Chef’s Table a Delight

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“Let’s get there at 5:30. No, 5:20. No, 5:15. No, 5:00. Yup, let’s get there at 5:00.”

These words were on the tongue of every single student as they eagerly awaited Chef’s Table: the annual dinner where Bon Appetit chefs from various other schools and colleges join the Thacher kitchen staff in order to host one of the most celebrated events of the year.

Whispers of Chef’s Table filled the air over a week before the actual dinner. By Sunday, it was the biggest and latest news around campus.

I can’t speak for the other students around, but I’d been looking forward to Chef’s Table since I arrived on campus in September. The creme brulee that Robin had made last year was burned into my mind. Every other week I would stare at the online menu. When was Chef’s Table going to come?

To my delight, Chef’s Table was announced for November 12th. I prepared to go early. In fact, by the time I sat down with my first dish, dinner technically hadn’t started.

Food Service Director Richard Maxwell works with local farmers, like Robert "BD" Dautch, to ensure Thacher maintains its commitment to sustainability in all forms. In addition to Chef's Table, the Bon Appetit staff have helped plan events like "Eat Local Challenge" from earlier this year.
Food Service Director Richard Maxwell works with local farmers, like Robert “BD” Dautch, to ensure Thacher maintains its commitment to sustainability in all forms. In addition to Chef’s Table, the Bon Appetit staff, as part of their company’s mission, have helped plan events like the successful “Eat Local Challenge” from earlier this year.

I tasted almost every dish, excluding the flatbread. By the time my friends and I stumbled back to our dorms, we were so full that we were sure we’d all put on another ten pounds. Satisfied, we went happily to rest our full bellies.

Felicia Jiang ‘14 commented that she loved the desserts. “They had excellent desserts, and it is the best dinner of the year besides the holiday banquet.”

In a recent survey of Chef’s Table, most students were extremely satisfied with the event with 53% of respondents giving a score of 5 out of 5. Most seemed absolutely delighted with the food turned out by both our usual staff, headed by Executive Chef Ismael Martin and Director Richard Maxwell, and the guest chefs who came over from other schools. An overwhelming majority of students clamored for Chef’s Table more frequently, including myself. I know it must be a tiring endeavour, but the amazing food produced is incomparable.

“It’s a lot of hard work,” Maxwell commented, “but the excitement that fills the Dining Hall during the Chef’s Table makes it fun. It’s also the one night when using a tray is cool!”

While most students appeared satisfied, a few complaints had to deal with the variety of food. Some students lamented that the quality of food had been decreasing through the years.

“It was better last year,” was a sentiment echoed by several students.

I certainly felt more hyped up for Chef’s Table last year and this year as I lay on my bed recovering from the feast, I didn’t feel quite as satisfied.

Still, Chef’s Table remains an outstanding idea that I will continue to look forward to each and every year it occurs. Hopefully as the next two years come to pass, Chef’s Table will continue to improve, both in variety and quality of food.

Until then, I’ll just have to keep hoping (along with the majority of the school population) that somehow, miraculously, Chef’s Table comes back more than once a year.

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