Story and photos by Alison Ramsey
A simple white charger plate and smooth white table turn into a texture-rich artistic musical experience, culinary history lesson, and elaborate feast right before your eyes! Fairmont Chicago’s Le Petit Chef: An Immersive Dining Experience features a 2.5-inch animated French character created by artists at Skullmapping. Rising from the center of your plate via groundbreaking 3D projection mapping that requires no special eyeglasses or visors, Le Petit Chef illustrates through colorful storytelling the history of ingredients used in the meal, the joy of being a chef, and the art of creative plating inspired by famous painters. It’s a dining experience like no other, and Fairmont Chicago, in partnership with TableMation™, opened this exclusive gastronomical adventure to the public on January 19, 2023. The lobby level Cuvée Room at Fairmont Chicago houses this 90-minute themed dinner with curated wine pairings.
Projected from the ceiling down to the tables and plates, 3D scenes and designs bring the dining area to life, illustrating gardens, sculpted fountains, raging battles, as well as busy cooktops boiling potatoes and searing meat. Between humorous anecdotes, musical numbers featuring dancing vegetables, lessons about ingredient composition, and tips on flavor combinations, guests are served a beautifully prepared, delectable 5-course meal featuring the elements showcased.
Each dish is rich with taste, texture, and color, but not heavy or saturated with creams and dressings. The delicious natural flavors of fresh produce and meat are perfectly seasoned to surprise and satisfy. Those with allergies or special dietary needs and preferences are graciously accommodated, making the menu safe for all who want to partake.
“I think all kinds of eaters will find something to enjoy in this experience,” said diner Marc Berry after his meal with Le Petit Chef. “Even non-foodies can enjoy each interesting yet accessible course, and the joy of the 3D segments accompanying them.”
Fairmont Chicago General Manager, Clay Spencer, said, “We are thrilled to bring this unique dining experience to our guests, the city of Chicago, and the larger Midwest region. … We’re delighted for diners to experience this culinary adventure through animation. It is a dinner like no other.”
Pricing per person begins at $155 (exclusive of tax and gratuities), with an optional French wine pairing of $42. The first seating starts at 6:00 p.m. and the second at 8:00 p.m. every Thursday through Saturday, through the end of 2023. For more information about Fairmont Chicago and to book your special dining experience at Le Petit Chef, please visit fairmontchicago.com.
For Valentine’s Day, treat your sweetheart to Le Petit Chef’s fun and fancy French meal, or consider these other Chicago area specials:
Love is in the air! Skydeck Chicago’s “Pie in the Sky” VIP Valentine’s Day Dinner offers a three-course meal that includes a delicious Giordano’s heart-shaped deep-dish pizza, salad, and dessert, served with a stunning view of the city. This 10 p.m. after-hours experience is intimate, with only seven tables per evening, maximum, and it takes place after Skydeck Chicago is closed to the public. Before ascending to the 103rd floor to step out on the glass-bottomed The Ledge, explore the ground-level museum and exhibits featuring Chicago’s diverse neighborhoods and architecture. A small-scale Bean (Cloud Gate), Second City stage setup, giant hot dog and deep-dish pizza, full-scale “L” train car, replica Chicago Picasso – there are photo opportunities galore! Book your Pie in the Sky table here for Valentine’s Day, February 14, 2023, or celebrate early by booking for Thursday, February 10, or Friday, February 11.
Photo courtesy of Skydeck Chicago
The “Love, Alma” package at stylish Hotel Zachary at Gallagher Way is a tribute to architect Zachary Taylor Davis’ true love and muse, Alma Davis. This romantic overnight includes a $50 food and beverage credit at The Bar, upgraded Wrigley Field ballpark view accommodations, and an extended 1 p.m. late checkout. Book your reservation here.
Photo courtesy of Hotel Zachary
Spread the love on Friday, February 10, from 6:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. at Hotel Zachary’s The Bar “Galentine’s Day Social Hour,” where you can craft a custom flower bouquet, enjoy live R&B DJ entertainment, snack on light bites and desserts, savor wine or a build-your-own-spritz concoction, and observe the on-site creation of an original painting by an artist. This event is hosted by Chicago influencer @FoodiexFancy in partnership with Bombay. Guests in attendance are encouraged to sign cards to be donated to a local Chicago children’s hospital. Purchase your Galentine’s Day Social Hour passes here.
Photo courtesy of Hotel Zachary
Museum of Illusions (MOI), in the heart of downtown Chicago, is a unique and interactive date spot to explore with your special someone. MOI offers a 2-for-1 Valentine’s Day ticket special for those wanting a mind-bending experience at a fraction of the cost. Reserve your February 14 tickets here, and the discount will automatically apply at checkout on Adult tickets.
Photo courtesy of Museum of Illusions