Fresh and incredibly delicious
Get a taste of what’s to discover at Dorchester Collection’s array of restaurants and hear from the chefs – in their own words – about the local dish that is definitely not-to-miss.
Dorchester Collection’s chefs are international, but the dishes they deliver are local – honouring the best of regional ingredients, cuisine traditions as well as responding to the trends of the times and the tastes of those who dine regularly. The result is a blend of cosmopolitan refinement and traditional authenticity that is fresh to the eyes as well as to the demanding palate.
Restaurant Coworth Park, nestled in the Berkshire countryside just 45 minutes from central London, is the apex of rustic and refined, and has recently been awarded with a Michelin star. Amongst his clientele, who come expressly for a rural immersion, executive chef Adam Smith notes the generally high demand for “plant and vegetable-based dishes, especially at Michelin-starred restaurants” and has responded in kind through the use of “great local produce on our doorstep.” Chef Smith predicts a rise in Asian techniques, such as “fermentation, pickling and the use of soy to enhance flavours rather than salt.” Of his celebrated dish of new season asparagus and cured salmon, he notes: “This dish epitomises our style of cooking at Coworth Park. Classical combinations with a modern interpretation using ingredients that showcase the best of British produce; this is our identity at Restaurant Coworth Park. In my opinion, nothing beats in-season English asparagus. The asparagus matched with beautifully cured salmon and bergamot makes the perfect dish for a summer lunch in our picturesque parkland.”
Back to city living, Alain Ducasse at The Dorchester is a three Michelin-starred restaurant under the helm of executive chef Jean-Philippe Blondet, who interprets Alain Ducasse’s vision to a tee. His crab, celeriac and caviar dish captures it all. “This dish represents the epitome of elegance,” explains chef Blondet. “It brings together crab from Dorset and celeriac, under the fresh and subtle notes of apple and lime. It also plays with different textures, as we find the firmness of the celeriac, the softness of the crab meat and the crunchiness of a softshell crab foot tempura and diced apple. It is the ideal way to start one’s culinary journey as it makes you want some more…”
Elegance is also on order at Hotel Principe di Savoia. Chef Alessandro Buffolino at Acanto Restaurant mixes tradition with his personal twists, such as with the ‘Sogliola alla Mugnaia’ dish. With its main ingredients of Dover Sole, capers and lemon, chef Buffolino adds a bit of sea water and a thin crust of curcuma for a dose of personality. He foresees one future culinary trend along these very lines: “I believe new ‘flavour injectors’ will mix things up, such as unexpected appearances of sweet and spicy tastes in food to boost flavours.”
Also in Italy, at Hotel Eden’s La Terrazza located on the top floor for mesmerising views over Rome, this one Michelin-starred restaurant (re-earned just seven months after opening) serves creative and innovative seasonal Mediterranean cuisine by executive chef Fabio Ciervo. His cooking philosophy is based on five pillars: innovation, wellness, ingredients, taste and art. His dish of scallops, mango and passion fruit speaks philosophical volumes: “This is one of my signature dishes, I love the harmony and the lightness of the dish,” says chef Ciervo.
Meanwhile, Wolfgang Puck at Hotel Bel-Air serves modern Californian cuisine mixed with European and Mediterranean influences under executive chef Hugo Bolanos. Of this East-West style, he notes: “Los Angeles was the city that expanded the sushi craze in the 80s and is home to some of the best Japanese food in the world. Guests are always looking for fresh new presentations and our Sashimi Salad is a great demonstration of this. Light, fresh and full of seasonal flavour, it is also served on a custom-made Japanese plate by Masaru Kamachi providing the perfect presentation for this beautiful dish.”
Also in sunny California, The Beverly Hills Hotel’s Polo Lounge has executive chef Kaleo Adams keeping things fresh with his culinary philosophy centred on sustainable cooking and sourcing the best products from local farmers markets. Of the West Hollywood Salad, chef Adams says: “This is one of our most popular dishes in the Polo Lounge. Guests enjoy this salad because it is healthy yet filling and also has a nice balance of flavours and textures. Three different types of lettuce (Mizuna, Arugula and Tatsoi) provide the base, quinoa and farro add the filling; cherry tomatoes, cucumbers and nasturtium flowers provide the colour; feta cheese, sunflower seeds, currants and golden raisins provide a touch of sweet and salt; and, the preserved lemon vinaigrette provides just the right amount of acidity to make every bite refreshing. To top it off, guests like to add their protein of choice – usually grilled salmon or shrimp.”
In Paris at Le Meurice, executive chef Jocelyn Herland brings French flair to both Restaurant Le Dalí and the two Michelin-starred Restaurant le Meurice Alain Ducasse. Of the cod dish at Restaurant Le Dalí, featuring a distinctive aïoli ‘à notre façon’, chef Herland comments: “I really like to prepare this dish because it is very fresh and visual with pretty colours. Additionally, it is a dish that is not overloaded and so enjoyable to look at, and to savour.”
Also in the City of Lights, Hôtel Plaza Athénée claims the world renowned, three-Michelin starred signature restaurant, Alain Ducasse au Plaza Athénée, as well as Le Relais Plaza overseen by executive chef Philippe Marc. Alain Ducasse’s influence touches every delicacy with his philosophy focusing on a trilogy of fish, grain and vegetables. “This style of food is a better way of eating, in harmony with nature, healthier and more environmentally friendly,” Ducasse explains. At Le Relais Plaza, chef Philippe Marc offers a delightful indulgence of artichokes and truffles. “What I love about the artichokes, above all, is that it’s a vegetable that is rich in potassium and marries very well with truffles – this is a starter that is simple, but it must be perfectly cooked. Also, the chardonnay vinaigrette seasoning even further enhances it.”
Lastly, CUT at 45 Park Lane, Dorchester Collection’s contemporary hotel in London, is the first-ever restaurant in Europe by world-renowned chef and restaurateur Wolfgang Puck, overseen by food & beverage director and executive chef David McIntyre. In addition to the restaurant’s outstanding offering of meat and fish dishes, this one salad is a lighter delight filled with colour and charisma. “The Butter Lettuce Salad at 45 Park Lane is our twist on an American classic. I love the paring of Stilton blue cheese and avocado with a champagne vinaigrette,” says chef McIntyre of this light, fresh and delicious client favourite. One could easily – and enjoyably – travel the world by one’s taste buds. The eyes lead the way, with the promise of the perfect balance between taste, texture and temperature. Dorchester Collection’s global portfolio of chefs keep their clients happy in this way, by their own pursuit of excellence and by their own love of beautiful food that tastes even better than it tempts.
© Yaffa Assouline for Collect magazine N°23
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