Qu’est-ce que c’est?
You are here because you have heard of me, Le Petit Chef.
You have read about me, heard whispers on the wind of my voyages through lands untold and now your thirst for knowledge has you parched and seeking an adventure of your own. A quest for cuisine, if you will.
I am a chef and I am pocket-sized for convenience. The title (Le Petit Chef) is cryptic and misleading, I know, but what can I say? I love mystery. Atmosphere. Je ne sais pas. It is what I bring to the table, if you pardon the pun.
I have travelled the world in search of a story. No, not a story. The story. The story to put all others to shame. My journey in search of a story has taken me to unfathomable places. I have travelled in the footsteps of Marco Polo, the intrepid Italian traveller who made his way through terra incognita, traversing Asia’s glory. (Not to be confused, please, with the shrieking Marco Polo game played by swimming children in the middle of summer. That is not adventure. That is noise.)
There are no mountains I will not climb, no beasts I will not fight and no oceans I will not swim if a story awaits me there. I am a seeker of tales of taste, of gastronomic gallantry, of an experience rather than a meal. This is my reputation. This is my legacy. For it is not the size of the chef that counts, but the skill of his knives, the freshness of his ingredients and the fire that fuels the flames of his passion.
Je suis Le Petit Chef. Bon appetite, mon ami.
Lloyd Karabo Thipe (Maitre D) and a Full South African Team are ready to serve you.
Because my dear friend Lloyd Karabo Thipe (Maitre D) invited me.
I will explain the story when I see you but it involves a vuvuzela and a backpackers’ lodge in the seedy area of N’Djamena.
You must understand…My passport is full. London, Berlin, Stockholm. Toronto, Nashville. Cairo, Marrakesh, Istanbul. Shanghai, Abu Dhabi, Dubai. There are more but I cannot see the names for the amount of stamps that crowd my pages. But now, not only have I made my way to the Southern Hemisphere for the first time ever, but all the way to the one and only afrique du sud. For a time – a short time – Johannesburg, South Africa holds my heart and my apron strings. How long? Who can tell? Until I am whisked elsewhere to settle the ever-beating restlessness of my adventurous heart and to satisfy the desires of my taste for life. DinnerTimeStories call this a ‘pop-up’. They assure me this is not a remark on my height but is instead an indication of permanence – which is to say, I have none. I am like the aroma of la boulangerie – there, and gone, leaving only a memory of a taste, a scent of reminiscence. In short (stop laughing), book now or cry the tears of lost chances.
Le Petit Details
Every superhero has an origins story and here is mine.
I was born in Marseilles, France. Beautiful town. I knew I was destined for a life in the kitchen but my attempts failed – my flavours were too French, too similar to everything else. I was in despair until I read the work of Marco Polo, le grand Italian explorer. I decided I needed to escape my French life and learn of the world, and so I followed in his footsteps (many steps per footstep for me, regrettably) and followed the Silk Route. I have been buried in the sands of Arabia, been doused with the colours of India, shivered in the peaks of the Himalayas and even narrowly avoided death-by-dragon in China.
You will follow this journey with me, Le Petit Chef. Known to some as the world’s smallest chef, I will guide you through my voyages while preparing your six course taste extravaganza. Your senses will travel with me along the Silk Road, leaving no spice untasted. I will regale you with anecdotes and show you the challenges and wonders of the East as you open your storybook and glide away with me to a place of memory and wonder. You will have the option of adding a wine pairing to your six course dining experience beginning with a complimentary glass of champagne, selected by the finest sommeliers the country has to offer, all specially chosen to complement the dishes served.
A meal is an experience – restaurants would not exist were it not so.
The mark of lovers is to share a dish, to feed one another, no? I therefore urge you to come in pairs, if only to gaze in disbelief at the person beside you as my show unfurls.
Tables of eight or twelve are your offerings, with a maximum of 52 guests per show. If you are truly the non-friendly type, (and belong in Paris, no doubt), you will desire assembling eight guests to monopolise a full table. Do as you wish, but be warned… some of my secrets will require collaboration with the guest beside you. The best experiences in life are shared, so turn strangers into friends and share the memories together.
If you wish to know the exact particulars of your meal, I suggest you call your local takeaway and consume something fried while watching reruns of bad sitcoms. That is not what I do. I do indulgence and ambience. I have trained my staff meticulously. I have sourced everything I place before you from its country of origin, ensuring only the finest makes it to the table. After a night with me, you will have been around the world in a matter of hours, with every bite and sight radiating the authenticity for which I am known. I show you my life story while delighting your taste buds.
I can attempt to describe the digital experience in words but words are words and they are not enough. There is technology involved – heavily – such as 3-D projection. As I explain and show you my journey, you will be privileged to watch me in action. I am quite dashing. Your table will transform as we move across the globe with projections of patterns conveying the experience of the countries I journeyed through. It is thus an engagement with every single one of your senses, which is why “dinner and a show” is a tragic description, reminiscent of washed up cabaret singers and microwaved onion soup. Ugh. “Immersive dining experience that combines cutting-edge 3D technology, visual artistry, theatrical storytelling, fresh ingredients, unique flavours, sounds and tastes” sounds closer to the truth. But again…words do not do it justice.
But yes, if all else fails, do it for your Instagram aesthetic.
As for, as the English say, “the damage?” You are in time for our launch special of R 995.00 per adult (anyone older than 12), reduced from R 1225.00
Children (aged 8 to 12) are also included in our special at R 845.00 instead of R995.00
Seize the day, mon ami, and book while the special is running!
This is an experience to be remembered. It is not a ‘quick night out’. It is an occasion for the adventurers who reject monotony, who dare to be different and who laugh in the face of the mundane. This is for those who are eager for enchantment. The aficionados of the foodie-scene. This is date night on steroids. This is the special occasion you have been waiting for. This is unlike anything you have seen before or will ever see again. Word spreads. Guests return, two, three, four times. And my time here is short for there are other places I have not yet travelled to and they need my magic too. So book in advance. Spaces are limited.
By the way – if this is indeed a special occasion, drop me a note at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will ask my team if we can arrange something special for you, like a birthday message or…perhaps…a very important question you’ve been meaning to ask?
The Faircity Quatermain Hotel
I cannot be expected to produce art in a sewer, and so I have made my home at the luxurious Faircity Quatermain Hotel in the heart of Sandton (60 West Road South).
It exudes old English charm, the accommodation is delightful and the service is nonpareil. I find it hard to leave the comfort of the hotel but there is so much to see, do and taste in this city that I force myself outside. Fortunately, it is so close to everything I could desire. My theatre for my spectacular exhibition is the library of the hotel. I can think of no better place for the sharing of stories. But why not truly make a night of it? As the Americans call it, a ‘stay-cation’?
If you are single and ready to mingle (or not, I do not judge), the hotel is offering a dinner, bed and breakfast combination special of R 1995.00. If you are coupled up, the dinner, bed and breakfast special is R 2990.00.
Enjoy the wine pairing, eat to your hearts’ content and fall into the fluffy pillows of the Faircity Quatermain, sleep in and then enjoy the exquisite facilities. Perhaps I will even see you in the gym. This body takes upkeep, you know.
Le Other, Taller Chef
I have appointed Tristan Latouf as my head chef because his surname sounds French even though he was born in Pretoria.
Tristan has become a citizen of the world, working with many different people in many different places. As he explains it, he trained in the “school of hard knocks” and has gained extensive international experience along the way.
One of his career highlights was working with Antonio Carluccio, a much loved and respected Italian cookery writer, cook, restauranteur and food expert, who now has 96 restaurants across London. Tristan had the incredible opportunity to work in his flagship restaurant as Sous Chef. Among his achievements are being placed second in the Carluccio’s Italian Cook’s Competition, receiving the Escoffier Society Award, winning the tender for the launch of Lamborghini’s Aventador and being a finalist in the International Jeunes Chefs Rôtisseurs Competition.
A suitable choice to wear my chef whites, no?
Tristan Latouf – Executive Chef
I understand. You love your business.
You value your employees and your customers.
Without them, there is no you, oui?
To show your appreciation or perhaps to announce an incentive, please contact email@example.com and they will set you up with a bespoke interpretation of my show. Additional entertainment can be organised, various aspects customised to suit your brand…dream it and my team will make it a reality. If you are not so dreamy, tell us regardless and we will handle the rest.
We are able to project any/all of the 4 Le Petit Chef Event offerings as follows
Le Petit Chef Du Maison
I want to take you home. Ah ha, no, you will never fit inside my cottage. No. I want you to take me home.
You have been to my show. I took your breath away. You say to your friends, “Ah, but if only you could see him and the show is sold out!” Do not weep, mon ami. I can come to your home. I can entertain your event. I can feature at your kitchen tea, blow out candles with you on your birthday, yell “Mazel tov” at your barmitzvah or do whatever it is people do at their quinceañera. Forgive me, I have not yet been to South America so I am sketchy on the details. You have a menu choice of four meals including dessert that I can prepare for you. Choose one. Choose all four. Let’s make it a night to remember.
Contact firstname.lastname@example.org so the taller ones can make the arrangements.
It is no easy task to traverse the oceans and continents, even when the pursuit is as noble as assisting a friend hailing from afrique du sud. As such, I extend my thanks to Paul Rouessart and 100% EVENT, who not only is clever at rhyming but is also an events management company the likes of which I had not encountered until this trip. Merci beaucoup to HOT 91.9 FM for joining us as our primary media partners, Air France ZA for the luxurious flight and their sponsorship, as well as to the Faircity Quatermain Hotel for their comfort and hospitality. I wish to thank my creators, Filip Sterckx, Antoon Verbeeck and Nadine Beshir. This now begins to feel like le Academy Awards which never recognise French brilliance in cinema. Where was I? Oui. Thank you to DinnerTimeStories, Jaco-Grobelaar-Brand from Rocket AV for the technical, Lynne Groenewald (RubyRed Creative) for the design, Ivor Moolman (Implifi) for the website, Patrick Federer for the social media ooh-la-la and thank you to Tayla Blaire, who has painstakingly translated and edited what I have to say in order to make it palatable (ah ha).