Kitchit Dinner in LA- 03.13.12
Just in from our Tasteologie editor, Jackson Stakeman, he got a taste of Kitchit, the new bespoke chef service that just expanded to Los Angeles (from SF) today. Here’s what he learned (and ate!)…
I’ve learned some things recently… dinner parties are hard. Eating and hanging out with friends is easy. The view off the roof of a condominium on Ocean Ave in Santa Monica is amazing. Especially at sunset. Having a Top Chef All Star (in this case, Marcel Vigneron) prepare you and your friends a private dinner is even more so. Kitchit, a new company which offers new ways of connecting diners with chefs, has just reached Los Angeles. They invited me up to the roof for a little get together in order to have a taste and to take a peak at what they’ve been up to.
Kitchit uses the power of the internet to illuminate the often murky world of catering and private chefs. It offers an alternative to socialite word of mouth, sketchy business cards, and random internet searches. Hosts can select from a wide variety of chefs, including some well known culinary celebrities, and book a private dinner as if they were ordering it off the internet… which they are. You can even use the site to split the bill amongst your guests. Take a peek at the adventure through pictures on the next page…
Here’s Marcel and his team ready to make dinner… (as well as a few of the Kitchit team!)
A peek at the Kitchit site…
They explain the concept pretty well themselves:
I got to the roof a little early to watch the whole process unfold for Kitchit’s inaugural Los Angeles dinner. A small army went to work doing all the prep for the evening. They’d thought of everything. Even the plates were separated and labeled with their respective courses. It was as if they loaded in an entire restaurant. Linens, cutlery, glasses, an immersion circulator and even some liquid nitrogen for Marcel’s affinity for cooking with technology.
With no cameras rolling, or television lighting their team worked really well together as the sun began to set.
The menu was impressive. 5 courses plus a number of passed appetizers for when the guests were arriving.
There was even a couple of bartenders on hand to really get the party started. Alcohol, which you can of course provide yourself, is one of the ways where private dining in can actually become more affordable than dining out. It’s also a convenient way of doing away with last call!
The tequila, honey, and kumquat concoction was delicious and dangerously easy to drink.
Having amazing access to the kitchen is another big plus.
Here they are preparing some “salty balls”… potatoes prepared in a Canary Island way with sea water. The salt really intensifies the potato flavor making this an excellent addition to…
… Marcel’s amazing hanger steak, which was cooked sous vide for 8 hours before being seared to finish it off. These steak and potatoes were by no means standard, the techniques employed didn’t just sound interesting, but also elevated a dish that I must have had at least a hundred times.
The dinner was a great way to get up close and personal with the chef, even as he was dabbling with a little bit of liquid nitrogen. Kitchit has a real focus on customization, the dinners can be tailored to you just as closely as your home is. In San Francisco diners have gotten cooking lessons from chefs, accompanied them to farmer’s markets, or used the service to create more intimate private affairs. People have come away amazed at what their home kitchen could produce in the right hands.
And best of all… with Kitchit there are no dishes for you to clean afterwards!
How do you pick your chef?!?! Here’s a peek at the process…
…. and if you want to book Marcel Vigneron via Kitchit.