Fairmont’s collection of luxury hotels embraces the latest culinary trends -
An integral part of any travel experience is the enjoyment of fine food and memories made discovering something unexpected. Fairmont Hotels & Resorts worldwide are always seeking new ways to entice and excite curious epicureans, finding creative ways to integrate current trends and create buzz-worthy culinary adventures.
Eating well continues to be of importance to Fairmont guests, and travelers are seeking more: they want to be fully immersed in local experiences, whether it be eating homegrown produce or tasting authentic dishes. In fact, research done by The National Restaurant Association indicated that 81 per cent of the respondents (all professional chefs) identified locally sourced meats and seafood as the number one “hot” food trend. The same survey revealed that 79 per cent of chefs counted the “nose-to-tail” trend as one of the hottest of this year. And the cocktail craze isn’t going away, with more guests wanting to try something unique to the destination, the culture and the cuisine. At Fairmont Hotels & Resorts, we embody the notion of a wholesome foodie adventure by presenting a truly local experience that is still reflective of the latest culinary trends.
From embracing the craze of using “new” cuts of meat to reinventing the pop-up bar, Fairmont chefs have been busy introducing unique ways to satisfy the curiosity and cravings of our guests.
Some recent trends making news at Fairmont include:
Dining with an Air of Mystery
Boston’s Fairmont Copley Plaza welcomes the Secret Supper Club Dinner series, exclusive dining experiences taking place in the 140 Supper Club. Formerly a restaurant called the Copenhagen Room, this space has gone relatively unused for more than 50 years. Accessed via a separate entrance and down a century-old stairway with barrel vaulted ceilings, the 140 Club – part wine cellar, part speakeasy – is the venue for intimate dinners (30 people max) which feature a four-course seasonal tasting menu paired with wines. Upon arrival at 140 St. James Avenue, guests are given a password to access the 140 Club below. Upcoming events take place on October 14 and November 11, 2014 and winter series dates will be announced later this fall. For more information and to be added to the invite list, email OneFortyBoston@Fairmont.com.
Fairmont Dubai offers an intriguing event that encourages guests to enjoy other heightened senses as they voluntarily take the visual element out of their dining experience. Noire features a fully fitted and blacked out restaurant setting, resulting in greatly diminished sight for 1 ½ hours. Daring diners put their trust in the hotel’s culinary team, who prepare a feast fit for royalty. Noire is available from Monday through Friday, and 10% of proceeds are donated to Sightsavers, an international organization that advocates eye health and the prevention of blindness.
Snap, Crackle, Pop-up!
Fairmont Pittsburgh recently hosted a very successful one-day pop-up barbecue stand called “Meat Us at Andys”, named for its signature wine bar. The limited menu made for a perfect casual lunch and featured the hotel’s house-smoked brisket, pulled pork sandwiches and sides. All items were available to-go and on a first-come first-served basis. Based on the event’s popularity, more pop-ups are planned, with another BBQ slated, as well as a soup selection to welcome the cooler months ahead.
Following a recent, very popular run with Samuelsson at HP, a pop-up restaurant by acclaimed chef Marcus Samuelsson, Bermuda’s Fairmont Hamilton Princess is now featuring its own pop-up bar called Intermission. With an enviable location by the Harbor, the new venue offers sophisticated cocktails and a menu that ranges from appetizers to three-course meals.
Bees, and bee-inspired menus are “popping up” too! As solitary bee populations continue to decline due to loss and fragmentation of habitat, Fairmont Washington, D.C., Georgetown is adding a pollinator bee hotel to its collection of rooftop honeybee hives next spring. To launch this new initiative, the hotel is displaying a “Pop-Up” Pollinator Bee Hotel in the lobby, and serving an exclusive pollinator menu in Juniper Restaurant with a highlight being a delectable ‘salad in a jar’ featuring honey and goat cheese mouse, greens, edible flowers and a zesty lemon thyme vinaigrette. A portion of the proceeds from the menu and the hotel’s signature cocktail, the BeeTini, will support the District of Columbia Public Schools’ Junior Beekeepers initiative.
Classic Comforts and Small Bites to Share
Amidst the grandeur of luxury hotels, guests are seeking the warm, hearty nostalgia of comfort foods, and going back to the basics…with a modern spin, of course. At Fairmont San Francisco, guests can enjoy Lemon & Thyme Roasted Chicken and Sticky Toffee Pudding. The Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn is “re-INSPIRING” French classics, with new twists on dishes like Poularde en Vessie and Caneles. A stop at Fairmont Chicago Millennium Park can include settling down with Sesame & Herb Fish & Chips, Lamb Burgers and Mac & Cheese six ways.
Complementing the comfort food interest is the movement toward more family-style dining, or shared plates and tasting platters. This more casual, friendly and interactive style of dining has caught on at places like Quebec’s Fairmont Tremblant, where guests can dig in and share items like mini apples stuffed with foie gras, mini brioche, or pressed duck confit with a kumquat marmalade. At Fairmont Baku in Azerbaijan, guests enjoy a mixed kebab platter, with salad and lavash (bread). After a sleigh ride at Fairmont Chateau Whistler, a cheese fondue with vegetables, Fondue Chinoise with beef tenderloin, prawns and salmon and a decadent chocolate fondue make the perfect trio to share.
Cocktail Culture Is Still King
London’s The Savoy recently celebrated its 125th anniversary, and marked it in grand style with the introduction of The Savoy Collection: 48-year old Macallan. The hotel is the spiritual home of the cocktail, and decades ago, created The Savoy Collection, a range of spirits bottled exclusively for the hotel and enjoyed by the most discerning imbibers of the day. The tradition has been revived with the introduction of the extremely rare single malt scotch whisky, bottled in an exclusively designed, hand-made decanter and made available as a limited edition, with just three bottles available for purchase at a value of £18,500. Only the most dedicated connoisseurs need inquire.
Local herbs, often grown onsite at hotels, are a standout ingredient being highlighted in cocktails. Fairmont Singapore’s Anti:dote features handcrafted concoctions cleverly disguised as “cure-alls”, made with premium spirits, market-fresh ingredients, herbs and flowers like cinnamon basil and marigolds, and Chinese medicinal herbs and ingredients including ginseng, smoked lapsang, souchong and sarsaparilla. Newly opened Le Sam Bistro at Quebec City’s Fairmont Le Château Frontenac offers Shrubs, a blend of modern mixology and a common tonic from the colonial era. This refreshing, tart drink features vinegar for good health, balanced by the sweetness of pineapple, raspberry or Thai basil.The Pyramid Bar at Fairmont Dallas features the Acai Mojito, made with Acai berry, PAMA Pomegranate liqueur and fresh mint grown in the hotel’s terrace herb garden.
Where’s the Beef?
Fairmont hotels are making the most of the “nose to tail” trend and purchasing whole animals. The Fairmont San Francisco, Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn and Fairmont San Jose procure student-raised hogs from the Sonoma Valley High School Agriculture Department, and proudly serve them in restaurants and employee cafeterias. At The Fairmont San Francisco guests of the Tonga Room may sample a roasted pig, and the different cuts of meat are used for specials each day of the week, making use of all of the flavorful pieces like the shank, tail and neck, while also reducing waste.
The Fairmont Banff Springs (as well as Fairmont Pittsburgh and Fairmont San Francisco) cures and smokes meat in-house, keeping traditional practices alive. Beef and bison brisket and pulled pork are smoked in-house for approximately 18 to 20 hours. The recently opened Stanley’s Smokehouse at the resort’s golf course serves up the noted smoked meats Texas BBQ-style and the Grapes Wine Bar features cured venison, buffalo, and beef.
BBQs remain a popular offering, with hotels highlighting offerings from local farms. Fairmont Le Manoir Richelieu in Quebec’s Charlevoix region partners with Oiseau Bleu Farm, a nearby all-natural, free range farm, to serve guests savory, organic burgers that are low in saturated fat and contain no additives or preservatives. The hotel’s terrace provides the perfect venue to enjoy this tasty treat while admiring the St. Lawrence River.
AboutFairmont Hotels & Resorts
Fairmont Hotels & Resorts connects guests to the very best of its destinations worldwide, reflecting each locale’s energy, culture and history. Passionate travelers choose the luxury hotel brand for its ability to deliver memorable travel experiences, personalized and thoughtful service, and hotels that are one-of-a-kind. Serving as genuine gateways to their destinations, Fairmont hotels offer locally-inspired cuisine and spirited bars and lounges, distinctive design and décor, and a steadfast responsibility to environmental and social priorities. With more than 65 hotels globally, and many more in development, landmark hotels in the Fairmont collection include The Plaza in New York, London’s The Savoy, Fairmont Peace Hotel in Shanghai and Quebec City’s Fairmont Le Château Frontenac. Fairmont is owned by FRHI Hotels & Resorts, a leading global hotel company with over 110 hotels under the Fairmont, Raffles, and Swissôtel brands. The company also manages Fairmont, Raffles and Swissôtel branded luxury private residence clubs, whole-ownership residences and serviced residences properties. For more information or reservations, please visit www.fairmont.com
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Executive Chef at The Argus Dining Room David Willcocks is launching the restaurant’s first cooking studio day session in partnership with Vale Hill Farm in Smeaton on Saturday, November 22.
The cooking workshop will focus on how to prepare a succulent spring lamb dish using the farm’s rare breed Hampshire down lamb meat.
Guests will spend the day in the picturesque surrounds of the central Goldfields, tour the orchards and vegetable gardens with restaurant & farm owners Wayne Cross and Chris Malden and learn about the farm’s rare breed sheep and cattle used at The Argus Dining Room’s kitchen.
The hatted restaurant sources its rare breed lamb from Vale Hill with the prized animals grazing on the pasture of the rich volcanic plains.
After a session with Chef Willcocks, guests will enjoy a three-course lunch al fresco style with matched regional wines by Argus sommelier Jeremy Shiell in the owner’s private residence, originally built from field stone in 1854, and since restored to a spectacular architectural home.
The Argus Dining Room has been recognised for its unique and distinctive cuisine in the 2015 edition of the Australian food bible The Good Food Guide being awarded one hat and has received high praise and rave reviews under the leadership of inspiring Executive Chef David Willcocks who is renowned for serving stunning cuisine with an emphasis on fresh, clean flavours and regional produce.
When: Saturday 22 November @ 9.30am
What: The Argus Dining Room Cooking Studio Workshop
Price: $165 per person, limited to 12 guests
More information: Call 03 5348 2202
The much anticipated Michelin Guide Great Britain & Ireland 2015 was published this week, revealing who has been awarded new stars and granted gastronomy’s highest accolade.
“The 14 new stars in our 2015 guide highlight the enormous richness and variety of the UK’s restaurant scene. They range from country pubs to hipster hangouts, from counter-restaurants to classic dining rooms”, said Rebecca Burr, Editor of the Michelin guide. Read more: http://media.visitbritain.com/Story-Ideas/Michelin-Stars-for-2015- announced-11ad9.asp
Coffee…the new tea? Happy International Coffee Day
Britain is buzzing! Coffee culture continues to grow and the so-called ‘Third Wave’ movement – which focuses on producing high-quality coffee to be savoured, appreciated and taken as seriously as wine – has swept through the nation.
There are coffee shops throughout Britain that take coffee-drinking to a new level, many of which have their own in-house roasteries and where customers can try out ‘cupping’, tasting sessions that help you to get more depth from your brew. As we celebrate International Coffee Day this week, here’s ten British suggestions for serious bean-lovers. Read more: http://media.visitbritain.com/Story-Ideas/Coffee-It-s-the-new-tea-11b0d.aspx
Bristol named European Green Capital
Next year, Bristol will be named European Green Capital, thanks to its success in creating a green city with a high quality of life. Find out what makes it such a clean, green place to visit with five activities that show off its new status. Read more: http://media.visitbritain.com/Story-Ideas/Bristol-crowned-European-Green-Capital-2015-five-green-activities-11a96.aspx
British Library showcases four remaining copies of Magna Carta for 1st time
There are only four Magna Carta manuscripts from 1215 which survive and the British Library in London is launching a ballot in October, offering the chance to see them on 3 February 2015. Read more: http://media.visitbritain.com/Story-Ideas/British-Library-to-show-the-four-original-surviving-copies-of-Magna-Carta-together-for-the-first-tim-11a11.aspx
Aboriginal Chef Mark Olive aka ‘The Black Olive’ and Josh Whiteland from Koomal Dreaming will combine a feast of bush flavours with contemporary international cuisine on Friday November 21, as they host Kambarang South West Aboriginal Gourmet Experience, as part of the 2014 Margaret River Gourmet Escape. Supported by Aboriginal hospitality students and Outback Academy apprentices and students, the culinary experience also includes a Noongar art exhibition and music from Gina Williams and Guy Ghouse. Proceeds from the event will go towards the Outback Academy Hospitality Program which encourages Aboriginal people to consider a career in hospitality, tourism and events.
Whiskey lovers are rejoicing following the opening of Perth’s first urban distillery, which crafts premium whiskey made from 100 per cent local Australian ingredients. Whipper Snapper Distillery officially opened its doors in September and will be launching a new product this month, following the release of an unaged spirit called ‘Crazy Uncle’ Moonshine earlier in the year. Open seven days a week, the Distillery offers whiskey tastings daily. Visitors can book a Distillery tour, while whiskey classes are held every weekend. The East Perth venue is also available to hire for events.
A food adventure of a different sort Leederville Food Safari, takes guests on a three hour culinary journey of Leederville’s famous Oxford Street – by rickshaw! The journey begins at Ria Malay Kitchen for entrées and drinks, a rickshaw then escorts guests to Kitsch Bar Asia for the main event, and finally to Foam Coffee Bar for sweet delights of tea or coffee and dessert.
A new foodie adventure is now available to Perth locals and visitors, showcasing the best culinary experiences on offer in the city. Two enthusiastic and knowledgeable guides lead the expedition and help guests discover some of the best food and drink available in Perth. Foodie Adventures is designed to be as involved and interactive as possible, and offers an International Food Adventure, Asian Affair Roving Dinner, Private Tour and Corporate Tour.
Gourmet Tassie travellers will get their tastebuds tingling with these new taste sensations.
Skilled Tasmanian chef, David Moyle, the man behind the successful Stackings at Peppermint Bay is getting back to the city with the opening of his new restaurant and bar, Franklin. In the classic art deco surrounds of the old Mercury newspaper building, Franklin promises to showcase lesser-known local treasures as well as a 100% natural wine list with an Italian bent. www.franklinhobart.com.au
Ethos Food Precinct
Hobart is set to have a new food precinct, brought to you by the team behind Ethos. Ethos are creating a mini empire on Elizabeth Street – new offshoots including Vita frozen yogurt bar with premium gourmet toppings, a self serve salad smorgasbord and sandwich deli, a providore, new cocktail bar Ash & Bester and a partnership with new Japanese grill, Three Japanese. www.ethoseatdrink.com
Kiss A Fish Cookery School
Experienced cooking teacher and food writer Roz MacAllan shares her love of fresh food with students in a group or private one-on-one setting. Classes are held in a fully appointed commercial grade kitchen and all food is heartily enjoyed after class. www.kissafishcookeryschool.com.au
Bangor Wine & Oyster Shed
45 minutes from Hobart is the Bangor Wine & Oyster Shed – the family-run cellar door for Bangor Wines and farm gate shop for Lease 170 oysters. The shed sits beside the vineyard and overlooks the sea where the oysters are harvested daily. Here you will experience what Tasmania is all about, wonderful views, wine and fresh seafood. www.bangorshed.com.au
Promising a ‘touch of the irreverent, Small Fry is many things – big plates for dinner, small plates for snacking with a drink and coffee and sweet treats for in between. Don’t leave without trying one of the incredible pimped-up donuts like the delectable salted caramel with caramelised banana jam and a Ritual coffee. www.facebook.com/smallfryhobart
For a full and up-to-date listing of Tasmanian events, and information on travelling to Tasmania, visit the Discover Tasmania website www.discovertasmania.com.au
The name ‘éléments’ is derived from the natural elements of fire, water and soil components that resonates with the Hunter Valley region, and reflected in the entire dining experience.
General Manager Mercure Hunter Valley Resort Paul O’Rourke said, “We are excited by this new dining offering which we believe is unique to the Hunter Valley. The popular Steakhouse has been around for seven years and we felt it was time for change, offering something different in Wine Country and keeping up with the culinary trends of Australia.”
Executive Chef Jean Marc Pollet has created a new menu driven by the food philosophy of the fusion of classic French cuisine with Australian produce. The inspired menu features local and seasonal produce executed with a French flair, and has signature dishes such as Snapper Soufflé with New Zealand Scampi as well as Poached Ocean Trout and King Prawns ‘Bouillabaisse Style’. The ingredients used are of best quality and include produce from the Chef’s very own garden on his 5-acres farm.
French-born Jean Marc has been in Australia for the past 28 years and has wide experience in hotel dining as well as strong knowledge of Australian seasonal quality produce. He has been with Mercure Hunter Valley Resort for six years and is one of Hunter Valley’s most respected chefs.
The refurbishment of the restaurant showcases a new look designed by local artist Annemarie Murland. Taking inspiration from the culinary direction of éléments, design aspects derived from classic French art is contrasted against Australian native culture.
A custom-design feature mirror is the stand-out of the restaurant, with an intricately-ornate frame set against the Australian gum walls. The design of the mirror is inspired by the painting ‘Un Bar aux Folies Bergére’, the last major work by French painter Édouard Manet. It depicts a scene in the Folies Bergére nightclub in Paris as reflected against a mirror behind the bar.
Further, the walls are adorned with commissioned oil artworks by local artists, Caelli Brooker, AJ Byrnes, Andy Devine, Kiera O’Toole and Annemarie Murland. These artists also have international presence and their artworks are aimed to enhance the sensory experience of dining at éléments.
Situated in the hub of Hunter Valley wine country, éléments is open seven nights for dinner, and for lunch on weekends.
To book and for more information, visit www.mercurehuntervalley.com.au or call 02-4998 2000.
For more than 35 years, within the Accor Group, Mercure has exemplified expert hospitality and personalised service. Operating in more than 50 countries around the world, Mercure boasts hotels withdistinctive personalities carefully preserved through the type of services offered and the decor, both of which vary from one hotel to the next. The hotel managers and staff of the 700 Mercure hotels arehospitality professionals. Attentive and available, they are ready to listen and make sure their guests enjoy a stay full of genuine moments of pleasure and relaxation in a truly warm and comfortable setting. More information on Mercure hotels is available on www.mercure.com
Thomas Heinrich boasts a range of experience from some of America and Canada’s top restaurants, earning him much praise among their national culinary scenes.
Sydney-born Thomas began his career locally at Basil’s Seafood Restaurant, developing his experience working at several local eateries before taking his passion for natural local ingredients to New York.
There, he landed the prestigious role of Sous Chef at the highly acclaimed Fifty Seven Fifty Seven restaurant at the Four Seasons Hotel.
Returning to Australia, he accepted the role of Executive Chef at Sydney’s fine dining restaurant Deep Blue Bistro.
However, Thomas was drawn back to the US soon after, where he undertook the role of Chef de Cuisine at Michelin star-awarded Seasons Restaurant at Four Seasons Chicago.
He then took over the culinary operations as Executive Sous Chef at Hyatt Regency Chicago, Hyatt’s flagship property, before quickly being promoted to Executive Chef at Hyatt Regency Vancouver.
In every destination he has worked Thomas has embraced the region’s local ingredients. The talented chef has developed a passion and aptitude for mixing and matching Australia’s native produce with more traditional flavours. This can be seen through his new spring menu at JPB, the hotels signature urban eatery, which launched this week. Food really will imitate art with locally sourced and seasonally inspired dishes such as a la minute smoked ora king salmon with avocado terrine and lemon myrtle fluid gel.
Thomas says: “I like to let Mother Nature speak for herself by using local ingredients and letting traditional flavours shine – within the one creative and considered dish. I’m looking forward to bringing this longstanding philosophy to Swissôtel Sydney.
“My menu will take each diner on a journey of flavour, colour and texture, with meals cooked from the heart, with the integrity of each ingredient in mind.”
Aussies also have the opportunity see their favourite spring dish featured on the menu of JPB, by posting an entrée, main or dessert to Swissotel Sydney Facebook page using the hashtag #springatjpb.
The most creative, locally sourced and seasonally inspired entry will win a chance to create their dish with Chef Thomas, dine with a friend at JPB to sample their creation and have their dish featured on the menu.
The promotion will run until Friday 26 September, with the winner being announced on Monday 29 September. Further competition details can be found on http://www.swissotel.com/hotels/sydney
About Swissôtel Sydney
Swissôtel Sydney is located in the heart of Sydney’s Central Business District, overlooking the historic Queen Victoria Building. Discover the re-introduction of the classic hotel bar or enjoy an elegant dinner in Just pure bistro. With a passion for perfection, Swissôtel Sydney is your home away from home.
About Swissôtel Hotels & Resorts
Swissôtel Hotels & Resorts got its start in Switzerland, a country known for big mountains and equally high standards of living. Its contemporary Swiss style and locally inspired flair attracts business and leisure travelers who enjoy high-end hotels but prefer fresh innovation to stale pretension. Conveniently located where travelers want to be, Swissôtel provides guests with the opportunity to stay in the heart of city centers worldwide where access to business and shopping districts are right around the corner. With two new resorts in Sochi, Russia, site of the 2014 Winter Olympics, Swissôtels can be found in over 30 well-located properties around the world. As guests of the world, every Swissôtel upholds Swiss sustainability standards. In fact, Swissôtel has a mission: to treat guests, team members, and the environment with equal respect. Swissôtel is part of FRHI Hotels & Resorts, a leading global hotel company with over 110 hotels under the Raffles, Fairmont, and Swissôtel brands. But no matter how international Swissôtel becomes, just like the country it was founded in, it remains a small hotel at heart. For more information or reservations, please visit www.swissotel.com
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