Cornucopia

Behind the Kitchen Doors: Chelsea Market and Cafe

By franco on 27 September, 2007

Late Night at Chelsea

It started with an idea.

There is a growing fascination with chefs, their lives and their creations. With the advent of entire channels devoted to food like The Food Network and Discovery Channel: Travel and Living, the focus of the dining public is slowly shift from merely appreciating the food to finding more about the people who cook the cuisine and create the complete dining experience.

But what does it take to create the best experience for the customer? What makes or breaks a restaurant?

Over three days, my friend and photographer Erik Lacson and I visited Chelsea Market and Cafe at Serendra. Arriving at different times of day, we hoped to take a peek into the world that the normal diner rarely sees. We wanted to create a photo essay that illustrates the never- ending process of a restaurant. From early morning prep to closing time, what we learned is that the restaurant business is far from glamorous and it never ever stops.

And now, the idea is a photo post.

To take a look with us behind the kitchen doors, please click here.

Note: Once viewing the slideshow, click on the pictures to read more information

To the managers, chefs and service staff of Chelsea, thanks of letting us hang out and experience your world. And special thanks to Erik for making this crazy idea happen.

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  • SEPTEMBER 28, 2007 2:01 AM

    wysgal said...

    How interesting ... there's this whole human aspect thing going through the photos. Good stuff!

  • SEPTEMBER 28, 2007 3:13 AM

    mtan said...

    Great idea! and enjoyed the peek into the restaurant's scene. They looked relatively calm considering how much is going on. No photos of screaming chefs? :)

    Can you do this with other restos? Turn it into a very interesting tableau of pinoy dining scene (turo turo, hotel, bistros, reconverted homes, famous and infamous, etc).

  • SEPTEMBER 28, 2007 4:33 AM

    Stich said...

    Great stuff, Franco!

    Taking from Mtan's comments, we can do a street food scene, if you like. It's new and novel. Oh, can we set this thing to music? That would be absolutely cool.

  • SEPTEMBER 28, 2007 10:20 AM

    Franco said...

    To Wysgal, Mila and Stich

    Thank you to all.

    Erik and I are considering expanding on this idea just as mila and stich suggested. A blog perhaps? Erik is thinking a book...another coffee table book no one will read. :P

    Will keep you posted if we are crazy enough to do this.

  • SEPTEMBER 30, 2007 6:08 PM

    katrina said...

    Very cool! Makes me wonder how different things would look in, say, a much bigger restaurant with a closed kitchen (maybe then we'd see screaming chefs, Mila?), or in those tiny, less-well-equipped kitchens of hole-in-the-wall carenderias (or do we really want to see that?).

  • OCTOBER 1, 2007 4:34 AM

    mtan said...

    Franco, it would be great to do a book! I read somewhere that someone wrote their dissertation on street food of the philippines. Darn, now I'm going to have to track down the reference. That would be a good person to talk to since they've done the academic work, and the pictures can be up to you and Erik!
    Hey, if Eating Asia can make their streetfood shots super drooly delicious, you can too!

  • OCTOBER 1, 2007 5:14 AM

    mtan said...

    Found the reference! Margauxlicious wrote about Visual Jockey and it says he did a paper on streetfood. Might be a good person to hook up with on this possible project.

  • OCTOBER 1, 2007 10:56 PM

    Franco said...

    Hi Katrina,

    Thanks. We are really want to do small, less formal kitchens like a carenderia but I think erik wants to street food next. So....

    Mila,

    Your suggestion just might happen.

    Warning though. I have no idea what sanitary conditions are like in the process of making street food. So the pics might put you off eating fishballs completely. :P

    I ask Margaux about Jayvee. Thanks :)

  • OCTOBER 2, 2007 4:13 AM

    mtan said...

    You've heard of how they make taho right? The use of some indigestible starch that is used for paper mache or something horrible sounding like that?
    So long as it doesn't turn people off eating street food for good, which I doubt, it's all about highlighting what makes us go back for more.
    Speaking of popular carinderia's we were taken to Mati's, a "famous" tapsilog place in Paranaque. I took a shot of the backyard kitchen, and it's gritty, but the food is pretty good for P60. Check it out if you get the chance.

  • OCTOBER 2, 2007 12:15 PM

    joey said...

    I loved the slideshow...seeing the "human" side of the restaurant...and not just the chefs but the waitstaff too. In fact, my favorite photos from this slideshow are the ones of the waiters doing their thang! :) I love it! Yes, yes, yes you should definitely do more! Galing!

  • OCTOBER 4, 2007 11:37 AM

    Anonymous said...

    Try niyo sa Dapitan for the turo-turo thingy. :) KUDOS!

  • NOVEMBER 2, 2009 3:19 PM

    Kat said...

    Great post! I have always wondered how a kitchen restaurant functions behind those doors. =)

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