Le Petit Chef is an immersive dinner experience, combining animation with a delicious degustation menu. Using 3D projection mapping, your table becomes the kitchen of the world’s smallest chef.
There are now over fifty ‘Le Petit Chef’ installations worldwide, including several cruise ships. The only place you can meet this 58mm-tall chef in the Czech Republic is at the Hilton Prague.
Above was how our table looked when we arrived with our complimentary glasses of Prosecco. The Hilton has converted their ‘Able Butcher’ restaurant for the dinner experience. Price for the classic menu 2,190 Kč including service charge. I stupidly didn’t read that and left a hefty and unnecessary tip.
A 0.15l glass of Montepulciano was a reasonable 140 Kč. A 0.75l bottle of Aquila water was expensive at 200 Kč.
The two-hour show commences when the chef appears on your table and starts making a salad. He appears as 3D, despite being a projection and not a hologram.
When the animated salad is complete, a real salad arrives. It’s quite difficult to take a photo, as the projection mapping is always on and can easily add stripes across the image.
Everyone in the restaurant has to finish eating before the show can continue – all share the same show and sound. The chef then re-appears to prepare each course – each a small story with some clever effects and comedic elements.
All five menu courses were well-presented and delicious. The steaks were cooked medium, so, if like me, you’d prefer medium rare, remember to ask your server in advance.
For me, the best animated show was for the exotic Crème Brûlée – also one of the best dishes.
I took the videos and food photos from our visit and put them together as a fairy-tale story. Spoiler alert – shows some scenes from the show.
There are usually two dinner shows; one at 17:30 and the second at 20:30. There were several families at the 17:30 show (price for kids 1,640 Kč). It was nice to see kids enjoying the show instead of spending time on their mobile phones.
The kid’s menu is different to the adult menu, but they see the same show as everyone else. That also applies to those who have the vegetarian or vegan menus (2,190 Kč) – for example, Le Petit Chef will cook a steak before the stuffed mushroom arrives and that may cause some issues, especially with the vegans.
Is the experience worth the price? I’d say the food menu alone would cost 1300 Kč – I’m comparing this to the degustation menu at the V Zátiší Restaurant in Prague https://www.vzatisi.cz/en/menu/degustacni-menu. That makes the show 690 Kč (200 Kč left for service charge), which sounds expensive, until you think about the cost of projector installation and licensing – the restaurant is also now dedicated to one event and guests are unlikely to return each week.
If you can afford it, then you’ll enjoy a unique experience with good food – just remember you paid the service charge already.
Cooking a steak infront of a vegetarian, showing them what they’re missing, reminds me of a joke from Al Murray the Pub Landlord.
“Bacon, the only known cure for vegetarianism.”