The Blind Dining Experience

Those crazy Londoners. Or should I say those crazy Parisians.

A French entrepreneur is opening a new restaurant where diners are served by blind waiters and eat their meal in pitch darkness. Chefs used to creating flamboyant dishes that are a feast for the eye may mock — and indeed some already have.

But Edouard de Broglie is convinced he is on to a winner with “Dans Le Noir” (In The Dark) which opens in London next month. Exporting a formula he launched in Paris with his first dining-in-the-dark restaurant, de Broglie believes it is a perfect way to savor food by just using the taste buds.

He is currently hiring 10 blind people as waiters who will lead diners into the darkened room for a blind tasting with a difference. Customers are guided in from a normally lit bar where they pick what they will eat. In Paris, 80 percent of the clients opt for the surprise menu.

“A lot of people make huge mistakes in the dark. They confuse tuna and veal,” De Broglie said.

Project manager for the London restaurant is Nicolas Chartier who said: “The experience is a bit daunting when you first approach it.

“But the waiters are there to reassure customers. They are the best people in the dark. This is their world. They are very confident in it.”

But what of the clients? Will the London restaurant manage to break down traditional British reserve?

De Broglie is convinced “Les Anglais” will abandon their stiff upper lips.

“In darkness you don’t have any etiquette. It is very difficult not to talk to your neighbor in the dark. The atmosphere is very convivial,” he said.

The blind feeding the blind.. [Reuters]