Restaurant guests rarely get a glimpse into the world that exists beyond closed kitchen doors. Those in the industry know it’s an environment characterized by chaos and creativity, but above all else, it’s a place that fosters camaraderie among staff. The most interesting behind-the-scenes moments often occur outside of the kitchen, during the “family meal”—a sacred time before or after peak business hours when the staff comes together to eat.
At some restaurants, it’s the opportunity for young chefs to showcase their skills; at others, it’s a chance for seasoned pros to push artistic boundaries. Food photographer and magazine editor Per-Anders Jorgensen was so intrigued by the idea of the family meal that he traveled the globe to capture the experience at 18 of the world’s most innovative restaurants.
The result of Jorgensen’s work can be seen in his forthcoming book Eating with the Chefs (Phaidon) out April 28. From the rustic (Royal Mail, pictured right) to the refined (Thomas Keller’s French Laundry), the book provides a visually stunning narrative about the inner-workings of restaurants.
Click through the gallery for a sneak-peek of seven dishes served during memorable family meals.