishes is very high. Should your pockets be deep enough for a very unique experience (as this is the only such event in the city), Le Petit Chef will make for an unforgettable night.

Note: This visit was arranged.


This article shared 2710 times since Sun Jan 29, 2023
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