The idea of dining as theatre is one that chef Jody Denton embraces whole-heartedly. At LuLu, the San Francisco restaurant where he is partner and executive chef, the focal point is a wood-burning rotisserie in the middle of the dining area. The appetising aromas of cooking chicken, steak and seafood fill the room. 'It's the visual excitement of seeing food being cooked which makes LuLu so popular,' says Jody, who was in town recently for JW California's Celebrity Chef Series. Dishes from Jody's restaurant are available at the JW Marriott Hotel's restaurant this month. Serving rustic French fare is what Jody does best and, luckily for him, that's the latest trend. 'Nouvelle cuisine died in the US in 1984,' he says, adding that people were fed-up with paying a lot of money for so little food. 'At LuLu, the kitchen is part of the dining room. People seem to love the energy and atmosphere. For a restaurant's success to last you need the whole package - good food, good atmosphere, good service.' The atmosphere at LuLu's is one of 'a place to be seen at but not pretentious, where you can feel at home in a tuxedo or jeans', says Jody. After 20 years in some of America's top kitchens - including Wolfgang Puck's Eureka restaurant in Los Angeles - Jody settled in San Francisco because 'people there are not so obsessive about their weight as people in LA'. Jody says you can tell the difference between the two cities in the restaurant bills. In San Francisco, the bill is always a little bit more because of that extra glass of wine or dessert.