A feast for the senses!
By Ayush Madan
Late in September, I was lucky enough to be one of the first to try the newly-opened Le Petit Chef restaurant at Amari Bangkok – a one-of-a-kind experience combining theatre, fine dining, animation and dance. Choreographed by the Belgian animation studio Skullmapping, the unique dining experience featured holograms of four different chefs projected onto the dining table, trotting around gathering ingredients and preparing the course to come. Whether it be chopping vegetables, kneading dough, or searing steak, the animation team went above and beyond in making sure the details were accurate to each dish.
FOOD AND ANIMATION
We started off in Spain with Chef Pequeria Maria who prepared for us a sourdough toast topped with burrata, pesto, heirloom tomatoes, and crispy Iberico ham. Before she could even begin however, Chef Maria first had to dust off her bullfighting skills in a bullring which materialised right over my plate. “¡Ándale, ándale!”, she exclaimed, playing the role of matador and using a red muleta to test the bull’s strength. The blaring Spanish band music and the beautifully-recreated environment of Barcelona truly reflected the commitment to the chef’s character, and fully immersed me in the experience. In addition, once the starter had been served, one of the servers came out dressed in a traditional flamenco outfit and started dancing to the music, adding another element of fun and keeping me engaged.
The preparation of my favourite dish was by Chef Piccolo Luciano of Italy. The animation switched to show a field of wheat swaying in the wind, and in the middle was Chef Luciano, cracking eggs and making pasta dough in a pig-powered mixer. The music changed once again to an Italian song, and each sound, from digging up the truffles to filling the ravioli was meticulously crafted. When the animated Chef was finished, the hologram dish began to fade, and the real dish was brought in by a server. The pasta tasted fresh, the filling was rich, and the parmesan sauce was creamy and delicious. Next, Le Petit Chef, the chef of the hour, prepared for us the French main course. The Australian beef tenderloin was served alongside homemade potato wedges, and a particularly unique tom yum béarnaise sauce.
My favourite animated environment was saved for last when the Japanese chef, Chef Chizano Takahiro prepared a matcha green tea sponge cake topped with chestnut cream and mango sauce. The environment changed once more into a beautiful koi pond with swimming fish and blooming water lilies. Chef Maria, Chef Piccolo and Le Petit Chef all stood fearfully on a lily pad, as Chef Takahiro paddled over the water on a wooden canoe, taking his time to incorporate the dessert with great panache. The music was a slow Oriental tune, matching the grace of Chef Takahiro and you could hear the water sloshing with each paddle.
After dessert, I was surprised to see all four chefs back in the animated kitchen preparing something that was definitely not on the menu. One was measuring flour, the other cutting up butter, and another cracking eggs. I realised halfway through that they were making a birthday cake! Once the cake was frosted, in true Le Petit form, the servers brought out a real cake and the whole room started singing the birthday song for one of the diners. It was truly satisfying to see the talent behind the animation all culminate in a heartwarming moment in person. All in all, when the fireworks played at the end of my Le Petit Chef experience, I realized I was unlikely to experience something like it ever again.
Le Petit Chef
4th Floor, Amari Bangkok
847 Phetchaburi Rd, Khwaeng Thanon Phaya Thai,
Ratchathewi, Bangkok 10400
Open from Tuesdays to Sundays, starting from 7pm