Chef Vineet Bhatia has taken up a new project, The Last Supper, with which he is taking fine dining to dizzying new heights. The Michelin-style dinner at the Mount Everest Base Camp (EBC), 17,600 feet above sea level, was an experience to remember forever. By Radhika Sikaria
Reaching the EBC is not for the faint-hearted. Let alone prepare a five-course sit-down dinner at sub-zero temperatures and low-oxygen. Chef Vineet Bhatia and his team successfully laid out an open-air dinner, and you bet the views were breathtaking. This is the first time there has been a paid pop-up restaurant at EBC.
The money raised from Bhatia’s pop-up will go to those affected in the April 25, 2015 Kathmandu earthquake and the Geneva-based Heart for India Foundation, which works for underprivileged Indian girls.
It all began with the first pop-up at Nepal’s Namche Bazaar on May 28. They spent three days acclimatising and cooking at local schools for trekkers and locals. Comfort food including dal, rice, and biryani was sold at $10 per plate. The team then made way for EBC where they set up make-shift kitchens. During this 14-day trek, they foraged edible ingredients from the high-altitude Himalayan forests en route to the EBC. These ingredients were then used to prepare an Indo-Nepalese meal comprising momos, hot soup, dal, veggies, chicken curry, and one dessert.
The aroma from the kitchen drew around 30 trekkers to the camp, and even a wild yak. “All the funds from the trekkers were given to the Sherpas,” Bhatia informed in his Instagram post, showing him and two members of the team holding the national flags of their respective countries.
In order to achieve The Last Supper, Bhatia had to undergo an intensive eight-week training programme, doing two-hours of cardio daily. “One has to be super fit because the rarefied air can trigger acute mountain sickness (AMS), which can also be fatal. I’m also on a high-carb and protein-rich diet.” he was quoted in an interview.
Although the meal wrapped up in around 30-minutes, given the temperature at EBC and the threat of storms and avalanches, the one-of-its-kind experience has made its mark in history.