Artful Diner in the kitchen
On Monday 12 March the head chefs of Almeida, Sartoria and Plateau restaurants got together to cook a meal in aid of the NSPCC. The Artful Diner slipped behind the scenes to find out if chefs really can be friends…
Through three arches at the back of Almeida restaurant you can peer straight into head chef Alan Jones’s kitchen. Gleaming copper pans hang above the counters where he and his team work in view of diners. Cooking where everyone can see you meant there was no hiding at the NSPCC dinner recently when Alan was joined by Allan Pickett from Plateau and Lukas Pfaff of Italian restaurant Sartoria.
Each chef cooked one of four courses, with Alan’s up-and-coming sous chef Richard Foster in charge of the main. Having marched into the kitchen camera in hand, I nearly missed Lukas’s antipasto starter because I was so busy getting under everyone’s feet.
Luckily, no one got annoyed or yelled at me to leave them in peace. In fact, I didn’t hear a cross word – the atmosphere was positively cheerful. Allan Pickett was at one end, where his apple tarts had staged some sort of takeover, creeping onto every available surface (see picture in the gallery below). Lukas and his sous chef had set up a cool and calm Italian antipasto camp in the middle, while Richard and Alan’s teams were busy at the stove.
Getting everyone together was the brainchild of Alan, who then approached the other chefs, or as he called them “the men of the moment”. That prompted a few smiles; again, no signs of pot throwing. Paul A Young popped in to say a quick hello (his chocolates were served at the end of the meal).
Satisfied this was one of the calmest kitchens I’ve seen, I then disappeared to eat, returning later with a glass of champagne, which I exchanged for a photo of the four chefs raising a glass together. Lovely.
Keep an eye on the D&D What’s On page, where any future D&D chef collaborations will be posted.
Read a previous feature on the March 12 NSPCC dinner at Almeida.
Two new restaurant openings are the highlight of a pretty exciting month...> READ MORE