But it would be wrong to argue that this is merely a participation in a trend by James Knappett and Sandia Chang, rather, it's a philosophy that has been a part of their cooking heritage, influenced especially by their time at Per Se, that has now been enabled through the opening of the restaurant. Thomas Keller, who has eaten at Bubblegdogs& and spoken of James and Sandia 'continuing the legacy' wrote back in 1999, in The French Laundry Cookbook:
"Most chefs try to satisfy a customer's hunger in a short time with one or two dishes. They begin with something great. The initial bite is fabulous. The second bite is great. But by the third bite - with many more to come - the flavours begin to deaden, and the diner loses interest.
Most chefs try to counter the deadening effect by putting lots of different flavours on the plate to keep interest alive. But then the diner can't focus on anything because it's confusing.
What I want is that initial shock, that jolt, that surprise to be the only thing you experience. So I serve five to ten small courses. I want you to say "God, I wish I had just one more bite of that." And then the next plate comes and the same thing happens, but it's a different experience, a whole new flavour and feel."
Once seen in this light, the philosophy of the person who is perhaps the greatest single influence on both James and Sandia's professional career, the restaurant, as it is, seems almost an inevitable outcome.
The food is, I think, amongst the very best of its kind out there; I've been lucky enough to eat at The Kitchen Table several times already, and each time I've delighted in it. And like I did on the night of my last meal there, most diners don't leave without booking a return visit: it's that "God, I wish I had one more bite of that effect" that Keller notes above.
But it's not just the food that makes Bubbledogs 'The Kitchen Table' special. The venue is stunning, the table wrapping around the kitchen, placing you with your fellow diners at the centre of the action (unless of course you're George Osborne or certain food critics who don't like sitting with the plebs). And then there's the people, headed up by James & Sandia, and with them a really great team, who carry the banner for the very best of hospitality in this country today; work done with pride and a smile.
In every respect then, from the food served, to the way it is served, to how they nurture their staff, James & Sandia are continuing a legacy that started decades ago, and the outcome is simply brilliant.
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Bubbledogs&: The Dog Post
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