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Le Petit Chef

Don’t you just love being wined and dined, sharing a meal with special ones over a few drinks? How would you feel about being wined and dined by a six-centimetre chef from France? Oui

By Tierney Seccull

If you're keen to take it up a notch and experience a bit of theatre with your dinner, then Le Petit Chef is for you. The exciting culinary experience has enchanted food lovers all around the world including Dubai, Berlin, London, and of course, Paris, and for his first trip to Australia, the smallest chef in the world has taken charge of the kitchen at Hilton Darwin to delight diners with five delicious courses. 

Now, if you’re wondering how a chef so small can produce life-size dishes, the answer is simple: Chef is a video projection. This immersive dining experience uses cutting-edge 3D mapping technology and sound effects, and each course sees Chef forage and fish for his ingredients – from the veggie garden to the bottom of the sea – right on your dinner plate. 

Le Petit Chef was created by Antoon Verbeeck and Filip Sterckx of Belgian artist collective, Skullmapping. They started out with wall projections and have featured in light festivals around the world. In 2015, they came up with the idea to project imagery onto dining tables as a concept to assist with empty restaurants or dining rooms. They debuted their idea to friends on Antoon’s terrace, uploaded it to YouTube, and like a lot of good ideas these days, it went viral. 

Hilton Darwin General Manager Markus Kaliss says he’s thrilled to host the little guy in his Australian debut. 

“We are always trying to find new things, to make the dining scene in Darwin exciting … I was on a family holiday in Bali last year and I saw [Le Petit Chef] there, and thought that would be a good thing to have in Australia … I just wanted to bring something new and exciting to Darwin," he says. 

“Even while you eat, the little projections are still there, and it’s not stagnant – the little fish are swimming across the table, so the kids love it. It works so well for us, and it’s working well at another Hilton in Cairns who have started it as well.” 

Watch in awe as Chef dishes up five tantalising courses. Feast on caprese salad, bouillabaisse soup, grilled tiger prawn with garlic and lemon butter – or lobster, if you want to luxe out! – slow-braised beef cheek with fingerling potatoes, steamed broccolini and bordelaise sauce, and saffron and cardamom infused rice pudding. 

Vegetarians and kiddos are also catered for, with an age recommendation of six and over, so almost everyone has the chance to enjoy the wholesome culinary experience. You have the option to upgrade to the free-flowing beverage package to enjoy some beer with your bouillabaisse soup, or some pinot with your potatoes. And because it’s been such a hit, the Hilton team is looking to extend the season until Christmas, with a festive-inspired menu. 

Gather your life size mates and settle in for a date with Le Petit Chef. Miam

COST $149-$179 | $89 CHILD

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