Last week, 37 of the world's top chefs did something a little
bit crazy: they all switched restaurants for one day.
Sponsored by S. Pellegrino, the Grand Gelinaz! Shuffle
featured top chefs ranging from Noma's René
Redzepi to McCrady's Sean Brock,
who "not only cooked in an entirely new restaurant
(and in some cases an entirely new country), but...also lived in
their host chef's home while preparing an eight-course dinner that
would show off their culinary skills."
GELINAZ! is an acronym created by a collective of
international chefs and the Grand Gelinaz! Shuffle a
project wherein the chefs try to continually challenge
themselves to stay at the top of their game. Each chef
had but four days to scope out the new kitchen, create a menu, and
get the hosting team in tune so ticket-holding
diners would be wowed by the food.
Diners purchased tickets in advance of the event without knowing
who was going to cook in their chosen restaurant. Naturally people
tried to discover which chef was going where (even analyzing
airline schedules), but for the most part, the surprises held
and diners didn't know who was cooking until the day of the
Once the swap took place, the chefs shared their experiences
with various news outlets and websites, often participating in
Q&A sessions. Grub Street spoke with Massimo Bottura of
Osteria Francescana (ranked No.2 in the World's 50 Best
Restaurants) after his stint at David Chang's
Momofuku Ko restaurant in New York City. Bottura told Grub Street what it was
like to step into another chef's kitchen, how he felt about Sean
Brock taking over his kitchen in Modena, Italy, and about the
Meanwhile, diners at Blanca in
Brooklyn dined on a meal created by Alex Atala of
D.O.M. in São Paulo, No. 9 on the World's
Best Restaurants list. Bon Appetit interviewed Atala after
his stint in Blanca's kitchen. Atala brought many ingredients with
him, but "after hanging out in the Blanca kitchen for a couple
of days, he incorporated house-made ingredients, like beef lardo
and 'nduja (and that crazy dry-aged steak)" into the menu.
You can read how Paul Cunningham, formerly from the UK but now
located in Denmark, loosened up the formality usually found in
Sean Brock's McCrady's in Charleston, South Carolina, by
turning up the lights, swapping out the music, and serving bread
without any plates.
Switching to the West Coast, you can discover what Australian
chef Jock Zonfrillo, who foraged in forests and on beaches in
California, served to guests at David Kinch's
Manresa, located in Los Gatos. Meanwhile, Kinch had hopped over the Pacific to
Narisawa in Tokyo and Narisawa owner Yoshihiro Narisawa
was cooking at Attica in Melbourne, Australia. You can see a full
list of swaps here.