Private dining may have been the bastion of the incredibly rich and famous, but a certain virus changed all of that. Since 2020, restaurateurs and other hospitality ventures have seen the benefits of offering this experience to the masses. While it certainly isn’t cheap, it’s no longer out of reach.
Private dining brings fine-dining chefs and restaurants home for service. It could also mean highly individualised menus at a private space in a restaurant or other venue, generally for a rather small number of guests.
The latter is rather like the concept of a Chef’s Table, now increasingly popular on cruise ships. Concepts like these offer epicurean guests the opportunity to interact personally with the chefs, understand what inspired each dish and really know the person who cooks their food, unlike the incredibly brief visits some head chefs make during meal service at some restaurants.
It’s possible that the need for open-air dining spaces is still instilled in our brains – chefs speaking to Food & Wine magazine in December last year have said they are continuing to see high demand for private dining, not just in restaurants but also in private apartment spaces.
Food television personality Martha Stewart pointed out that all things limited capacity and personal would trend in 2022, from wine tastings to pasta-making classes and white truffle dinners. These allow guests to feel like they’re part of an exclusive experience.
Following its international set up, the Take A Chef experience in Goa allows patrons anywhere in the state to hire a chef for a private dining experience in the comfort of their homes. With a few clicks, guests can choose the kind of food they would like served on a specific date in their homes.
They can select a chef from among those registered on the platform, the number of guests in attendance, the preferred cuisine and a budget range. Patrons simply offer information on the kind of stove top they have at home (gas, electric or induction), whether they have an oven or not, if any dietary restrictions are being observed and a cuisine style that ranges from Mediterranean, Italian and French, to Asian, Latin American and an option to be surprised by the chef’s talents. Chefs prepare the food, serve guests and interact with them personally, and finally ensure everything is cleared and cleaned before leaving.
As a chef offering private dining, you will be expected to put great attention into curating a menu according to guest requirements, sourcing the right ingredients, pairing or suggesting drinks, and ensuring everything is made to perfection. While private dining was earlier relegated to celebrations such as wedding anniversaries or milestone birthdays, guests are now looking at everyday occasions as opportunities to meet close friends or family.
It’s important to remember that as a foodpreneur, restaurateur or chef offering private dining services that you look into incorporating as many local and sustainable food sources as possible. Not only is it better for the environment, but it showcases your capabilities in incorporating these ingredients into global cuisine while also fostering closer relations with vendors, suppliers and farmers.