A nine-course taster menu served by a celebrity chef is already quite the show. But MasterChef winner Anton Piotrowski is garnering even more media attention—and a few sideways glances from surprised patrons—by serving his first course on customers' hands.
At his new restaurant Brown and Bean in Plymouth, in the United Kingdom, Piotrowski skips plates and serves an apple sauce, chopped pork, blood radish, and apple blossom appetizer on customers' closed fists. Once there, brave patrons can forget traditional table manners and lap up every last bite from their skin.
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The other eight courses are served on dumb old dishes, Eater reports, though some vessels aren't of a standard ceramic or glass variety. (One dessert, for example, is served in a terracotta pot of 'chocolate soil,' the website says.) Each, despite how they're served, are reportedly delicious.
Most customers seem to eat their hand-placed appetizer without complaint. Some even enjoy the fact that there aren't any plates to clear away, the Evening Standard says. But that hasn't stopped critics from asking the Michelin-starred chef to rethink his serving strategy.
One customer, Christine Lumby, told The Sun that "now I've seen it all. For goodness sake, buy some plates." Another customer, commenting on a positive review of the restaurant, called the eatery—and one can assume, this odd appetizer—"pretentious piffle."
Despite the current controversy, Piotrowski is hardly the first chef to chuck plates in favor of more unique serving platters. In fact, there's a popular Twitter handle, @WeWantPlates, that customers are using around the world to encourage chefs to go back to basics. A quick scan of the online crusade shows chefs serving up hummus in a flower pot, squid in a clog, prawns in an iron, and even truffles served over an iPad. (Yep, you read that right.)
The nine-course taster menu is the only option right now at Brown and Bean, so if find your way to this restaurant, you'll have to be OK with eating with—and off—your hands.