Two chefs at the pass

(If you are reading this post on a RSS reader, you might want to click through to Chez Pim for the slideshow.)
Alain Passard was at Manresa this past weekend to cook with David -three dinners for very lucky people who managed to call within 45 minutes of the announcement and got their tables. Three dinners, sixty covers at each one, sold out in less than an hour. The man is a rock star.

I got to hang out with said star this weekend. Yeah, now you can hate me even more. Heh. Or perhaps not, because I took lots of photos so I could share the experience with you. So, hate me a little less perhaps?

Here’s the first set in a series. I call at ‘At the pass’. The shots were taken around the area called the pass in the kitchen. Hence the name. Yep, quite creative, me.

‘The pass’ is shorten from the word le passage in French, meaning the way.
It’s the area where the assembling and final plating take place before
the plates leave the kitchen and land on your table. It’s where the
chef usually stands and keeps watch -unless (s)he has a TV show, or
another restaurant in Vegas. The pass is always full of action, where
the orders are laid out so that the chef can juggle the firing and
plating orders like playing a deft game of solitaire.

As the night progresses and the kitchen gets busier, tension builds
up until the air is so taut you can cut it with a knife. The heat lamp
-there mostly for the plates and not the food, this is not the Mac Do-
illuminates the pass so that it’s so bright I almost always overexpose
my shots. It’s where the fun is, but it’s also very difficult to
photograph. So forgive me if these photos are not so great, but I love
the atmosphere and intensity that they’ve managed to capture.

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  • http://eggbeater.typepad.com/shuna/ shuna fish lydon

    Pim,
    Thank you for these. Indeed the pass is exciting, and overlit! The nights/dinners sounded grand indeed. Bravo for David & Alain Passard. I believe the greatest inspirations comes from sharing and educating. Although not all chefs are capable of or interested in collaboration.

  • elarael

    What a Very nice restaurant kitchen. Looks very well-designed and well-kept. Must have been an exciting and fun evening! I love the practice of guest chefs because it’s such a restaurant-family/community spirit thing to do.

  • http://eatingasia.typepad.com Robyn

    Wonderful behind-the-scene shots, really capturing the feel of the moment.

  • Viet

    Pim,
    Awesome pictures! I was actually on the waiting list for the Friday Passard dinner at Manresa. I received a call from Michael the day before telling me that there was a spot that opened up for me but because I had made plans I had to decline the RSVP and now I’m kicking myself in the butt for missing it!
    Is it possible that you put up the menu for the dinner? I would love to see what was served.

  • Ryan

    Pim, no menu? you can’t leve us guessing the courses!

  • ben

    Flash? Bounced off the ceiling could bring the light in the dark area up to how bright the heatlamps are. The heatlamp light is beautiful thought

  • http://www.stirthepots.com Jeremy

    Doesn’t look like my kitchen!If we were so lucky!
    Pim love your site!

  • http://www.kungfoodie.com Kung Foodie Kat

    Pim you totally rock! I’m digging all the great pics you’ve shared lately. We all get to live vicariously through your adventures. Soaking it in!

  • http://www.ceresandbacchus.com Mary

    The menu from the dinner has been posted by Sam over at Becks & Posh. I wanted to put in a link, but can’t do so in the comments here (I totally understand why that’s not enabled). I’m sure you all can find it though.
    Thanks for the photos Pim, they look great.