Eating out has become a spectator sport: the buttoned-up chef has become the star, with patrons lining the halls in hopes of a table at this year’s hottest restaurant. While farm-to-table-molecular-gastronomy trends are tempting, the truth is that the best food is still usually found at home.
In fact, your next best meal is likely hidden away behind a simple front door. Here are 6 reasons why your next fine dining experience will most probably be at home.
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1. Rise of the pop-up dinner
With a focus on speed and precision, professional kitchens can feel more like well-oiled machines rather than centers of artistic freedom. Now, chefs are moving out of the fast paced environment in order to focus on quality rather than the number of meals they have to deliver in a single evening.
Hence the rise of the pop-up dinner, which is usually hosted at home. The temporary nature of pop-ups gives chefs the creative space to constantly re-invent menus without having to worry about covering the rent on a brick-and-mortar restaurant space.
This way, you know for sure that the food in front of you was borne from passion, rather than a paycheck.
2. When in Rome, eat with the Romans
When visiting a major city, it can be easy to get a bad meal. Even TripAdvisor sometimes gets it wrong. High turnover from tourists who come and go frequently can lead to lackluster offerings at local restaurants.
For this reason, you’ll have a far better chance of trying the best local foods in Rome if you actually eat with the Romans. In a Roman kitchen, you’ll not only be able to help prepare the meal, you’ll also have the benefit of dining without a tourist menu (or a tourist) in sight.
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3. No hidden ingredients
Between food blogs, cookbooks, and online instructions, all the information you need to construct a gourmet meal at home is literally at your fingertips. With sous-vides for sale on Amazon, even the most high-tech kitchen tools are within reach. The space between the professional kitchen and your own dining room table has shortened, meaning you no longer have to rely on cooks hidden out of view.
Choosing a home restaurant means you know exactly how much of what goes into your dish. Plus, you can leave with the recipe to recreate the meal any time – no dress code required.
4. Demystifying the plate
Not very confident in the kitchen? You can now take a class with an experienced home cook to beef up on your culinary skills (and eat it, too). Once you have chopped, sautéed, and served, you will find that meals are about more than just throwing ingredients together.
Taking the time to learn from a home chef and sit down to dinner with a local family is the best way to understand a new food culture.
5. Dinner parties without the artifice
Passing on the restaurant reservation is also a practice in ditching the pretense. Without Michelin stars, crisp white linens, or bow-tied waiters in the way, dining at home places the spotlight on the experience without sacrificing the menu.
Home restaurants concentrate on what matters – the food, and the company.
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6. The most exclusive reservation in town
That new restaurant everyone is trying to get in to? Well, literally everyone is going to be there. Why wait months for a meal that has been served to a thousand other instagramming patrons?
Unique dining experiences don’t happen en masse, they happen one-on-one (and preferably on private terraces).
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Ready to try out your first fine dining experience at a home restaurant? Find your city here to get started right away.