After traveling to some of the world’s most exciting cities from Rio to Venice and Miami, Pret a Diner is just about to return home to Berlin and celebrate its third year of unforgettable dining experiences.
Founded by Olivia Steele and Kofler & Kompanie’s KP Kofler in 2010, Pret a Diner is one of the most curious and over the top entertainment concepts ever conceived. The two create unique settings where edible grandeur, masterful cocktails, art, music and people are all fused together to create one of a kind sensory experience.
It all sounds a bit like Truman Capote’s 1966 Black&White ball, but here some of the world’s most acclaimed chefs are at the stoves. Here food fanatic Olivia Steele gives the details of her enthusiastic co-venture.
Why did you found Pret a Diner?
I always say, "necessity is the mother of all invention", and my dad used to tell me, "if you can't find a job, make one!" We came up with the idea that became Pret a Diner in the fall of 2010- in the middle of the recession, I had just came out of college 2 years before and couldn’t find my place in the work industry. KP and I had traveled for 4 years together all around the world for his business and food, chefs, dining out or restaurant concepts was something our social and business life was centered around. So the combination of having this vast array of dining experiences, the ramifications of the recession on the events business, and my desire to create and produce is what helped us see the gap of what was missing in the market and the opportunity to pioneer a new concept.
There was nothing really existing that merged design, art, and Michelin talent in a fun, avant-garde atmosphere for a reasonable price. It’s a bit like a road show showcasing young Michelin talent in contrasting, unique locations.
What about the "Backstage" event that you are planning for Berlin’s fashion week? How will this be like?
We will kick off the new year at home where it all began - Berlin. In celebration of our 3rd anniversary, we’ve secured an overwhelming space in the heart of Berlin Mitte where unique props for the most breathless of art forms were created in the huge building that housed the workshop where all the props and sets for the opera were made. We will take our diners "backstage" for a taste of our four guest chefs: Matthias Schmidt ** , Michael Kempf* and husband and wife duo Helena Rizzo & Daniel Redondo from The 50 Best Restaurants Mani, Brazil. The decoration is going to be above and beyond again as we bring the outside, indoors with a huge scaffolding feature in the main room. I wont spoil the rest of the surprise, you must see it for yourself!
Which was the most curious event that you have organized so far?
Aside from the Pret a Diner pop up restaurant, we offer a unique event production service. The kind of events that don’t look like events, and definitely don’t look like they could be built up in 1 or 2 days. The most wild and curious I have designed so far was a private party for the opening night of the Olympics in London. We did a very private soiree for a client inside the top 4 rooms of the Royal Academy in London. The concept was Eyes wide shut at the last supper. I’ll let your imagination paint the picture, but every hour, a new door opened, into a completely new and contrasting world playing on the stimulation of sight touch and taste. Tailoring the food concept to each room was a real challenge but we went above and beyond and I believe this was one of the real impressive aspects of the event that really tied it all together. People are still talking about this party.
Is it easier to plan a dinner for 10 or for 100 people and why?
Definitely for10. Less space, more attention to each plate, and less logistics!
If you were a dish, which one would you be?
I would be a Peach Pie of course! A Georgian peach pie to be specific. I am from the south and for anyone who hasn’t tasted the wonders of a Georgian peach; it is the most juicy, sweet, and satisfying experience. Especially when its hot, slightly melted in a homemade crispy crust. Texture is taste and the contrast of textures in this pie is what I’d like to be seen as if I was dish!