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Chef's Table Dinner at Beechwood Inn
A Chef and His Skillet: Dining at the Chef’s Table (Chef's Table Dinners in North Georgia) North Georgia Restaurants
Some travel to see the world. Others, like Gayle and me, find their world on a plate with a knife and fork. We often take the gastronomic route to understanding cultures and civilizations through their foods and wines. We typically bend our trip to veer in the direction of a new culinary experience.
One type of experience we particularly enjoy is seating at a Chef’s Table Tasting dinner. If you search for a definition of a chef’s table, you’ll find lots of information on expensive prix-fixe menus, hard-to-come-by reservations and specially prepared foods with wine pairings. This is in a sense true, but sometimes it may be as humble as a few stools and a bit of extra space. I have to think the tradition stems from eating with your family after you’ve cooked and from our intrinsic love of food. The chef’s table is dance, acting, flattery, sex, capitalism and dinner.
What we usually experience at a Chef’s Table dinner is called a “Degustation Menu.” This is a French culinary term that refers to sampling an array of small dishes served one after the other. The term also encompasses ideas like savoring of food with all the senses, appreciation of ingredients and the chef’s technical skills, and enjoying food with good company. A degustation meal often takes place over the course of several hours, with small perfectly prepared courses. The menu is usually paired with wines specially selected to compliment the foods.
Degustation menus are a popular option in restaurants today, particularly high-caliber establishments, allowing the chef to showcase his or her signature dishes and techniques. All young chefs dream of cooking nightly at the small, signature place that defines them and having their own Chef’s Table.
Chef's Table Tasting menus have been around since the turn of the century and were likely originated by the famous Chef George-Auguste Escoffier, who’s restaurants were in the Paris and London Ritz Hotels. More recently, tasting menus have been popularized and become fashionable as we elevate famous chefs to celebrity status - famous enough for diners to trust their choices, and to pay handsomely for their experiments. High-priced micro-course menus have multiplied, with every restaurant that rated itself highly. The most expensive tasting menu in the world is $466 at l'Arpège in Paris with Chef Alain Passard. Baby carrots are picked in the morning and then sent on the 10 o'clock high-speed train from Le Mans in time for lunch. For $437 you'll get five courses at Alain Ducasse's Plaza Athénée - service is included.
At Beechwood Inn, a fine north georgia restaurant, we have an appreciation for our history, the region and traditional foodways. Food is needed by everyone, everywhere, every day. We believe that making shopping decisions that favor sustainable and local food sources, especially organic sources, benefits health, improves the local economy and is ecologically sound. We are proud of our local farmers and ranchers; their names dot our menus paying homage to those who have done the work to get such delicious ingredients through the kitchen door. Once through that door, respect and care for the ingredients play as important a role as the preparation of them. The goal of our chefs is to make as much of what is used from scratch as possible – we think that is what makes cuisine authentic. We trust you will appreciate our care and devotion to freshness.
Our North Georgia Chef’s Table dinners, featuring fresh ingredients that are rushed to your dinner table by the Inn’s 2001 Toyota Pick-up truck, average $75 for six meticulously prepared courses.
By David Darugh, Executive Chef Beechwood Inn Bed and Breakfast - Georgia's Premier Wine Country Inn
Wine Spectator Award of Excellence
Wine Enthusiast Magazine places Beechwood Inn in the Top 5 Destinations "for your next wine and food-focused escape," Dec 28, 2011. Beechwood Inn offers fine dining in North Georgia at a wonderful North Georgia restaurants.