The New Chef’s Table

Buff Strickland

From secret supper clubs to whiskey cocktail pairings, these exclusive dining experiences offer much more than a good view of the kitchen.

The popularity of chef’s tables may have peaked over a decade ago, but whatever feelings of importance and status the experiences promised then have inspired more creativity from kitchens ever since.

In the last year alone, new options have blossomed around the world—from a five-course Champagne–inspired menu at the Saxon Hotel in Johannesburg, South Africa, to a completely personalized, residential-like chef’s counter for ten in the new private dining space at Vetri in Philadelphia. And then there’s the Inn at Dos Brisas, in Washington, Texas, which does away with the kitchen altogether and brings the chef to you—whether you elect to dine in the property’s rose garden, on its certified organic farm or in a hidden-away forest.

Dinner is still very much the star of the evening, but these new approaches offer opportunities to showcase even more than what appears on the plate. Click through the slideshow to explore 10 elevated chef’s-table experiences that bring the concept to the next level.