Dominique Crenn, Michael Solomonov, Virgilio Martinez and more have partnered with American Express's Global Dining Collection, offering diners unprecedented access. 
Virgilio Martinez
Credit: Jimena Agois

Starting in March, a new group of globally renowned chefs, including the Roca Brothers, Dominique Crenn, Michael Solomonov and Virgilio Martinez, are partnering with American Express Global Dining Collection to offer some one-of-a-kind experiences both at (and outside of) their notoriously tricky-to-reserve restaurants.

Since 2014, the Roca brothers, the Michelin-starred chefs and co-owners of El Celler in Can Roca, Spain (which has been named the best restaurant in the world by The World's 50 Best Restaurants list twice), have hosted sold-out dining experiences for card members across the globe, including yearly special events at El Celler de Can Roca and events at The Peninsula Hong Kong and at The Rosewood Hotel in London.

"We believe that with no movement, there is no creativity," the Roca brothers said, noting that they draw huge inspiration from sharing their food in new venues. "Each trip, each new country, each venue, is so inspiring; a boost for our creative palates and a chance to explore our abilities. Keeping our philosophy in a new kitchen and dining room is always challenging. A radical disruption happens and there’s an opportunity to test our improvisation, which brings freshness. We receive a lot of new input that we will work on when we return home."

Through the Global Dining Collection, which launched in 2017, American Express has developed partnerships with culinary icons such as Thomas Keller, Daniel Humm, Stephanie Izard, José Andrés and Massimo Bottura. The program offers Platinum Card Members special access to notoriously tricky reservations at restaurants across the globe (plus some off-the-menu perks, like extra dishes or gifts.)

"We're very dedicated to hospitality, and whether it’s a five-dollar, two-minute interactions in one of our doughnut shops or a drink before a flight in the Amex Centurion lounge at Philadelphia Airport," says Solomonov of Philadelphia's Zahav.

The program has also offered unique one-on-one interactions. In October of 2017, card members could attend a masterclass and dinner hosted by Massimo Bottura at The Peninsula Hong Kong.

Even Crenn, whose partnership with the "By Invitation Only" program is allowing card members to get an early sneak-peek of her forthcoming Bar Crenn, is star-struck by the level of talent.

"I’ve known the work that they have done with other chefs, and the quality of this partnership that was pretty much in line with where we wanted to go," she says. "Joining a group of other talented chefs in my industry—it was just natural for us to do that."