TKI was appointed to develop the brand and design of The Butchers Den, the flagship steakhouse for The Epicure Group in Kuwait.
The design direction was to firmly place the focus on the product and then develop a setting that celebrates that product through art. TKI’s concept “celebrates the food chain”, from the sourcing to the aging and the carving of quality meat. The aim is to provoke the customers to think about the sourcing of food. There is also something slightly dangerous and sexy about the brutality of the food chain, the primitivism of fire cooking when mixed with influences of modern art, it becomes a potent combination.
Design elements range from Andy Warhol’s famous Cow Wallpaper, designed in 1966, to a live grass wall which forms a part of the food chain concept, whereby the grass symbolises food for the cows that is then later turned into our food. It is also a sustainable feature as a natural air purifier.
The innocence and beauty of the pastoral, peaceful cow is contrasted with the restaurant’s showpiece – the glass aging room- an altar of sorts for the true carnivore. Many will be reminded of artist Damien Hirst’s controversial half-cow installations and the brutality of the food chain. It makes for a jarring contrast with the pop art and fresh grass design features.
The glass enclosure allows for the most traditional method of ageing meat, known as dry ageing. The meat is hung in a controlled refrigerated environment, and the natural ageing process improves the meat’s tenderness and flavour. An open theatre kitchen completes the food chain cycle and the eatery also features a private teaching room.