Photography by Marco Lopez – Regardé Agency
When was the last time you walked away from a dinner feeling satiated? Not stuffed, not full, not even just happy – but satiated? Jay strolled up to our table and rested his glasses atop his head. After a long evening in the kitchen, he pulled up a seat and spoke to us as if we were long-time friends who hadn’t met up in a while. This is the familiarity you’ll encounter when dining at Jay’s table - an intimate gastronomic experience at the gorgeous Chateau Rochefort in Allaman.
Jay is unassuming and far too humble in his nature. Like any artist, he tends to whittle his ultimate intentions down to a simple ambition – to bring the best of the terroir to the people in an unexpected and delightful way. Like most creatives, his process is often non-linear; finding inspiration not only in the seasons, but also in his impressive repertoire that dates back 30 years. Formerly a private chef for big name families like Versace, Getty, Bucherer, de Medici, Bertarelli, and Stroll, he has decided to settle here in La Côte, which lucky for us means we get to indulge in his ever-changing menu.
On this particular evening, we began with a beetroot brulée which sat on top of a salad of marinated onions, apple and raisin sauerkraut, with a yogurt and maple syrup tahini sauce and sprinkled with Dukkah and grilled nuts. The textures and flavors were incredible and unexpected, the beetroot had a smokiness to it and when paired with the Dukkah spice blend, elevated the dish in ways we couldn’t imagine.
The starter was followed by the most decadent pumpkin soup dolloped with a generous scoop of fresh goat cheese and homemade sourdough. And then the crowning dishes were our mains: A slow roasted melt-in-your-mouth lamb shoulder and braised chicken leg with a savory vegetable ragout ribollita and sweet onions roasted in rosemary and sweet potatoes. The spiced carrot cake at the end felt indulgent, but when biting into it we found it balanced and perfect.
The original dining concept was a supper club where 20 guests, most strangers, gathered and shared a meal at a large table. Conversations quickly went beyond small talk of weather and professions and delved into personal anecdotes and long-lost connections. It hit a nerve amongst the community and soon became one of the hottest seats in the region.
The experience now is much like a traditional restaurant with individual tables to reserve, but for some reason, the atmosphere still lends to connections. As we sat enjoying our dessert, we began to discuss other culinary encounters that we longed for – barbeque and brisket became the topic, and neighboring tables began to chip in. Soon the lingering diners were discussing smokers and Swiss beef and reminiscing about flavors and memorable meals. We know this atmosphere isn’t created by chance; it’s carefully forged. Jay and his wife Annette, along with their daughters all pour their spirit into the dining experience – from arrival to first bite to your exit. It’s one of those moments that fulfills you – that pours into those corners you didn’t know have been empty and waiting for a meal that doesn’t just fill you up, but one that satiates.
Jay’s Table has released their winter menu and they still have a few spots left to reserve. Follow them on social media to stay up to date with their events, as they still plan to host occasional supper clubs but also welcome diners for other creative and exceptional events.
Dinners: Thursday – Sunday