Dos Palillos: the new generation ‘open kitchen’
Niek Timmermans, consultant at Van Spronsen & Partners horeca-consultancy, visited restaurant Dos Palillos in Berlin. There, he saw his signature menu being prepared in the kitchen while seated in the restaurant. An ‘open kitchen’ 2.0, where the whole restaurant takes a seat at the chef’s table.
During my city trip to Berlin I’ve eaten at Dos Palillos (two chopsticks), a restaurant concept by Albert Raurich. Raurich started in 1997 as an intern of Ferran Adria at the famous El Bulli restaurant. Within five year he started working as a chef and stayed at that post from 2001 until 2007. Out of the many inspiration trips he made with Ferran the idea for Dos Palillos was born. In 2008 he opened his first location in Barcelona, followed by a second location in Berlin in 2010. And there I did experience his signature menu, which consists out of a total of 17 courses.
High-level Kitchen Theatre
The concept is all about the cooking process and the theater of the preparation and presentation of the dishes. It’s the new generation ‘open kitchen’ where guests are practically placed at the workbenches of the kitchen. The whole restaurant is like one chefs table. As at the theater, all seats are focused on the stage, the kitchen in this case, and everyone sits first rank. Right in front of you, the kitchen staff is busy with the preparation of spectacular dishes, mainly inspired by Asian cuisine, with a leading role for Japan, with Spanish roots, in a tapas-like format.
No black brigade
The staff, without exception, wears a chef’s jacket, there is not even a black brigade available. Every kitchen department has a chef de parti, who brings the dishes to the tables after the preparation and presentation and explains the dish to the guests. The support staff only helps out in the kitchen, pours the drinks and cleans the tables again. The china is different for every course and thereby always surprising. There is no yelling or throwing with pans in the kitchen, they’re working in concentration on their artwork.
Great to see; perfecting a dish
As a guest, I watched how the chef de parti perfects the layout of his dish with tweezers. In the explanation that follows, it appears to be a monkfish liver in sweet soy sauce and marinated shiitake. By every course a card is presented with information about the origin of the dish, the ingredients and the preparation method.
Experience, more like a theater than a dinner
You are not going to Dos Palillos to fill up your stomach, but to be amazed. Here a culinary performance is staged, creating an experience that looks more like an art exhibition or theater than a restaurant visit. I can’t wait for a location to open more close to home instead of Barcelona or Berlin, but until then the trip is more than worth it!
Niek Timmermans, consultant at Van Spronsen & Partners Group
Website: Dos Palillos