PORTFOLIO: V&A intimate chef's table
Unforgettable and impressive Chefs table
When a brief like this lands on the Golborne desks we all get very excited. The challenge - create an unforgettable event for top clients with a real pull. The format needed to be engaging, different, feel very intimate and be something that it would be impossible to say no to. We put our heads together and presented back to the client one of the most impressive chef's tables we've ever created.
Taking advantage of the majestic dome
The majestic Dome at the V&A is the first space you come into from the grand Cromwell Road entrance to the museum. The space consists of a soaring domed ceiling, marble floor and a beautiful reeded glass central bar, all sitting under the towering Dale Chihuly glass sculpture chandelier. It's truly a 'wow' space with very few event spaces in London rivalling the impression it makes. This space was chosen for the dinner element of this event and a simple, standard format was simply not going to work. To start with the intimate guests numbers of just 50 people is a small number for the Dome which can hold up to 250 for a dinner. However, we used this to our advantage.
The beautiful reeded glass and wood central bar, which doubles as a reception desk during the daytime, has recently been installed within the Dome. Part of the brief was to ensure that the dinner element of the event felt very special and unique. Working with this brilliant feature and the intimate numbers we created a chef's table set up with tall, rectangular tables fanning out from the central circle. Each table seated just 8 guests.
Attention to detail creates unforgettable moments
The menu was specially designed by top creative caterers Alison Price. We worked with them to ensure that the menu was pescatarian with a focus on plant-based elements over meat. The menu also needed to be playful, fun and incorporate the client's trends.
As guests were seated, a small black box tied with a grosgrain ribbon was at each place setting. Rather than place cards, each box had a personalised tag with the guest's name. Inside the box, a little work of art was found - the perfect start to an unforgettable dinner.
Inspiring trends, elegant and entertaining
Inspired by two trends 'Rainwater' and 'Airy Styles' the starter was as intriguing as it was delicious.
Wild Rutland Cep Parfait, Parmesan, Foraged Mushrooms & Smoked Sourdough.
The dish was served in a wide-rimmed white bowl with the central section completely covered in a black charcoal lace tuille inspired by the 'Airy Styles' lace trend. This had to be cracked by the guest to reveal the dish below added intrigue and a playful touch. The 'Rainwater' trend was interpreted by ensuring that the dish was served fresh from the earth and had minimal disruption to the natural world. The foraged mushrooms added an earthiness and depth to the dish which was truly delicious.
Food as art therapy
The main course played on the trend 'Now Processing' which incorporated the concept of 'Expressive Art Therapy'. Guests were encouraged to paint ingredients onto their dish and smash elements to create a delicious feast.
Rye Bay Bass, Nero Emulsion, AO Nori Potato & Spherified Sea Herbs, served with Split Nasturtium Broth to be poured by the chefs & Spherified Sea Herb to be broken onto the plate.
The chefs served the dishes from the central prep station and at each course, moved around to each table to explain the dish fully, hand finish the dish and add extra detail to the dishes being eaten.
A truly memorable set-up and a very elegant way to entertain clients.