The Chef's Table - a unique new dining experience on a Yorkshire industrial estate
PUBLISHED: 00:00 08 February 2018
Unique dishes are served at an unlikely venue
Mitch Mitchell has a pensive look on his face made slightly more troubled by the wearing of a hairnet. He’s just stepped though the door from the factory floor where his much sought after stocks and sauces are prepared for many of the country’s top restaurants. His expression likely says he can’t quite believe the success of his latest project, the Chefs Table, which started out as a research and development kitchen at the TRUEfoods industrial unit at Melmerby, near Ripon, North Yorkshire.
Today it is a tiny - just eight covers at the last count - and an unlikely site for a unique eatery where diners book well in advance to sample some truly innovative dishes prepared in front of them by three exceptional chefs who love theatre cooking – and yes they rehearse before going live in front of a hungry audience.
Cast an eye around the kitchen cum dining space and there are gadgets – from a dry aging cabinet to a centrifrugal juicer - to aid innovation. The scene is set to produce something different, delicious and beautiful.
Mitch sits on a barstool ready to tell us more. But we need to sketch out some background. Mitch who has a slight Scottish twang, has worked abroad and now travels a great deal especially in the USA, always learning and looking for inspiration. He is as driven and passionate about his contribution to the food industry today as he was at the beginning of his career more than 35 years ago. He is a celebrated chef, food adviser and innovative food producer who was one of the first, if not the first to make five-star standard stock and sauces available to everyone when he launched TRUEfoods more than 10 years ago. His commitment to customers and consistently high standards are his trademarks and his achievements an inspiration to any aspiring food business. It’s not surprising he won the Yorkshire Life Food & Drink Awards Food Hero Award 2016.
‘It’s good to see Mitch cooking again,’ says wife and company director Jack, who is just passing through on her way to a meeting. She means actual cooking for paying diners as opposed to creating a successful and expanding food production business. But rather than talk about his own input into the Chefs Table he is quick to usher forward Aled Williams, an award-winning chef originally from Wales, who has headed up teams in Michelin star restaurants and now plays a key role in the project. ‘I’d been looking for someone to work with on development and Aled and I just clicked,’ says Mitch. ‘I needed someone who would test me – and he’s young.’ The whole project is about learning from each other, experimenting, innovation and cooking live in front of paying customers. TRUEfood chefs who work alongside Mitch at the Chefs Table say it has given them the freedom to try something new and exciting. ‘And if it isn’t fun, we don’t do it,’ adds Mitch.
Anyone who wants to enjoy a unique and entertaining dining experience (diners not only eat but are encouraged to take part in the preparation of dishes) just call 01765 640927 or go to true-foodsltd.co.uk for more information.