Dining around the world with the world’s smallest chef

By Giselle P. Kasilag

THE WORLD’S smallest chef is back with an invitation to a dining adventure like no other. Le Petit Chef returns to The Peak at the Grand Hyatt Manila with a sequel to last year’s successful French menu. Dubbed as “Le Petit Chef in the footsteps of Marco Polo,” the excitable six-centimeter-tall culinary wonder will embark on a journey spanning five countries in three continents. And as the title suggests, he will be retracing the legendary Venetian traveler’s trip through the Silk Road.

Le Petit Chef takes the dinner-and-theater concept to the next level with an enchanting digital upgrade. The meal and the show are served right at the table using 3D projection technology developed by the Belgian-based company, Skullmapping. A host introduces each course then the lights are dimmed, and the tiny chef emerges through a projection on the table, creating an immersive dining experience.

For this installment, guests will be following Le Petit Chef swimming through spices in India and riding birds in China while trying his best not to be squished by foot traffic or eaten by critters.

The trip begins at his home country, France, withChaudière de Poisson— a seafood soup with clams, mussels, salmon, and haddock. The creamy soup sets the stage for the richness of the next course exploring the Levant. A version of the mezze, the Arabian dish for the second course consists of chargrilled lamb kofta, smoked eggplant mousse, hummus, tabbouleh, and pide bread.

Le Petit Chef moves to India for the third course with a dish prepared with Grand Hyatt Manila’s chef Arum Kumar. It features butter chicken, tomato gravy, saffron rice, samosa chaat, tamarind and mint chutney and papadum. The strong spices are cleansed by the next course — a sorbet with lemon, lime, and mint from Nepal. This appropriately prepares the palate for the delicate dish from China which highlights the braised sea bass in ginger, garlic, and black bean sauce.

And for dessert, Le Petit Chef returns to his home country with a trio of crème brulee featuring flavors he encountered throughout his trip: Arabian coffee, cardamom, and ginger.

The meal fulfills its promise to bring diners to a journey through the Silk Road with Marco Polo. The amusing storyline with the beautifully illustrated animation, however, brings a child-like wonder to the experience, making fine-dining less intimidating and more relaxed without compromising on the quality of the meal. Having a host welcome the guests and introduce each dish adds to the charm and makes the immersive dining more comfortable.

According to F&B marketing manager Glenda Vibar, this enchanting dining experience is exclusive to the Grand Hyatt Manila within the National Capital Region.

Unlike the traditional menu-planning for a food outlet, this requires more research than usual since the video comes first and the menu has to be planned around it.

“We need to watch the entire video, study it, and align it. The food needs to be aligned with the story. From Le Petit Chef 1, it’s more on the French dish and everything is about cooking. Now, Le Petit Chef 2 is about traveling and experiencing the different cultures and places,” Ms. Vibar explains.

While other properties around the world may be offering the same video with the same story, the courses in each are unique. She adds that there is a focus on the discovery of ingredients as well as cooking techniques which are highlighted with the variety of dishes being offered.

“It really depends on the chef’s inspiration. Like for the Middle Eastern dish, Chef Mark (Hagen, executive chef of Grand Hyatt Manila) drew from his experience when he was in Dubai for several years.”

“Le Petit Chef in the footsteps of Marco Polo” opens its doors to diners beginning April 1. Set at the Veranda Room of The Peak, only two shows are held each night — the first at 6 to 8 p.m. and another from 8:30 to 10:30 p.m. The room holds only 16 diners per show with the price starting at P6,600 net per person.

To reserve seats, visit https://lepetitchef.com/grand-hyatt-manila, and for inquiries call 8838-1234 or e-mail manila.grand@hyatt.com.

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