With top chefs in such demand, sometimes it‘s hard to get a close-up look at them practicing their craft. The answer is a chef‘s table, where a chef will prepare a customized multi-course dinner for a small number of guests in a private dining room or in a corner of the kitchen. And these days, there‘s even more to savor when you‘re sitting up close to the cooks. Here are five places where the chefs really put on a show.

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Las Ventanas
The chef’s table at LAS VENTANAS at the Royal Hideaway Playacar in Riviera Maya has gone high-tech: Executive chef Raul Vaquerizo dons a headset to describe each dish and the technique he and his team uses as diners watch the action on monitors. royalhideaway.com

During Napa Valley’s black-truffle season, LA TOQUE executive chef Ken frank offers a five-course truffle menu; last year, he featured truffle monkey bread and a white- and black-truffle cannelloni with Parmesan broth. latoque.com

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Jory Restaurant
Foodies who want to experience the excitement of sitting in the middle of a working kitchen will love the chef’s table at JORY RESTAURANT at The Allison Inn & Spa in Oregon’s Willamette Valley, where temperatures soar and kitchen noise sometimes drowns out the sound of fork on plate. theallison.com

in Anguilla has its own hydroponic farm, so executive chef Daniel le Guenan bases his menu on what was picked earlier in the day. He often experiments with new dishes and likes to incorporate a surprise dish, like oxtail or frog legs, into the menu. cuisinartresort.com

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At ELEMENTS in Princeton, New Jersey, chef Scott Anderson prepares a nine-course menu focusing on dishes that expose diners to a wide range of tastes, textures, and ingredients. elementsprinceton.com