Why is it that everybody ends up in the kitchen when you’re having a party? Is it the excitement of being behind the curtain? Or is everyone worried there won’t be enough food to eat? Or is everyone trying to steal a secret? With everyone’s new found interest with food and its preparation, we thought it the perfect time to create a unique voyeuristic food experience. The Chef’s Table is an engaging presentation that brings the kitchen out to the party.
The look of the table we’ve designed, with its sawhorse legs, was inspired by the idea of a workbench where artisans work with their hands and practice their craft.
The chef slices, stacks, and seasons bites of food live in full view of the guests on a food-safe silicone surface that easily squeegees clean. The table is borderless, giving an infinity feel to your bite, it’s wide open, relax, your bite isn’t confined.
Crown molding emulates the flowing lines of a tablecloth, adding warmth without the need for actual fabric.
If you feel like giving this a whirl at home, we recommend unrolling waxed butcher paper down the center of your table like a runner and building your bites on top. Or if you have a marble counter top you can build directly on the smooth surface. Your guests will love this interactive food performance.
Here’s a fun recipe you could try on your Chef’s Table:
\\\ RECIPE \\\
diver scallop cruda | kimchi gastrique | fuji apple | ginger purée | diver scallops
The key to this dish is the ginger purée, unexpectedly neutral in flavor but creamy in texture. It picks up the aromas from the lime and shiso, and salt from the scallop.
- 1 cup cabbage kimchi
- 1/2 cup (5 1/2 oz.) light corn syrup
Puree the kimchi and corn syrup in a blender until smooth, then pour the liquid into a small heavy-bottomed saucepan. Bring to a boil and cook until thickened to the consistency of ketchup. Cool to room temperature before serving.
- 2 tablespoons (1 oz.) peeled ginger, sliced 1/8-inch thick
Bring 1 cup water to a boil and add the ginger. Cook for 2 minutes, then drain the ginger through a fine-mesh strainer. Repeat 6 more times with fresh water. Reserve the blanched ginger.
- 1 cup + 1 tablespoon (8 oz.) vegetable oil
- 2 tablespoons + 1 1/2 teaspoons (1 1/2 oz.) grated peeled ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon coriander seeds
- 1/2 teaspoon coarsely crushed star anise
Heat the oil, grated ginger, coriander, and star anise in a small heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium-low heat until the spices start to release their aromas. Be careful not to overheat the oil.
Remove from the heat, cover, and let the oil steep for 30 minutes. Strain the oil through a fine mesh strainer into a blender. Add the blanched ginger and puree until smooth. Cool to room temperature before serving.
\\\ ASSEMBLY \\\
Additional Ingredients and Equipment:
- 1 Fuji apple, cored and sliced 1/4-inch thick
- 3 large, fresh diver scallops at least 2 inches thick, each sliced into 4 thin rounds
- 3 shiso leaves
- 1 lime
- Maldon salt
- black peppercorns in a grinder
- fine Microplane zester
- 2-inch paintbrush or silicone basting brush
Paint a 6-inch line of gastrique on the silicone table with the paintbrush. Place the apple slices on the gastrique, then layer a raw scallop slice onto each apple.
Rip small pieces of shiso from the leaves and place them on top of the scallops. Generously spoon ginger purée over the shiso, then use the microplane to zest lime over the purée. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, then stab the scallops with bamboo picks to serve.