My name is Madison and I am addicted to Chef’s Table. I’ve never truly been one to Netflix binge-watch, but Chef’s Table changed everything. I’m not sure if it was the video techniques, tantalizing food styling or the fact that each episode lets you take a deeper dive into one of the world’s greatest chefs, this show is addictive. It’s basically MTV Cribs, but for restaurants, like what?
While I was able to fantasize about maybe getting to eat at one of these restaurants, once I looked up the actual costs, I knew I could keep dreaming. This is the real-life costs of being “elite” enough to eat at one of these restaurants:
1. Osteria Francescana, Massimo Bottura
The first episode brings you to Osteria Francescana in Modena, Italy. It was once named #1 on the list of 50 Best Restaurants in the world. OK, good for you. This guy Massimo is a boss. He is known for turning classic Italian cuisine on its head. Most Italians rejected his methods at first, but soon, they were able to appreciate his dedication to highlighting products of the region.
The cost to enjoy his meal is a whopping $220. If you’re looking to drink, add that extra $130. I’m not sure what’s more expensive, eating here or getting a flight to Modena, Italy?
Chef’s Tasting: $220
Wine Pairings: $130
2. Blue Hill Restaurant at Stone Barns, Dan Barber
Blue Hill at the Stone Barns is actually on a farm. This is where they get a majority of their ingredients from. Barber is basically the creator of farm-to-table. Diners know exactly where their food is coming from and know how it was prepared. There also is a Blue Hill in NYC. But if you want the full experience, I recommend going to the farm. The expensive cost of $238 includes tours of the grounds and a dining experience that you won’t forget.
Chef’s Tasting: $238
Wine Pairings: $158
3. El Restaurante Patagonia Sur, Francis Mallmann
This restaurant is the real deal, and pretty exclusive. To book a table, you need to pay a deposit upfront, later taken off of the cost of the meal. This is commitment. Almost as big of a commitment as starting a new Netflix series with 10 seasons. That big. $180 may not be as expensive as some of the other spots, but this is steep for a restaurant in South America.
Chef’s Tasting: $180
4. N/Naka, Niki Nakayama
Niki Nakayama is the first female chef to appear on Season 1 and it makes me want to yell “girl power!” Not really, but it’s uncommon to see successful female chefs. Niki is sure to close the sliding doors on her kitchen to make sure her guest’s opinions aren’t hindered by her gender. She takes a modern approach on kaiseki. A traditional Japanese cuisine that focuses on small intricate dishes. The chef also likes to highlight local, fresh ingredients in her upscale Los Angeles restaurant.
Chef’s Tasting: $185
Chef’s Tasting (Vegetarian): $160
Wine/Sake Pairings: $95/$105
5. Attica, Ben Shewry
Attica took awhile to be recognized for its exquisite food. This Australian restaurant isn’t the fanciest or nicest of the Chef’s Table series, in fact, it may be the most casual. However, the chef highlights some of Australia’s native ingredients in an innovative way. Dishes like Vegemite Pie, Salted Red Kangaroo and Emu Egg, do just that. You can see the attention to detail in this photo — a hand painted mussel shell. That’s dedication.
Chef’s Tasting: $250
Wine Pairings: $150
6. Fäviken, Magnus Nilsson
If you want to eat at this restaurant you’re going to have to fly to Iceland, drive to this hotel in the middle of nowhere and book a room. Then you’ll be able to dine at this 12 seater restaurant. Since it gets really cold in the winter months, Magnus stocks up. He uses a variety of pickling and storing techniques to make the most of his harvesting seasons. Guests can expect changing menus and exceptional service. This cost of $295 includes a stay in a homey-hotel for two. So you better find yourself a boo or a best friend to get cozy with.
Chef’s Tasting: $295
7. Alinea, Grant Achatz
Alinea is an experience. It’s only fitting to open season two of Chef’s Table with something I would call a “life-changing” experience. From edible balloons to food-scented pillows, this place looks monumental. Luckily, this spot offers a variety of tasting experiences that also range in price.
The more expensive dining experiences can be up to 18 courses, while the Saloon is around 12 courses. Each course is intertwined with each other and tells a story. The centerpiece hanging above your head might just become part of your dinner. An 18-course meal… a girl can dream.
Chef’s Tasting (6 Guests): $385
Chef’s Tasting (2-4 Guests): $295-$345
Chef’s Tasting at The Salon (1-6 Guests): $175-$225
8. D. O. M., Alex Atala
Alex Atala is a badass. His restaurant was rated the 4th best restaurant in the world in 2012, according to San Pellegrino. Currently, D.O.M. is 9th in the world. Atala is known for incorporating French and Italian culinary techniques he learned working around the world, into Brazilian cuisine. He makes familiar dishes seem upscale and modern. Fair warning… he likes ants. You might get a dish and not knowing there are ants in it, but embrace it, because he knows what he’s doing.
Chef’s Tasting: $250
9. Atelier Crenn, Dominique Crenn
After watching Dominique Crenn’s episode, you just want to be her friend and eat in her restaurant. She seems welcoming, empowering and an impressive chef. Dominique was the first women to receive two Michelin Stars – that’s a big deal. Her French background can be seen throughout her tasting. Which, by the way, has a menu that is all perfectly laid out in an eloquently written poem. The cost of this poetic meal may be almost $300, but that includes tax and tip.
Chef’s Tasting: $298 (plus tax and tip)
Wine Pairings: $150
10. Pujol, Enrique Olvera
Enrique Olvera is another chef featured on the series that highlights the food of his culture. He notes that no one before him had really done upscale-Mexican food. He is able to make street food like tacos and Mexican style corn seem luxurious. Example A: the above photo. Enrique is doing justice to his region and at a price that isn’t horrible – $95. If you eat here, you better prepare yourself for mezcal and tequila.
Chef’s Tasting: $95
11. Hiša Franko, Ana Ros
Let me start by saying Ana Ros is a self-taught chef. The fact that she was featured on Chef’s Table and had no serious professional training is astonishing. She is currently running an extremely successful restaurant in the middle-of-nowhere-Slovenia. This restaurant is her whole life. It is attached to her house where her kids and husband, Hiša Franko sommelier, live. (Here are some tips to taste wine like a sommelier, if you’re curious.)
She is able to combine unlikely ingredients, such as squids filled with lamb sweetbreads, fava beans, black garlic and cava cheese. OK, like what? If Ana says it works, I guess it works. Ana shows the utmost respect for her food and for her customers with her relatively priced menu.
Chef’s Tasting (5 Courses): $78
Chef’s Tasting (9 Courses): $100
12. Gaggan, Gaggan Anand
Last but not least, we have Gaggan. Gaggan Anand grew up in poverty and was even homeless at times (learned that from Chef’s Table). He was able to rise to the top and become 2016’s best restaurant in Asia. He is known for his “progressive Indian food” at his Bangkok location. Until recently, he was still serving curries, which is customary of Indian cuisine, but he decided to remove them from the menu to give his diners the unexpected.
Chef’s Tasting: $115
Each of these restaurants are worthy of their recognition. While many of the prices do seem steep, I think everyone (especially food lovers) should get the opportunity to experience an exceptional dining experience like these. I know what I’m asking for for graduation, sorry parents.