The term luxury in the fine dining scene is morphing. While it used to mean starched tablecloths and elaborate decor in a restaurant with chefs hidden from diners, today though, it’s vastly different.

Step into any L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon around the world, and you’ll find that the setup is basic—there is no linen, chandeliers nor upholstered chairs, and diners get to sit at the counter with a full view of the kitchen. L’Atelier is a result of the late multi-Michelin-star chef Joël Robuchon wanting to move fine dining from the elusive and the obscure into something with more transparency. And more than 15 years on since the opening of his first atelier in 2003, the burying of old-fashioned signifiers of luxury has been adopted by numerous chefs around the world.  Find out which revolutionary establishments are setting the stage for a new era in fine dining (p64) and read about how elevated versions of pantry staples like salt and butter are becoming the new luxury ingredients (p98).

On the topic of luxury ingredients, a group of chefs share with us some of the most exotic and rare ingredients they can’t do without—think red mushrooms from China’s Wuyi Mountain in Fujian province, Yonezawa beef from Yamagata, and Giusti 100-year-old balsamic vinegar from Modena, Italy (p70).

Industry leaders like celebrity chef Tetsuya Wakuda, Arrif Ziaudeen of Chope, Yenn Wong of Jia Group Holdings, and Gerald Lu of Praelum Wine Bistro, also shed light on what luxury means to them (p85).

Travel-loving foodies will also want to check out the list of gorgeous destinations that we’ve put together that will guarantee you have the best and most delicious time of your life (p80).

Wherever you choose to go, here’s wishing you a wonderful festive celebration with your loved ones. Look out for this issue out in stores and see you next year!

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