By Mini Ribeiro
It is almost always show time at five star hotels these days, as chefs take centre stage at attractive live cooking stations. The pulling of noodles, tossing of pasta and the carving of a Peking duck are some of the instances of culinary magic that chefs conjure right before their hungry guests. Flamboyance and style at live cooking stations is fast-becoming an area of expertise and of endless innovation.

Beyond the Eye
Regaling and entertaining guests, however, is not the only reason why hotels are increasingly opting for these live outposts?
Chef Ravitej Nath, executive chef at The Oberoi, Gurgaon, agrees to the fact that live cooking enhances the dining experience, as discerning guests want their culinary experiences to go beyond just the food served onto their plates. They want a more wholesome and sensory experience; exploring cuisines, where the ingredients come from, how they are mixed, what techniques are used and how they are presented. “All these contribute towards a unique gastronomic experience for guests. They are also willing to pay a premium for this experience,” he states.
Again, visual delight is not the only factor for guests preferring live cooking. There is more to it than meets the eye. Live displays of the preparation of fresh food allow the diner to experience the full range of sensory delights, be they ate breakfast, lunch or dinner. A display of varieties of raw ingredients and food ensures that guests can see how their choice of ingredients and dishes is being put together, whether according to their preference or not.