What would you expect from a $2-million-dollar dinner, served onboard a $30 million private jet, and savoured with 18-karat diamond-encrusted chopsticks?
Beluga caviar, perhaps? Or the most exquisite jamon from Spain? How about some cheddar?
You’ll probably expect the caviar and the expensive ham, not the cheese. But JAAN’s Kirk Westaway will serve all of the above when he cooks the Ultimate Dinner for two later this year, a super luxury experience conceived by Russian diamond company World of Diamonds.
“When most people think of cheddar, they think of American cheddar single slices,” says Kirk Westaway, chef de cuisine of JAAN.
“Real cheddar is not like that at all — it’s very nutty, rich and salty.”
The 34-year-old assumed the role of chef de cuisine at JAAN in 2015, taking over from his mentor Julien Royer. All eyes were on the young British chef. After all, the modern European fine-dining restaurant has been known to be a hotbed for producing talented chefs. And Westaway is no exception.
Sharp suits and fancy-dressed couples come for the powerful yet elegant food. The restaurant’s 70-storey high perch affords one of the most gorgeous, glittering city views in town, but diners flock here for a taste of Westaway’s dedication to sourcing some of the best seasonal produce around the world.
The aged Devon cheddar you’ll find in the canapes like savoury buckwheat pancake balls and on the cheese trolley is Westaway’s way of offering every diner who steps into his restaurant a taste of his hometown.
It took him a year to hunt down the small-town producer willing to supply JAAN with a 14kg hunk of Devon cheddar halfway across the world, but Westaway will tell you it was worth the wait. “I grew up eating this cheese. It means a lot to me,” he shares.
This is a cheese that can take rough handling. Usually enjoyed as a generous chunk in restaurants and pubs around the UK, Westaway serves this Devon cheddar the same way at JAAN. “When we wheel the cheese trolley out, we will knock out a wedge of the Devon cheddar with a big knife and just serve it as is. Not as a slice or piece,” says Westaway.
“That’s how it is served. You have to eat it as a big chunk.”