How do you make a small group feel that it's receiving the same, if not better, service as a group of 5,000? At The Broadmoor in Colorado Springs, the answer is intimate, special dinners at chef's tables. The five-star, five-diamond resort invites groups of up to 20 guests to gather around a new chef's table with demonstration kitchen at the Pemrose Room restaurant, which offers fine Continental dining.

Other intimate options include the chef's table at Charles Court restaurant which features American cuisine infused with French accents, and a private dining area that can act as a chef's table at the Summit — an American brasserie. Menus are custom and include wine pairings by the resort's wine director and top sommeliers.

Many places will move any old table in the kitchen and call it a chef's table. When The Broadmoor remodeled its Charles Court restaurant six years ago, it dedicated space in the kitchen with specialized floor, ceiling and lighting treatments. And the table itself was designed to be narrower at one end, expanding to afford each guest a view into the kitchen.

“People are looking for a special occasion and are more food- and wine-focused,” says f&b director Craig Reed. “The chef's table allows for a continuous interactive experience with a chef and wine steward. It also appeals to smaller executive-level groups — for example, a CEO who wants to thank a planning group or impress clients.”

At the Pemrose Room, a cooking station was built into an existing private dining space. During the day it's used for cooking demos; at night it becomes a chef's table.

Chefs embrace the concept, too, says Reed. “They realize the tables cultivate business and most chefs love that energy, interaction and feedback.”

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