CHEFS' PLAYGROUND

The idea

Create the ultimate outdoor cooking & dining experience on the planet, bar none. Ichiban all the way.

 

The Chefs

Galloping Gastronomy! Take a group of chefs. Or foodies. Or maybe a restauranteur who wants to create something really, really different: a fully equipped mostly outdoor kitchen where insane foodies can prepare and serve food from around the world.

There’s a closed walk-in refrigerator and a dish station in the back. Stations for sauces, paella, grilling with gas or wood, a salamander, adjacent planters with herbs, prep spaces, ovens.

For guests or general inebriation there’s a bar stocked with all kinds of liqueurs suitable for creating balls of flambé fire.

The Friends

Cooking is sharing. Besides, when chefs come home, the last thing they want to do is cook. So maybe this is part restaurant, sort of a backyard revolving mad chef guest kitchen where ideas bounce around like flying doubinjiang. Food is social. What’s the point of cooking without a mad party afterwards, discussions of hot new vegetables, Asian-Middle Eastern fusion and how to transform frankfurters into haute cuisine.

Act 1: The Arrival

 A well-planned meal has courses, like acts in a play. So, why can’t the acts take place inside different scenes, just like a play? There’s the arrival, where people mingle, swirling around and perhaps combusting. They move through spaces full of options for seating, where they can perhaps test who they’d like to sit near and who… not so much.

They move from the bar. Sit on curving seat walls. Stare at plants. Loosen up. Talk to strangers. They go back to the bar for more of that strange drink featuring Aperol.

At this point, we’re in street food mode. Things you eat with your fingers, small things that don’t drip, things that crunch.

Act 2: The plot develops

By now, inhibitions have dropped. Total strangers become acquaintances.  Enticing flavors of cooking food waft from the cooking stations. People move to the sit-down dining tables, food moves from the kitchen, silverware clacks and chimes on plates, corks pop, toasts begin.

Act 3: Plot twists

More courses arrive. Do they clash and rock the house, do they harmonize? Do they make your nose run and your eyes water? Good! They’re not boring.

Act 4: Wind down

After the meal, people can stroll through the gardens behind the dining area, sit on benches, walk back by the bar, mingle, digest.

Act 5: Exit

As people leave, they have the same opportunities to linger and talk. Or have a good strong cup of coffee.

Background

One year, a company making very, very expensive gas grills decided to create a competition to see what designers would do with their products.

We never received any acknowledgement from the company. The winning projects were all angular letters: C, U, L.

Maybe including other manufacturers' equipment was taboo. Maybe the exotic Moroccan theme was too much for a company apparently run by non-artists.