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Fairmont Chefs Give a Sneak Peak at What’s Cooking In Kitchens Around the World
Publish Date :
April 26, 2012
~ Hot Trends, Fresh Faces & New Restaurants ~
From well seasoned masters to newcomers on the rise, Fairmont chefs are cooking up a storm in kitchens from Singapore to Sonoma. In order to satisfy sophisticated travelers, chefs are spicing up in-room dining menus, getting ahead of the microbrew trend and constantly looking for ways to make every dish unique. Beyond the kitchen, entire culinary teams are using their skills to teach local kids how to eat right and stay healthy, while prestigious awards keep pouring in from all corners of the planet.
Amuse Room Service
As hotel chefs look to make every hotel dining experience unique, they are targeting the in-room service menu as an ideal place to delight guests with a delectable amuse-bouche or scrumptious after dinner treats. Fairmont Washington, D.C., Georgetown is using their onsite honey harvest to add complimentary homemade honey-roasted granola bites to breakfast orders as an amuse-bouche, and milk chocolate and honey ganache truffles for dessert with dinner orders. Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn’s chefs are also unveiling a new room service offering for summer – Caneles. Baked in a traditional fluted copper mold and based on a classic French recipe, the dessert is coated with beeswax from the resort’s own hives.
Chez Mom Makes an Impact in 5-Star Kitchens
No one makes it better than mom, right? Delighting diners who are nostalgic for home cooking, the hot trend of bringing homemakers and mothers to high-end restaurants is making its way from India to the UAE. Women who have ruled their own kitchens for years, creating spectacular family meals and holiday feasts, will be showing off their skills in the 5-star kitchen of Fairmont Dubai’s Spectrum on One. The first in a series of events at the hotel, guests will have the opportunity to experience the regional cuisine of the state of Goa (India), lavishly prepared by home cook and family matriarch Audrey De Souza. Goa native Mama De Souza will offer beloved Goan favorites such as prawn curry, vindaloo, sanna (dried rice cake) and pomfret fried fish, to name a few, from May 15 – June 15. Priced at AED 150 per person, ‘A Taste of Home’ is available every evening for a family style sitting, with dishes prepared and introduced by Mama De Souza, who also offers tips and techniques for preparing traditional Goan cuisine.
Hot or Not: Oenophile Edition
Daniel Freedman, sommelier and beverage director at Fairmont Chicago, Millennium Park, is offering predictions for what will be big in the world of wine this year, and is stocking the cellars of the hotel accordingly. What’s hot? Chenin Blanc will be all the rage this summer, while Spanish Cava will gain ground on the ever popular Italian Prosecco. For diners who want to learn the trends firsthand, Jessica Harnois – wine expert and president of the Canadian Association of professional sommeliers – stops by Montreal’s Fairmont The Queen Elizabeth once a month to host blind wine tastings. Her evenings at the hotel’s signature Beaver Club have diners guessing wines based on her expert tips on everything from color, flavors, varietals, country of origin, old world, new world, and more.
New Restaurants Revealed
From Hawaii to Cairo, a number of Fairmont properties are shaking up the culinary scene with new restaurants and lounges. On Maui, The Fairmont Kea Lani has recently reopened Kō, the only fine dining restaurant on Maui to offer cuisine inspired by Maui’s sugarcane plantation era. In British Columbia, The Grill Room at The Fairmont Chateau Whistler reopened featuring regional ingredients with seasonal influences such as Canadian AAA Prime beef, Ocean Wise seafood and organic produce grown by local farmers. Bringing Italian fare to the Canadian Rockies is Lago, a new restaurant at The Fairmont Chateau Lake Louse that will open this summer. In Cairo, Fairmont Nile City’s Asian-Fusion Saigon Restaurant & Lounge pairs stunning Nile views with a tasting‐driven selection of small portions made to share. Also on the agenda this summer, a new restaurant will make its debut at The Fairmont Copley Plaza in Boston featuring hand crafted cocktails and a farm to table inspired menu. The reimagining of the restaurant includes a thoughtful restoration taking into account the architectural details and historic significance of the space.
It’s pronounced “KEEN-wah”
Quinoa was of great nutritional importance in pre-Columbian Andean civilizations, secondary only to the potato. In contemporary times, this crop has become highly appreciated for its nutritional value, as its protein content is very high, in addition to being a good source of dietary fiber and phosphorus. High in magnesium and iron, quinoa is gluten-free and considered easy to digest. Taking advantage of this highly nutritious crop is Fairmont Scottsdale Princess where chefs are using quinoa on their spa menu with delicious Quinoa Crab Cakes, while in California Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn & Spa makes a Portobello Tower with Quinoa and White Bean Puree. At The Fairmont Kea Lani, Maui, the Chilled Quinoa Salad is perfect for a healthy poolside snack, while The Fairmont Chateau Whistler offers a Quinoa Risotto, which is a creative take on the more common wheat-based risotto.
Hotels Get “Sweet” on Microbrews
Infusing liquors to create homemade kahlua or raspberry vodka is one thing, but restaurants are taking the trend of custom libations to a new level by commissioning their own house microbrews. As craft brewing continue to grow in popularity, hotels like The Fairmont San Francisco, The Fairmont Olympic in Seattle, The Fairmont Empress in Victoria and The Fairmont Royal York in Toronto have developed distinctive honey beers from their very own onsite beehives. “The Fairmont San Francisco Honey Saison” was created in partnership with Almanac Beer Co and will be offered on draft in the hotel’s Laurel Court Restaurant & Bar. In partnership with nearby Mill Street Brewery, The Fairmont Royal York has created a unique honey beer called “Royal Stinger”. This draught cream ale is being served exclusively at the hotel’s lounges and bars. At The Fairmont Olympic in Seattle, “Olympic Honey Ale” also features rooftop honey and is made in conjunction with Pike Brewing Company. The beer will be featured at the famed Seattle brewery and the hotel’s Shuckers restaurant in May. Finally, The Fairmont Empress is doubling their onsite hives in order to provide additional honey to launch their “Fairmont Empress Honey Wheat Ale” in partnership with local Hoyne Brewery. This ale will be served exclusively at The Bengal Lounge and The Veranda - Victoria’s best patio.
Spring’s Most Coveted Salmon Makes A Splash in Seattle
Spring always has Seattleites anticipating one of the season’s best catches: Copper River Salmon. Hailing from Copper River in Alaska, one of the swiftest and most rugged rivers in the state, the special salmon brave a 300-mile river filled with wild rapids as they swim northward to spawn. The rigorous journey makes them strong and robust with copious amounts of healthy oils and fats, translating into a deep red colored meat with a rich, nutty flavor. This May, Shuckers restaurant at The Fairmont Olympic will be one of a few select Seattle restaurants to offer Copper River Salmon, offering guests the opportunity to celebrate the arrival of the season's first fish along with the locals.
Not Your Typical Fruit Salad
At Fairmont Pittsburgh chefs are featuring unique fruits in salads as a way to shake, and sweeten, up hotel menus for summer. Offerings include an Arugula and Spinach Salad with Grilled Nectarine and a Compressed Watermelon and Bibb Salad with Aged Goat Cheese and Prosciutto that go beyond traditional Caesar or Niçoise salads. In Vancouver, Fairmont Pacific Rim features an Oru Salad with papaya, jicama, sunflower seeds, sprouted greens, quinoa and mixed leaves for guests to try, while in South Africa, Fairmont Zimbali Resort incorporates carved melon wedges with lime zest and herbs into their Friday night salad bar.
Retro Never Went Out Of Style
At The Fairmont San Francisco, the Tonga Room & Hurricane Bar has been a tiki haven since 1945. This year the island-inspired venue is making waves with a series of over-the-top luaus that promise to offer an evening to remember. Showcasing fish flown in directly from Hawaii for a truly unique dining experience, the full schedule has yet to be finalized but will provide plenty of entertainment that will keep guests partying all night. The first event was held in April and was a huge success, featuring live music, hula dancers and a limbo contest. Tickets cost $55 USD and include Entry, Food, Lei & Entertainment, while cocktails are offered at Happy Hour Prices.
Historic Techniques Meet Modern Methods
Executive Chef Moon Kyung Soo helms Mikuni at Fairmont Singapore and is infusing the rich history of Japanese cuisine with contemporary trends and methods. His heavy reliance on century-old Japanese culinary techniques and practices can be seen in his signature Edomae Nigiri style sushi, which employs methods used by sushi chefs for 140 years. But while his culinary pedigree is deeply embedded in traditional Japanese style, Chef Moon is also an ardent follower of molecular gastronomy, which is on display in his Octopus Kari Kari Tempura, which highlights his aptitude for juxtaposing two divergent cooking styles (traditional and modern). He vacuum seals the octopus meat and slow-cooks it for 30 minutes in precise temperature using sparkling water (Sous-vide style), before deep frying it to perfection. This technique not only redefines the texture of the ingredient, creating a crispy coating that envelopes a juicy, tender core, but also produces more succulence for the meat.
Local Kids Learn the Joy of Cooking
Many chefs are taking their talents outside the kitchen and into their local schools and communities as part of Fairmont’s commitment to giving back. As the brand rolls out healthy children’s menus worldwide in 2012, chefs want to share their expertise on healthy, delicious cuisine. Fairmont Monte Carlo’s “Little Chefs” program is a partnership with the Ministry of Education of Monaco where hotel Chefs and Sous-Chefs teach students how to cook healthy cuisine as well as the virtues of vegetables and sustainability. The Fairmont Vancouver Airport partners with the Richmond Schoolyard Society for the Kids + gardens + healthy food = stronger communities program, while The Fairmont Orchid’s Hawaii Island School Garden Network assists in the creation and maintenance, tilling, planting and upkeep of a number of school gardens. Fairmont Pittsburgh partners with Grow Pittsburgh – a non-profit organization that promotes responsible urban food production through educational workshops, the development of urban farms, adult and teen internship programs, and its unique Edible Schoolyard program. In order to support local Maui chefs, Executive Chef Tylun Pang of Kō restaurant at The Fairmont Kea Lani donates 100 percent of proceeds from his cookbook, What Maui Likes to Eat, to the Maui Culinary Academy for supplies, scholarships and books.
Guests Get Their Hands Dirty
Fairmont’s expert chefs and mixologists love sharing their secrets with curious guests, and a few hotels have made it easier than ever to learn the tricks of the trade. As part of the brand’s Lifestyle Cuisine Plus program that brings gluten-free menus to guests, The Fairmont Empress will be offering a special celiac pastry apprentice class on May 20 for CAD $120 per person. Attendees can learn recipes that are delectable for everyone, including those with gluten sensitivities. As part of the Passions program, Fairmont Scottsdale Princess offers a Southwest Bloody Mary Experience where diners are treated to custom, tableside service featuring hand-crafted Tito’s vodka, raw horseradish, fresh vegetables, Worcestershire and spices. They will take away a recipe card and the resort’s “secret” spice mix to recreate this experience at home. Available daily from 6:30 to 11:30 am at LV Bistro, it costs only $15 USD per person.
New Chefs Take Fairmont by Storm
Fairmont is breaking new ground in 2012 with the appointment of Dana Hauser as the brand’s first female executive chef at The Fairmont Waterfront, Vancouver. Having worked at various Fairmonts around the world, Hauser has extensive culinary experience, most recently as the acting executive chef at The Fairmont Royal York. New to Fairmont is Philippe Joannès (“Meilleur Ouvrier de France 2000”) who joins the kitchens of Fairmont Monte Carlo as executive chef. A native to the French culinary industry, Joannès has worked all over the country in some of the highest rated establishments, including two restaurants that have earned a Michelin Star. At Switzerland’s Fairmont Le Montreux Palace, Executive Chef Frederic Breuil started his career in France and has gained extensive culinary experience working in kitchens from Jakarta to Beirut to Warsaw to Abu Dhabi. Fairmont The Palm, Dubai, which opens later this year, has hired John Cordeaux as executive chef, a culinary star who has perfected his art worldwide, most recently as executive chef at Fairmont Bab Al Bahr, Abu Dhabi. In Quebec, Patrick Turcot returns home to become Executive Chef at Fairmont Le Manoir Richelieu where he will take full advantage of Charlevoix’s “Flavor Trail” of pâtés, cheeses and spices as well as local meats, fresh fruit and produce.
In the culinary world, a Michelin-starred chef is as close as one gets to being a gastronomic rock star. In an enormous coup for the brand, Fairmont can boast two restaurants in the portfolio with Michelin stars. The Fairmont Hotel Vier Jahreszeiten’s Haerlin Restaurant is a gourmet landmark in Hamburg, and received a rare second Michelin star in 2011. Head chef de cuisine Christoph Rueffer can also boast 17 Gault Millau points for his exquisite French cuisine. In California, Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn & Spa’s Santé restaurant has received high praise from many reviewers and organizations such as Zagat, but being the only restaurant in Sonoma to receive a Michelin star is certainly one of its proudest moments.
Taking the Cake with Local Awards
In addition to international designations like AAA and Michelin, Fairmont chefs are also adept at collecting local awards and honors. At Fairmont Beijing, The Cut recently was awarded Outstanding Steak House in The Beijinger’s annual restaurant awards, while also being honored as having the “Best Service” in Dining City’s inaugural Beijing Restaurant Week. Fairmont The Norfolk’s Tatu restaurant in Nairobi won the ‘Restaurant Hospitality’ award and took second place in the ‘Restaurant of the Year’ category at the prestigious 2011 Taste Awards. The Rimrock Restaurant at The Fairmont Palliser was named “Seafood Sustainability” Restaurant of the Year by Where Magazine’s 2011 Where to Dine Awards, and was also honored as a Finalist for “Hotel Dining/Bar” Restaurant of the Year.
ABOUT FAIRMONT HOTELS & RESORTS
Fairmont Hotels & Resorts, which will arrive in destinations as diverse as Jaipur, Kyiv and Manila in 2012, is a celebrated collection of more than 60 luxury properties around the globe, including Shanghai's Fairmont Peace Hotel, The Plaza in New York, and Makkah Clock Royal Tower in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The luxury brand's distinctive hotels offer a sense of heritage and sophistication, warm, engaging service and culturally rich experiences. A community and environmental leader, Fairmont is also recognized internationally for its responsible tourism practices and award-winning Green Partnership program. Fairmont is owned by FRHI Holdings Limited, a leading global hotel company with over 100 hotels under the Fairmont, Raffles, and Swissôtel brands. The company also manages Fairmont, Raffles and Swissôtel branded luxury private residences club, whole-ownership residences and serviced residences properties. For more information or reservations, please call 1-800-441-1414 or visit fairmont.com.
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