Over the weekend, a new trend suddenly emerged: the temporary international restaurant relocation. As reported earlier, Noma will be relocating to Japan for two months at the beginning of next year. On the heels of this, Heston Blumenthal announced that he will close his lauded Berkshire restaurant The Fat Duck and take it to Melbourne, Australia for six months at the beginning of 2015. Practically overnight, it became the hot new thing for world-famous chefs to move their restaurants across the ocean.
It's an interesting development, and one that is probably only the beginning. As food becomes more and more a form of popular culture entertainment, what's to stop more chefs from taking the show on the road? How long before restaurants go from static to continent-moving to full-fledged dining troupes that tour the world? Dining circuses! God knows we're already close enough to circus-status with our food obsessions; we might as well make it literal.
Both Redzepi and Blumenthal say they will incorporate local ingredients during their relocations. For Blumenthal at least, it seems like the move is a way to give his home-base restaurant a facelift while still staying in business. Brilliant, we say. Let's continue this trend. And, while we're on the subject, perhaps we might be able to persuade some of you other world-class chefs to relocate … to Los Angeles?
There are so many reasons to make Los Angeles your culinary home-away-from-home. You know that “local ingredients” thing? Southern California is pretty great on that front. (Year round! No need to resort to winter thistle in December!) Also, we're having a moment. Everyone says so. Los Angeles is the most important place in America to eat right now, and you could be part of that.
So, what do you say? Joan Roca? Anne-Sophie Pic? Ferran Adrià, we know you don't technically have a restaurant any more, but we'd still love to have you. Don't you miss having a restaurant? Just a little bit? Just two months worth?
And when the dinner circus comes to town, remember that you read it here first.