The Handbook
The Handbook

There was a time when kitchens were things of utmost privacy. Prying eyes weren’t allowed near those swinging doors and guests were presented with their plates of food with almost no awareness of what’s gone on behind the scenes up to that point. Masterchef and Hell’s Kitchen have a lot to thank for lifting the veil on the professional kitchen; the place of shiny stainless steel, foot-high flames, whites and the occasional swear word (depending on which programme you’re watching…).

Nowadays, kitchens seem almost communal places. Chef’s tables are a sought-after destination and chefs themselves are willing to allow others in to their territory for residencies, one-off supper clubs and all round collaborative experiences – multiple names are better than one.

In a new series of guest chef evenings, Nordic-French-inspired Aster will welcome chief critic at Bloomberg, Richard Vines, to host a live Q&A with top chefs followed by a one-off meal prepared by the guest and Aster’s Executive Chef Helena Puolakka. First up is the legendary Pierre Koffmann who boasts 3-Michelin stars and a career in the kitchen that many young chefs can only dream of. Pierre and Helena will combine their skills to produce a French-Nordic 5-course tasting menu with dishes including pan-fried foie gras with smoked eel and apple salad and the signature pig’s trotter ‘Pierre Koffmann’ with pomme mousse and a port wine sauce. Fine food needs fine wine, so the restaurant’s sommelier has selected appropriate glasses to compliment each dish.

Not only will you get the chance to sample the fruits of an exclusive collaboration (we really doubt the duo will be teaming up again any time soon) but you’ll be doing your bit for charity as you do so – £5 from every ticket will be donated to Hospitality Action, who offer a crucial lifeline those currently in, and retired from, the hospitality industry.

Future collaborations are yet to be announced but by setting the bar this high we can only expect big things…

Chef Series Evenings at Aster will launch with Pierre Koffmann on Monday 19th June