Food

Next restaurant releases more details on 2013 season

Chef Grant Achatz recreated the legendary El Bulli menu at his Chicago restaurant Next. – AFP picChef Grant Achatz recreated the legendary El Bulli menu at his Chicago restaurant Next. – AFP pic

CHICAGO, Dec 20 – A meal centred entirely on wild game, a multi-course vegan meal and a dinner that pays homage to an international culinary competition known as the Olympics of the food world will be the pop-up themes at chef Grant Achatz’s Chicago restaurant Next in 2013.

In a Facebook message to fans posted this week, the restaurant released details of its 2013 gastronomic season as well as changes to its ticketing system.

The concept of Achatz’s sophomore effort Next is based on creating a new themed menu every few months.

Last year, the restaurant recreated the legendary and now-shuttered El Bulli restaurant in Spain — where Achatz was an apprentice — and offered a menu themed around Sicily and Kyoto Kaiseki, a form of haute Japanese cuisine.

Kicking off the 2013 season at Next will be a menu called The Hunt with dishes that feature wild game and foraged foods.

From May to August, the restaurant’s spring and summer menu will turn vegan in an attempt to attract a new segment of diners, acknowledges the chef.

Closing out the season, from August to December of 2013, will be a pop-up theme built around the Bocuse d’Or, a prestigious culinary competition known among chefs as the Olympics of the food world, or, as the restaurant notes, the real Top Chef.

As one of the coaches of the US team, Achatz will serve a menu that tries to replicate the Bocuse d’Or challenge, where chefs must put on their A-game with elaborate, fanciful meat and fish platters.

New subscriptions for 2013

Meanwhile, the restaurant also announced it’s added six more dinners to each themed event, which means that 2012 season ticket holders will be guaranteed renewal, and that new subscriptions will be more attainable.

Subscription prices range from US$90 (RM275) for a table at The Hunt or Vegan on a Wednesday night to US$195 for the Bocuse d’Or meal.

Though considered novel and even controversial at first, Achatz’s restaurant ticketing system has been replicated by other top chefs around the world, including the Adrià brothers Ferran and Albert at their Barcelona cocktail bar 41° Experience.

Like tickets to a theater show, admission to the Spanish restaurant costs €200 (RM807) a person.

Similarly, when Danish chef René Redzepi transplanted his award-winning Copenhagen restaurant Noma to Claridge’s in London this summer, he too used an online ticketing system.

About 3,400 tickets to the pop-up restaurant sold out in 2.5 hours. – AFP-Relaxnews

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