An onstage kitchen anchors one end of the supperclub Los Angeles and, although the cooking takes place as guests dine, so much else to dazzle the senses takes place as well. Guests can be forgiven for only noticing how good their food tastes when it arrives. A “feast for the senses” describes the experience of supperclub, which has its seventh international location in Los Angeles. It is a restaurant, club and show with a variety of entertainment.
The white room walls and Roman-style beds provides a backdrop for thumping beats and sultry soundtracks, a dizzying whirl of lights, wall-projected film and live performers. A four-course prix-fixe dinner arrives as the troupe sings, dances, and performs acrobatic feats and other entertaining acts. The artistes move among the audience who dance along when inspired. More action takes place after dinner when the space turns into a club with more energized DJ’ed music.
Executive Chef Guus Wickenhagen’s dishes claim a right-sized part of the attention with superb flavor, graceful presentations and freshness. He changes the menu once a month along with the show so guests can return often. Originally from the Netherlands, Wickenhagen worked his way through top kitchens there before landing at supperclub’s flagship in Amsterdam. He cooked for supperclubs in Rome, London and San Francisco. All of the supperclubs have a Dutch owner. The Los Angeles supperclub marks the first franchise location. “I met the owners from Los Angeles in San Francisco and they asked me to come open supperclub Los Angeles with them,” Wickenhagen says.
Interview with Chef Wickenhagen
If not a chef, what would you be?
– A stockbroker. I really like numbers: and, of course, a rock star! Lol
How would you compare the food scene in Los Angeles to Amsterdam?
– I think in Amsterdam the guest is more open to new things so the menus are a little more global. But the Los Angeles food scene has changed a lot in the last couple of years. Look at Animal (a restaurant near West Hollywood in Los Angeles). They cook with a lot of organic meats. Five years ago that was a no go in LA, from what other chefs have told me.
What do you consider your most important accomplishment?
My life experience. I’m 31 years old and have worked in a lot of different countries and have seen a lot of different things. Nobody can take that away from me.