Designed for people on the go, Chefs is a disruptive offering that aims to solve the problem of accessing great food without needing to spend hours sitting down in a top restaurant. With no printed menus or waiters, guests order and pay on arrival, resulting in a fresh and uplifting dining experience.
Chefs is all about getting people to connect with food by removing the barriers between the chef and customer, making the kind of meals that everyone wants to eat – super fresh, healthy, generously served and stylishly presented. Think plentiful salads cosied up next to cured salmon tartare served with raw coconut chilli salsa or bourbon BBQ-basted Karoo lamb with crispy straw chips on the side. Boldly flavoured vegetarian options such as wood-roasted artichokes served with sweet potato thyme gnocchi are also a delicious option.
The barrier-less kitchen allows customers uninterrupted visual access to all the food prepping and assembling – not forgetting the constant view of flames from the brass-fronted oven. Large, open windows allow plenty of natural light and highlight the stripped back, honest aesthetic, while a long strip of tables takes centre stage, encouraging an atmosphere of patron interaction and the simple enjoyment of excellently prepared meals.
We spoke to owner Justin Letschert (on the right) about the refreshing concept behind Chefs.
Can you explain the concept behind Chefs?
The simple concept behind Chefs is to provide food-conscious customers with access to high-quality meals cooked by top chefs in an easily accessible format. We have tried to remove as many obstacles as possible between the chefs and the consumer.
What inspired the concept?
The Chefs concept originated from our frustration of not being able to regularly eat the food we see and read about in the media in our daily lives. In fact, Chefs was born out of a necessity to eat better food more often.
What makes Chefs so special?
I feel that the concept is truly unique in its delivery. The way that we have stripped the idea down to the simplicity of just a chef and a patron, and nothing in between, is what makes Chefs so special. The design environment is actually about negative space, the product is in essence the brand.
What inspires your menu?
The chefs create a daily menu with ingredients that are fresh and seasonal. There are only three meal choices; a meat, a vegetarian or a light meal. For example, our current meal offerings focus on unique ingredients that are also seasonal such as porcini and artichokes. Our head chef Jenny Ward is also inspired by any new techniques that focus on wood-fired oven cooking. Everything at Chefs is freshly made including our breads and truly free-range meats are cooked in our wood-fired oven right next to you – nothing is hidden – it’s only you and the chefs.
Photographs Justin Patrick