100 Stories: “The beauty of the butterfly”

Maya Angelou said: “We delight in the beauty of the butterfly, but rarely admit the changes it has gone through to achieve that beauty.” To become the world’s first vertical destination has been an exciting adventure…

All ventures worth talking about contain dreams, a quest for the impossible and smatterings of high drama. And the opening of the rooftop bars and restaurants: lebua no.3, Pink Bar and Chef’s Table are no exception:
Today we begin the tale of Chef’s Table.

Let’s travel back in time for a moment to April 2018.
Deepak Ohri, CEO of lebua Hotels and Resorts had a star crossed encounter with three star Michelin Chef, Vincent Thierry.
A large space on the 61st floor had long laid dormant.
Covered in the dust of 20 years, waiting for just some such stardust, to be sprinkled upon it.
They didn’t know it at the time but the meeting turned out to be a veritable: ‘if you build it they will come’ moment.

With no more than an unused space in mind, Deepak and Vincent set off on a reconnaissance mission to New York. Accompanying them were Ryuki Kawasaki, (two-star Michelin chef of Mezzaluna) and designer Scott Whittaker, Creative Director of dwp.

They did it their way in New York, visiting chef’s tables and Japanese-style omakase counters to watch, chat and experience ‘chef’s tables’.
And what they found, was not so much what they wanted, but what they didn’t want.
Which, in the hands of creativity, is the same thing, but better.
In the hands of creativity this becomes an original idea.
Scott says: “The whole world is full of restaurants. Once you know what they are and how they should be; they become formulaic. And then you feel: ‘Oh, I’ve been here before’. It might be beautiful. It might have great food. It might even be exceptional… but we wanted to create something different. Essentially, at a counter it is difficult to have a conversation between more than two people. You’re not really experiencing a chef’s table.”

Deepak’s team then wondered what would happen if they placed the chef smack-bam in the centre of the restaurant… “The restaurant is the kitchen. The kitchen is the restaurant.”
A place where guests can watch the chef prepare their food from a fine dining table... a Chef’s Table.

And thus the idea for Chef’s Table was conceived… which was, of course, just the very beginning…