Food Miles: The buffet hits the buffers as resorts go for stellar chefs
Saturday 06 April 2013
Luxury resort holidays are all about fun and relaxation, and often that means not straying too far from the hotel. If you're as serious about food as you are about soaking up some sun, then the last thing you'll want to see on your itinerary is "Wednesday: Mediterranean buffet night".
Thankfully, high-end resorts such as those part of the One & Only group (01753 899800; oneandonlyresorts.com) have taken care over their culinary programme, attracting acclaimed chefs including Vineet Bhatia (Rasoi by Vineet, Le Saint Géran Mauritius) and Nobuyuki Matsuhisa (Nobu, Cape Town) to consult on their restaurants. It is now common practice to get a big name on board, either as a permanent fixture or increasingly as part of a food and wine festival or guest chef event.
Celebrity chef Atul Kochhar of London's Michelin-starred Benares oversees Simply India at the St Regis Mauritius Resort (00 230 403 9000; stregismauritius.com). The elegant, colonial-style, fine-dining restaurant is the setting for Kochhar's modern, beautifully presented take on Goan specialties. When in residence, Kochhar will host demonstrations, lessons, question-and-answer sessions and book signings.
Three-Michelin-starred New York based chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten has landed himself the job of executive chef of Eden Rock, St Barths (00 590 590 29 79 99; edenrockhotel.com). He's incorporated island produce and local creole flavours in the menus at both of the resort's Sand Bar and On the Rocks restaurants.
From 10-12 May the coastal village resort of Vila Vita Parc (00 351 282 310 161; vilavitaparc.com) in the Algarve is taking part in the Portuguese food festival of Rota das Estrelas, or "route of the stars", an annual event designed to bring the country's leading chefs to a wider audience. Highlights of the weekend will include a dinner in the resort's two-Michelin-star Ocean Restaurant, prepared by chef Hans Neuner and guest chef Jacob-Jan Boerma, from the two-Michelin-star Restaurant de Leest in the Netherlands. Other guests chefs will include Sergi Arola from Arola Gastro Restaurant in Madrid and Jérôme Banctel from Senderens in Paris.
From 24-26 May, Australian culinary legend Neil Perry of Rockpool Bar and Grill in Sydney will be in residence at Lizard Island (00 61 3 9426 7550; lizardisland.com.au) on the Great Barrier Reef for a gourmet wine and dining experience. Perry will cook a six-course gourmet dinner to be hosted by winemaker Wolfgang Blass. The event also includes wine masterclasses by Chris Hatcher, chief winemaker of Wolf Blass wine.
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