In my opinion, this is probably more for the benefit of the kitchen staff than it is for filling your belly. Think about the thousands of covers they do every day... day in, day out, for months at a time. Meat, starch, veg, repeat. They probably relish (hehe) the chance to show off their chops once or twice a week. I graduated from culinary school and worked in many restaurants, and owned my own business for a while. I enjoyed the times I got to make stuff off the menu and bring my own form of artistry to the plate. I enjoy working with my hands, and I enjoyed taking raw product and transforming it into a beautiful final product. A chef mentor I had when I was coming up used to reiterate... what we do is one of the most intimate forms of human to human interaction you can have. People are literally putting into their bodies what you have presented to them. Take care, take pride, show respect for their trust, and above all, show respect for the food.... I always held this very close when I was in the industry. You trust me to feed you, to employ best safety practices in terms of fresh product and proper handling. The animal that was once living is now in my hands, and I have to honor its life by respecting it throughout my cookery.
They love what they do, and their love is clearly shown by the intricate and consistently beautifully plates they turned out during that dinner. Minimalist, deconstructed molecular gastronomy cuisine is not my specific preference in terms of dining or actual cooking. But I enjoyed doing it, and now that I’ve left the industry, I greatly enjoy seeing it from the other side.
Off my my soap box now... my wife and I are taking our first Carnival cruise next year (and only our second cruise ever). The first thing I did after paying the deposit was to book the chefs table. I am beyond excited to be a part of it!