I just learned of a restaurant where the kitchen improvises your meal (thanks to Leslie Marticke of SCAD): it’s called POSH and it’s in Scotsdale, Arizona. From their web site:
POSH serves a seasonal coursed menu, starting with 4 courses, up to as many as desired. How it works…we offer a list of main ingredients, requesting you to CROSS OFF which items you DISLIKE, then our creative chefs surprise you with the remaining selections. We have a spot at the bottom of the list to add additional dislikes or particular medical conditions (allergies).
The kitchen is essentially a stage, surrounded by a 25 seat “dining counter” where you can watch the improvisations unfold.
This sounds fascinating! I wonder, though, how improvisational each dish is. I suspect the chefs have some basic recipes, that they’ve tried out already, and each night what you get is some variant of an existing dish. That would be more like “theme and variations” than like open ended, free jazz.
What if the customer could present the parameters of the challenge to the chef? Something like: “Create a dish with shrimp, tequila, and avocados” or “make a noodle soup with walnuts in it”. More like the challenges that are posed in the Iron Chef competition, but on a nightly basis.