If you’ve ever wanted to eat a Michelin three-star meal in your pajamas, this is your year. From Singapore to San Francisco, some of the world’s top chefs have rethought their restaurants for this odd at-home era. They’ve come up with pop-up gourmet shops, top-quality meal kits and full-on tasting menus with wine pairings.
Atelier Crenn, San Francisco
Chef Dominique Crenn decided to cheer up San Franciscans stuck at home with the Crenn Kit Luxe, an interactive seven-course pescatarian tasting menu experience that comes with video instruction to guide clients through the plating and assembling of each course ($155 per person). The often-changing menu includes some of her most popular recipes, such as the caviar and koji rice tart and the crab tartare.
Victor’s Fine Dining by Christian Bau, Perl, Germany
As Germany’s lockdown went on, chef Christian Bau started putting together special four-course menus, which change each week and are delivered with the recipes for finishing them and the serving suggestions. Patrons can order additional supplements or wines chosen by sommelier Nina Mann. Each week, the kitchen offers 125 Bau Boxes (around 240€ for two people), and these are sold out within five minutes of being announced (Monday afternoons). Demand is so high that they don’t accept pre-orders, so that more people can have a chance. They’ve also uploaded their restaurant playlist to Spotify.
Chef Dabiz Muñoz didn’t set out to get into the delivery game. During Spain’s initial confinement last year, he set about creating new recipes and sharing them on Instagram, complete with “crazy recipes video tutorials” (to quote a local food blogger). When fans started trying to buy those dishes, he responded by launching GoXO to deliver his “imaginative homemade food” (to quote him) like fried rice, curries and “Mumbai lasagna.” Before long, he added GoXO service in Barcelona (where it’s so popular that it often sells out, just like the original), and last Christmas he added a takeaway food truck near the entrance of the Gourmet Experience at El Corte Inglés in Madrid.
Eleven Madison Park, New York City
Throughout the pandemic, Eleven Madison Park has continued to expand its EMP at Home offerings. This month, the main course options include a ready-to-roast D’Artagnan Green Circle chicken (stuffed with black truffle, foie gras and brioche in the style of chef Daniel Humm’s family recipe), bone marrow-crusted beef tenderloin, whole roasted cauliflower and Montauk fluke en papillote. Each menu set, which serves up to four guests and includes instructions on how to cook the meal, is accompanied by produce-driven sides such as snow peas with pecorino and pancetta; spring garlic custard with peas, favas, asparagus and leeks; Bibb lettuce with sprouts and caraway crumble; strawberry tart for dessert; and a jar of EMP’s granola for the next day. For every meal ($250–$395) purchased, Eleven Madison Park donates ten meals to New Yorkers in need, in partnership with Rethink Food, a nonprofit that Humm cofounded. He and his team deploy the Eleven Madison Truck to transport and serve nutritious meals in food-insecure neighborhoods in the Bronx and Brooklyn.
Each weekend’s special takeout menu includes four courses (starter, intermediate, main and dessert) with optional extras from chef Viki Guenes. Zilte’s menu this coming weekend (125€ per person) includes amuse bouches of baked cauliflower with shrimp and noisette butter and tacos with red kimchi and matured beef tartare; toro with asparagus and Imperial Heritage caviar; grilled lobster with chutney fermented tomato; farm chicken with lacquered eggplant; and strawberries with pondicherry peppercorn, basil and Ivoire chocolate. Wine pairings (47€ per person) from sommelier Aaron Moeraert are also available.
Flocons de Sel, Mègeve, France
Emmanuel Renaut is normally a hotelier as well as a chef, so his urge to take care of his clients is strong. That’s why he launched an ambitious online shop for gourmet staples like eggs from the restaurant’s own henhouse, mountain honey from its own hives and risotto kits. It’s also the place to order the daily menu (40€ per person) for takeaway. It changes all the time, but a recent day included fish from the Lac aux Mousserons of St. Georges, Chatreuse beef with 18-hour confit, and tiramisu with seasonal fruits and chamomile.
Mirazur, Menton, France
Not only a Michelin three-star but also the current number one on the World’s 50 Best list, Mirazur has been saving its at home menus for special occasions. First there was Christmas and New Year’s Eve, when chef and director Mauro and Julia Colagreco put together a special five-course menu for delivery throughout all of France. Next where was Valentine’s Day, when they expanded their range to include locations in France, Monaco, Spain and Brussels. The next one (250€) will be for Mother’s Day (May 30 in France), and like the others, it will include a recipe book with instructions for cooking and plating the meal at home, and tops and techniques from Mauro. Mirazur also has a new online shop for olive oils, chocolate, wines, homemade jam and panettone.
Although the restaurant has shifted its focus back to in-restaurant dining, Odette helped Singaporeans through their lockdown with a curated home-dining experience with a rotating selection of favorite comforting dishes, inspired classics and seasonal specialties designed to be finished off and enjoyed in a relaxed setting with loved ones. Standout dishes included the Tart Riviera with zucchini, eggplant and tomato in puff pastry; whole roasted poularde de Bresse with Niigata rica and combo salad; and a trio of tartlets. The endeavor kept the team of 40-strong employed, introduced Odette to a wider audience (many of whom have since dined at the restaurant), and allowed them to work with various partners to provide more than 200 meal boxes for low-income families.
Core by Claire Smyth, London
The Core at Home tasting menu includes most of the little details and surprises that make an evening at the restaurant so memorable. Available for delivery within London or pickup from the restaurant, the menu (£175 per person) requires only some simple finishing at home and changes every week. This coming weekend, it will include snacks like truffle gougères and tarts of foie gras and Madeira; baked Isle of Mull scallops with smoked bacon and garden peas; Cornish brill with Spilmans asparagus, wild garlic and morels; and fillet of Dexter beef with bone marrow and a shallot red wine sauce. The chef will virtually guide diners through the assembly, and sommelier Gareth Ferreira can organize a wine pairing.