The Le Petit Chef walks through Arabia telling the story of his food journey.
The Le Petit Chef walks through Arabia telling the story of his food journey.

Let Dinner Time Stories take you through appetising gastronomical journey

By Mpiletso Motumi Time of article published Dec 13, 2019

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When one thinks of dinner time stories, it is usually of friends and family gathering around the table to enjoy good food and great conversation.

Stories do more than allow for open conversation, they set the scene for your imagination to run wild. That is exactly what a select few media personalities got to do recently: experience a truly immersive experience through the Dinner Time Stories event hosted at the Quatermain Faircity Hotel.

Dinner Time Stories is an innovative, internationally-acclaimed experience that has never before been seen in South Africa.

It’s the most eye-catching meal I have ever seen.

Through the eyes of the Le Petit Chef, guests are taken on a journey through time, music and the Dinner Time Stories book to tell the tales of the food they will eat.

Our journey began with the taste of the sea - an amuse-bouche menu shaped as a boat and the meal presented in a rustic treasure chest.

But before the first course was presented the Le Petit Chef had to share with us what food journey we were taking. It was going through the famous silk route in the footsteps of Marco Polo and every stop along the way would be a course presentation.

It has been a very long journey to become the chef of this restaurant.

“Let me show you,” says the tiny chef.

A camel was one of the decorative pieces that formed part of the third course.

He jumps off the page of the Dinner Time Stories book once he is done with the introduction and turns it over to the next one where he explains his life story. The chef was born in Marseille, France, and always had a passion for food, making it a natural fit for him to continue on that journey.

With the use of 3D images from a tabletop projector and onto the blank pages, the story he tells continues.

Eventually the chef took us on the journey of Marco Polo, explaining his history.

“This Italian followed the silk route as far as China and faced unbelievable challenges during the journey, but, most importantly, he experienced all those different spices and discovered so many secrets of exotic cuisines,” shares the chef while walking across the table to flip the page for the story to continue.

“I started to dream about the tasting the spices of India, the sweets from Arabia, and the wok from the Far East. In a moment of complete foolishness I decided to go on a journey and discover the world.”

And with that the food experience began.

Guests got to see the chef make a boat out of the book “page” and start his journey into the different parts of the world. We see the chef navigate through rough waters to get to his next destination. And while the music set the scene for his ocean journey to the next stop, our starters of prawns and salmon were served.

Each of the courses is paired with wine.

Our tiny chef’s next stop was glorious Arabia.

“What a nice place here,” he says as he walks through the pages and avoids being stepped on by the sandalled feet walking by, he is after all only 58mm in height.

Dinner Time Stories SA is an immersive and interactive food experience.

He manages to find cover under some patterned pillows before carrying on with his journey. The warm and rich toned carpets, shisha pipes and henna tattoos he walks past, paint the picture of Arabia. The details in the food and ornaments left us wanting more and that’s what we got as the waiters, dressed in keffiyehs on their heads, presented our second course while the tiny chef found his way through a sandstorm.

The Arabic course included figs stuffed with walnuts, falafel and tzatziki salad, as well as some pita bread and skordalia, all presented in wooden pots complimented by a small shisha pipe and a camel to add the magic.

Once the chef was safe and sound, he took us to our next stop, India -filled with colour and aroma.

A performance from the dancers of the night provided the entertainment accordingly to each theme.

The course included bags of sev, dried mango pieces and pistachios, a bowl of coconut cream lentil korma, homemade paneer, lamb curry and Indian pickled curry among other delicious options.

Soon after, our chef was back on his way to another place, but this time it was a surprise. He took us on a journey into the Himalayas. With their earmuffs keeping them warm, the waiters brought out a special surprise for guests that those who have not experienced it should get to find out on their own visit to the Dinner Time Stories.

The amuse-bouche as served in an 'under the sea' 

treasure.

Our next stop was filled with fireworks and fortune cookies. Our Asian cuisine included spring rolls served in traditional bamboo steamers, soy egg noodles, hoisin and orange grilled Chinese chicken breast and crispy vermicelli.

Our final treat on the food journey was a divine dessert from Le Petit Chef himself.

The Dinner Time Stories experience is truly unmatched and is spreading its wings to Zimbabwe as well to thrill guests at the Royal Livingstone Victoria Falls Zambia Hotel. They have also found a new home in Franschhoek at L’Ermitage.

“We have partnered with top chefs and wine farms to bring an experience you have never seen before with the Le Petit Chef. What is really exciting is that we have two new animations for the projections. Having looked at the culinary patterns of South Africans, we now have a mozzarella salad and a chicken dish. We plan on projecting them for the first time in Franschhoek,” said Paul Rouessart, who brought Dinner Time Stories to South Africa.

The Dinner Time Stories concept was created by Filip Sterckx and Antoon Verbeeck.

The L’Ermitage will be the home of Le Petit Chef’s new offering, never before seen in the Southern Africa tabletop projection Le Petit Chef’s Dinner Table, while the Royal Livingstone will be the new hosts to #DinnerTimeStoriesSA in the first quarter of next year.

You can now visit one of two venues and experience the new offering “Le Petit Chef’s Dinner Table” as well as the #DinnerTimeStoriesSAshow. Tables of eight or 12 are on offer with a maximum of 52 guests per show.

The media event at Quatermain Hotel was brought together by Luxuria Lifestyle ZA which aims to be the premier hub for experiences and events in the country.

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