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Posts tagged ‘World’s 50 Best Restaurants’

Some thoughts on the first Singapore Michelin Guide

Michelin announced the first selection of the MICHELIN guide Singapore 2016-2

The Michelin Star winners in Singapore

Before the inaugural Michelin Guide Singapore was launched on July 21st I was sure of two things: that at least one hawker stall would gain a star and that Joel Robuchon would be awarded three. The former because I could see the headlines about “the world’s cheapest Michelin starred restaurant” pinging around the world (and so could Michelin, I’ll wager) and the latter because Robuchon tends to collect three Michelin stars around the globe as naturally as breathing.

And so, as you’ve probably heard, Hill Street Tai Hwa Pork Noodle and Hong Kong Soya Sauce Chicken Rice & Noodle became the proud recipients of a Michelin star apiece while Joel Robuchon clocked up another three stars for his fine dining establishment in Singapore (read on for the full list). All announced, in a world first for Michelin, to much fanfare: a songstress in glitter crooning When You Wish Upon a Star and dancers in chefs uniforms waving giant forks and spoons. Even the three star reveal had some drama: director Michael Ellis teased us at first that not every location was worthy of three Michelin stars before announcing he did indeed have a red envelope and that it was not empty.

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Will El Celler de Can Roca retain the World’s Best Restaurant title tonight?

Jordi, Josep and Joan Roca at the three Michelin-starred El Celler de Can Roca in Girona, who have launched an exclusive dining experience in partnership with American Express Invites® at Felix restaurant at The Peninsula Hong Kong on 3 and 4 June 2016 - their first in the City - offering American Express Centurion Members access to one of the most sought after chef's tables in the world. Copyright David Loftus.

Jordi, Josep and Joan Roca at El Celler de Can Roca in Girona. Copyright David Loftus.

When the World’s 50 Best Restaurants are announced in New York tonight, the Roca brothers will find out if they’ve retained the title for the three Michelin-starred El Celler de Can Roca in Spain. Chopstix met the brothers earlier this month when they held their first dining experience in Hong Kong – an American Express Invites event at The Peninsula hotel.

How did the partnership with American Express Invites come about?
Joan Roca, Head Chef: “At El Celler de Can Roca, we have a long standing relationship with American Express with a great many customers coming to our restaurant in Girona. So when the opportunity arose to do something together in Hong Kong we embraced it.

“Felix at The Peninsula, Hong Kong is an exceptional place and the perfect setting for our work to shine. They clearly put a lot of emphasis on interior design, featuring Philippe Starck interiors and the space itself has a significant effect on the dining experience. The atmosphere is of absolute modernity, which combines perfectly with our understanding of food.”

What inspiration have you had from Hong Kong?
Joan Roca: “Hong Kong is a fascinating city because it encapsulates a sense of modernity and innovation with a unique frenetic energy. Like all chefs, when we travel, we travel with our eyes, hearts and minds open.

“What’s more, Hong Kong is a place where diverse Asian cuisines converge. It is a city with a magnificent culinary culture and a diverse mix of styles and ingredients that we find deeply interesting. We love the challenge of interpreting them through our food, whilst also bringing flavours from our own kitchen to this great gastronomic city.”

 

American Express Invites_Roca Brothers Event_9

Joan and Josep Roca at their American Express Invites event at The Peninsula Hong Kong

Josep, we hear you’re a collector of rare Chinese tea -what are the similarities between tea and wine tasting?

Josep Roca, Head Sommelier: “Yes, it is true that I love the world of tea. I have always said that if I did not devote myself to the world of wine, tea would have become the most important part of my life. Tea has an association with health, history and wisdom. To drink tea is also to drink from a culture within a cup; for me there are many similarities to the world of wine.”

What attracted each of you to your respective roles as chef, pastry chef and sommelier?
Jordi Roca, Head Pastry Chef:  “There is a creative triangle with the three of us; complementing each other. When we work together we understand each other, enjoy ourselves and know that we can go far.

“Each of us work in a different area of the kitchen and restaurant when it comes to creating the menu. I am ‘the sweet cuisine’, the dish that is integrated at the end of the dining experience. Joan is involved throughout the entire menu, even when it comes to the desserts. All our opinions create harmony across the whole menu, providing a structure. Josep is a great expert in gastronomic memory. Drawing on the world of wine, he uses his knowledge to provide us with many ideas for flavours and associations to create the dishes on the menu.

Jordi Roca

Joan Roca, Head Chef at El Celler de Can Roca Members. Copyright David Loftus

“What attracted me most to the world of sweet food is that you can play more, you have more freedom to create. I find myself in that special moment where the customer has just finished dinner. They have been serious and now they are relaxed, with everything that comes after the last savoury dish is fun. I feel comfortable in this role of entertainment, to be able to have fun with our clients through dishes”

[UPDATE: El Celler de Can Roca is number two in the World’s 50 Best Restaurants 2016. Joan Roca has been awarded Chefs’ Choice Award 2016.]

Exclusive new dishes from El Celler de Can Roca

A deconstruction of the ingredients used to create ‘Vinegar marinated prawn and katsuobushi with head juice, crispy prawn legs, seaweed velouté and phytoplàncton’, an Asian inspired dish created by the Roca Brothers for El Celler de Can Roca's exclusive dining experience on 3 and 4 June 2016, in partnership with American Express Invites® at Felix restaurant at The Peninsula Hong Kong - their first in the City. Copyright David Loftus.

A deconstruction of the ingredients used to create Vinegar marinated prawn and katsuobushi with head juice, crispy prawn legs, seaweed velouté and phytoplàncton. Copyright David Loftus.

This gorgeous piece of art, above, actually transforms into this equally lovely dish, below. When in hands of the Roca brothers of El Celler de Can Roca that is.

The three Michelin-starred El Celler de Can Roca launched an exclusive dining experience in partnership with American Express Invites® at Felix restaurant at The Peninsula Hong Kong on 3 and 4 June 2016 - their first in the City - offering American Express Centurion Members access to one of the most sought after chef's tables in the world. Copyright David Loftus.

Copyright David Loftus.

Joan, Jordi and Josep Roca have created three unique Asian influenced dishes, based on signatures at their three Michelin starred restaurant, otherwise known as The World’s Best Restaurant, in Spain.

They will be served for the first time at the restaurant’s first ever dining experience in Hong Kong in partnership with America Express Invites, on the 3rd and 4th June.

The event, which includes a 14 course tasting menu, takes place at The Peninsula Hotel Hong Kong’s Felix restaurant for American Express Centurion Members by invitation.

If your name’s not on the list, here’s a further taste:

Countdown for Amber’s Signature Sea Urchin

Hokkaido Sea Urchin in a Lobster Jell-O with Cauliflower, Caviar and Crispy Seaweed Waffles

There’s one month to try the Hokkaido Sea Urchin in Lobster Jell-O with Cauliflower, Caviar and Crispy Seaweed created by Richard Ekkebus at Amber, Hong Kong, before it’s taken off menu. This is the first fancy uni dish Chopstix tasted and still the best. Over the years the dish has gained a devoted following and inspired a specially designed molluscan ceramic bowl. Last day on the menu is May 31st, go bid a fond farewell. Lucky San Franciscans will still be able to enjoy it at chef Corey Lee’s In Situ restaurant.

http://www.mandarinoriental.com/landmark/fine-dining/amber/

 

Firm Friends – what is it about Les Amis?

Cheryl and Sebastien

Cheryl Koh and Sebastien Lepinoy at Les Amis, Singapore

 

[UPDATE: Les Amis was awarded two Michelin stars in the inaugural Singapore guide on July 21st 2016].

With Les Amis in Singapore listed as Asia’s 12th Best Restaurant last night and Cheryl Koh announced as Asia’s Best Pastry Chef 2016, here’s a look at the restaurant’s heritage:

Fans of French fine dining restaurant Cepage in Hong Kong will still be able to enjoy the cooking of head chef Sebastien Lepinoy and pastry chef Cheryl Koh even though the Michelin starred restaurant is now closed. They’ll just have to visit Singapore.

The culinary pair have been lured to the Lion City to head up Cepage’s sister establishment Les Amis. Both restaurants share the same enticing formula of sophisticated food and slick service mixed with an unstuffy atmosphere; a recipe that has made Les Amis as popular with food writers in the region as it is with regular customers.

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