First came the parent-and-toddler dining club at Michelin-starred restaurants — and now, kids can ditch the adults for a children-only meal at restaurants like Per Se, Del Posto, and Blue Hill, part of Danish culinary star Claus Meyer's new New York project Kid's Table. At the event, children aged 7 to 14 eat a three-course meal for $30, sans parents. Meanwhile, each restaurant incorporates rhubarb, lamb, and turnip in the dinner and treats the tots and teens like regular diners. "It's a matter of fundamentally expanding the culinary minds of kids," Meyer says.
Meyer, the co-founder of Noma, has organized the event through his nonprofit Melting Pot Foundation in Denmark since 2011, where the 4,000 tickets to more than 90 restaurants sell out within hours. Most food marketed at children contains processed sugar, salt, and fat, Meyer says, and Kid's Table is a way to expose young people to more challenging flavors and to connect them to the source of their food. It's a way to bring in a new generation of food-aware people, he says.
The launch in New York, which will take place on April 26, features about ten restaurants so far, including Meyer's upcoming Grand Central restaurant Agern. (The 40 kids who buy tickets may even end up being the first people to eat at the renowned restaurateur's new project.) Part of the proceeds go toward Meyer's Brownsville culinary school project, and the rest goes toward a nonprofit of each individual restaurant's choice.
While it may irk some to leave their kids alone in a Michelin-starred restaurant, Meyer says he's found that kids are actually more willing to socialize and try adventurous foods when their parents aren't around, he says. "It’s a very special moment," Meyer says. "They are treated like adults. Kids are much more courageous and attentive than at a normal family meal." Tickets to restaurants like Franny's, Rebelle, Vaucluse, and more may be purchased here.