Chaine Gala Dinner on 13 May 2017 at Italian Ambassador Residence
Good evening your Excellencies and fellow Chaîne members
I would like to thank Ambassador Giuseppe Scognamiglio for his warm hospitality. It has been a tradition to hold the May Chaine dinner at the Italian residence and we all hope this will continue for many years to come.
You may have heard that Italians are very creative; well, that's true! Everyone knows about Italian painters, musicians and artists but what do we know about Italian inventors?
Tonight each table has the name of an inventor. All of them had good ideas, in fact so good that they revolutionized the world and many are commonly used in our daily lives…So with all these inventions let us give to Caesar what is to Caesar!
I was planning to give you the story of the inventors identified on your tables but since you have them with the menu I thought I’d rather talk about a few others as there is no end to the list of inventions by Italians:
My favorite and the most respected Italian inventor is Leonardo da Vinci born in 1452.
Leonardo was revered for his technological ingenuity. Many scholars regard him as the prime example of the "Universal Genius" or "Renaissance Man", an individual of "unquenchable curiosity" and "feverishly inventive imagination" He was, and is, renowned primarily as a painter. Among his works, the Mona Lisa is the most famous and most parodied portrait, and, The Last Supper the most reproduced religious painting of all times. Today, Leonardo is widely considered to be one of the most diversely talented individuals ever to have lived.
He conceptualised flying machines, a type of armoured fighting vehicle, concentrated solar power, an adding machine and many more inventions. Relatively few of his designs were constructed or even feasible during his lifetime, as the scientific approaches to engineering were only in their infancy. His favorite area was aviation. Da Vinci seemed truly excited by the possibility of people soaring through the skies like birds which he hoped to replicate. Leonardo’s flying machine had a wingspan that exceeded 10m, and the frame was made of pine covered in silk to create a light but sturdy membrane.
Other less well known inventors include:
Chemist Giulio Natta who was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1963 for his invention of plastic (PVC) in 1954. At that time it was considered science fiction.
At the beginning of the 20th century an Italian physicist Enrico Fermi created the world's first nuclear reactor, the Chicago Pile-1. He has been called the "architect of the nuclear age" and the "architect of the atomic bomb”.
Around 1865, Domenico Ghirardelli discovered that by hanging a bag of ground cacao beans in a warm room, the cocoa butter would drip off, leaving behind a residue that could then be converted into ground chocolate. This technique is now the most common method used for the production of chocolate. He is the founder of the Ghirardelli Chocolate Company in San Francisco, California.
The Moon Boot was created in 1970 by an Italian company Tecnica famous for its ski boots
Ladies, liposuction, the medical procedure was first done by Dr Giorgio Fischer in 1974. And I think it is because an Italian must have invented the bikini. One day traveling through Sicily, we saw in the 4th century villa romana del casale mosaics on the floor depicting women in bikinis
The parachute, dates back to the Renaissance period (actually invented by Leonardo da Vinci) but there were no airplanes at that time! So not only they invented the helicopter later on, they had the parachute ready for it!
Other interesting facts about Italy are:
Roman Law is the foundation for the Law used in many countries
Venice had the longest republic system, over 1100 years as it was founded in 697 and abolished by Napoleon in 1797
The oldest and still active university in Europe was founded in Bologna in 1088
Now let’s talk food a bit. It seems that pastas and pizzas were consumed during the Roman Empire. There are over 140 types of pastas and the average yearly consumption in Italy is 25kg per capita. Where else would the first pizzeria be located but in Naples in 1830: Antica Pizzeria Port’Alba.
Italian cuisine is noted for its regional diversity, and is characterized by its simplicity, with many dishes having only four to eight ingredients. Italian cooks rely primarily on the quality of the ingredients rather than on elaborate preparations.
Tonight we had a very classic Italian dinner. To accompany the cocktails we had Prosecco (a sparkling wine from Veneto), Spritz (a typical Venetian drink made with proseco and a bitter liqueur such as Aperol) and Campari.
Later with the meal all 3 types of wine were from the Piemonte region. The variety of breads was served with unfiltered olive oil cold pressed from Liguria but with no balsamic nor butter as it is done in Italy. The amuses-bouche were there to tease our appetite.
Spring is the season for asparagus so we started our meal with 3 different recipes of this delicious vegetable. It was followed by 3 scallops. They were seared to perfection crispy on the outside yet tender and juicy decorated with blueberries and sage (basil) with a sweet and sour sauce of lime and honey. It was a challenge to serve this dish warm to such a large gathering. What better wine to accompany this delicate dish than the Ascheri Gavi di Gavi very floral and fruity white.
For the primo piatto we had 3 types of coloured raviolis reminding us of the Italian flag. This specialty of Cremona in Lombardia dates back to the 13th century and was served with 3 different delicious fillings which made it difficult for me to select the tastiest.
The secondo piatto was an Australian veal (difficult to find Italian veal here) served with fois gras, slices of truffles from Umbria and morel mushrooms signalling again the arrival of spring. The veal was cooked to perfection and so tender we didn’t need a knife to cut it. To accompany the meat we had an excellent red: a Barolo di Serralunga d’Alba.
For dessert we had a classic yet simple and refreshing panna cotta that looked and tasted wonderful, flavoured with mango, blueberry, raspberry and pineapple. To make our dessert bubblier we were served an Asti Spumanti. Finally the pasticini were accompanied by a digestif: the usual Grappa brandy and Limoncello liqueur from the gorgeous Amalfi coast made from Sorrento lemons.
After such a fabulous meal where we felt the authentic Italian atmosphere I can only repeat the essence of Italian living and as they say: Vivere, amare, ridere and mangiare bene; live, love, laugh and eat well.
I would like to thank the team from The Regency Kuwait Hotel for serving us such a delicious dinner.
Marc Guenther – General Manager
Karl Damegger – Executive Chef
Secondiano Maccari – Chef de Cuisine
Chanaka – Banquet Service Manager
Chiara Mondi – PR & Marketing Director
To keep us entertained while having dinner we had the pleasure of listening to Ms Kinga from the Ahmadi Group playing typical Italian tunes.
Last but not least a warm hand of applause to our maestro Mohamed Najia for organizing such great events!
Viva Italia, il bel paese
Vive la Chaine
Chaines South Korea
Your Excellences, Ladies and Gentlemen,
It is with gratitude and pleasure that I give tonight’s commentary.
Tonight is unique:
- First and foremost this is the first Chaines Dinner hosted by an Asian embassy in general, and at the embassy of the Republic of Korea (commonly known as South Korea) in particular.
- Second, his excellency Mr. Yoo, Yeon-Chul, is a member at the Chaines des Rotisseures.
- Third, the menu is inspired by our host country, and allow me to say, it was perfectly executed by the Hilton Resort team.
- Last but not least, the opportunity to enjoy our dinner at this venue, an architectural masterpiece. Designed by a South Korean architect, who has taken a traditional South Korean design and given it a modern twist.
Moving on to the main event…
The first course, Rice and Tapioca dumplings wrap, packed with a mix of vegetables and seasoned with ginger and garlic, and served with a sweet and sour plum sauce, was a lovely introduction to the Asian cuisine.
The chicken soup with a medley of traditional Asian mushrooms, was heavenly it had the perfect balance of flavors and seasonings, and just a little extra ginger which truly hit the spot.
The seafood salad with Kimchi, was fresh and crisp and the Kimchi, which is a fermented cabbage side dish, and is considered an essential condiment to any South Korean meal, took the salad from ordinary to extraordinary.
Incidentally, Kimchi is likely to join UNESCO’s Intangible Cultural Heritage Food List this year.
The entrée of braised beef short ribs served with a mélange of vegetables and a side of sticky rice was superb. The ribs being slow cooked for almost 5 hours then left for a day in its own sauce, for optimum absorption of all the flavors of honey, aniseed, apples, soy sauce and ginger to mention a few, then heated today, was beyond words. It didn’t even need a knife, it melted off the bone.
The dessert was Mrs. Yoo’s favorite. Quoting her: “I feel as if I’m back home”; And from back home, the pears were especially flown in to compliment the perfectly steamed red beans dumpling and the sinful oats maple crumple covered ice cream. I’d also like to note that the almond cookie shape was influenced by the design of this residence.
And finally, the cookies accompanying our coffee and tea, Yugwa, (a rice based cookie) was also specially flown in for this occasion. These cookies were light and sweet, a perfect end to a perfect meal.
Your Excellency and Mrs. Yoo, thank you for an unforgettable evening. Your hospitality and generosity overwhelmed us.
Thank you to the Hilton Resort team, headed by Mr. Ziad Tantawi, the general manager. Mr. Abdulkadir Yamout executive chef, Mr. Aruna pastry chef, Mr. Mahmoud Al Feky catering and banquet manager, and Mr. Florian Gruhl director of operations, and your team for an amazing culinary experience. A special thank you, to Mr. Mohammed Najia Bailli Delegue of the Chaines des Rotisseures for always taking us on wonderful culinary journeys through numerous countries and culinary traditions, elevating our senses and educating our pallets.
And now ladies and gentlemen, a little bit about the Republic of Korea:
- South Korea’s motto:
BENEFIT BROADLY IN THE HUMAN WORLD/ DEVOTION TO THE WELFARE OF HUMANITY.
- It was founded in 1945 with a population of almost 51 million.
- Highly urbanized at 92%, South Koreans lead a distinctive urban lifestyle, half of them live in high rises concentrated in the Seoul capital area with 25 million residents, and the world’s 6th leading global city with the 4th largest economy and the 7th most sustainable city in the world.
- Home of Hyundai/Kia, Samsung and LG. The worlds’ most innovative country in the Bloomberg Innovation Index.
- The upcoming host of the winter Olympic in 2018.
- Incidentally, Kimchi is likely to join UNESCO’s Intangible Cultural Heritage Food List this year.
- South Koreans are known to be some of the nicest and most friendly people you’ll ever meet.
- Age matters, they start from 1 not from 0 for new born, age and the elder are treated with utmost respect. when dining and drinking out it is common for the eldest to pay the bill.
- In Korea many believe your blood type reflects your personality. This philosophy is similar to people’s beliefs in horoscopes. Instead of asking your ‘sign’ some will discuss your type of blood.
Here are the general beliefs related to blood types:
· Blood type A: reserved, perfectionist, obsessive, secretive, considerate.
· Blood type B: creative, flexible, forgetful, lazy, negative reputation in Korea as “players.”
· Type AB: empathic, rational, critical, they think with their head not their heart.
· Type O : Athletic, confident, arrogant, Outgoing and passionate
National delicacies created a Belgian atmosphere at the Amassador's residencee - February 13, 2016
‘All things Belgian’ was the theme of the Bailliage’s February dinner. It was a very special event as we were guests of His Excellency Andy Detaille, Chavalier d'Honneur, Ambassador of Belgium to Kuwait and Bahrain, at his residence.
Since it was spring, asparagus had to be involved and since it was a Belgian theme, chocolate played a central role!
We were delighted by six courses prepared by the Crowne Plaza Hotel which unusually included a soup followed by a cold starter, a hot starter, an intermezzo to cleanse our taste buds making them ready for the main course and a to-die-for dessert.
Belgian delicacies were in abundance as you will see from the menu.
Cream of asparagus soup
Torched oyster with salmon, golden quail egg and Beluga caviar
Sea bass and blue mussels on a bed of shallots and fried vegetables
Lime sorbet in dark chocolate
Wagyu beef with mint flavoured cheese, vegetable mille-feuille beetroot reduction and brown fig sauce
Caramelised smooth chocolate mousse with speculoos crumble, praline cream and ginger flavoured sponge
It was a wonderful ‘Belgian’ evening spent in the Embassy’s beautifully-decorated setting. We expressed our full appreciation to Ambassador Detaille for hosting the dinner. The evening concluded with a rousing vote of thanks for the kitchen and service brigades from the Crowne Plaza Hotel.
Soumaya El Azem
Chargée de Missions
Dinner Compliments by Dr. Lina Abou Dheir German Ambassador’s Residence - March 19, 2016
Gutten Abben Good evenning
Dear Excellencies, Ladies & Gentlemen, Guests, Members of Chaine and Friends
Tonight was a very special evening; it stood in the extra efforts that were put to reflect Germany / Deutschland from Kuwait.
This started from the minute we walked on the red carpet, with welcome drinks, and canapés. Colors of the German flag reflected on the waiter’s costumes, to our dinning setting.
Here we are at an amazing outdoor dinner venue.
Each table’s centerpiece represented the Berlin Dome, home of the German Parliament lit with golden color in parallel with the German Flag.
The current Reichstag dome ………………is a glass dome, constructed on top of the rebuilt Reichstag building in Berlin. It was designed by architect Norman Foster and built to symbolize the reunification of Germany. The distinctive appearance of the dome has made it a prominent landmark in Berlin.
This was very special, and artistically baked and designed by Exec Sous Chef Wissam’s creative team.
You might have noted that each table had a flag on top of the Dome reflecting the table city name, representing the most famous cities in Germany.
The Safir Hotel and Residences - Fintas Team went an extra mile, where even the Cutlery Dining Set was “Art Deco”: This style is often characterized by rich colors, bold geometric shapes and lavish ornamentation.
The Menu itself, a very innovative piece where the NeuschwanstienSchloss………………………(castle) popped out.
I’m sure some of us have had the pleasure to visit, as it is Germany most popular landmark. It’s a must see and unique spot for Deutschland.
Just a quick piece of information: Built in 1892, a nineteenth century Romanesque revival palace, located in South West Bavaria. It was the Palace for King Ludwig 11 of Bavaria, and was opened to the public after his death 1886. It received more than 61 million visitors and was the inspiration for Walt Disney’s movie, ” Sleeping Beauty”.
We started with
Amuse Bouche meaning “ something to please the mouth “
A combination of sweet and salty taste
Macaroon infused with black olive & goat cheese, with a touch of chives, decorated with pesto
Was our Cold Starter
Layered Kohlarbi with capsicum cooked al dente to taste very fresh & crunchy, infused with balsamic, paired with Seafood Cocktail, decorated with an onion like ring made of toasted bread, sprinkled with seasonal greens, red currant chutney & horseradish dressing.
Kohlarbi is a specific family of cabbage, off white in nature, very high in vitamin C & fiber.
To warm our taste buds we had
Slow cooked Quail Breast with Quince Compote,
This combination with the coriander seed emulsion sauce infused quail stock, made it delicious.
It is worth adding that the Quince is a fruit with a unique fragrance, hinting of pineapple, guava and pears: It can fill a room with its beautiful aroma, and when cooked turns a pinkish orange colour.
The mouthwatering colorful Raspberry Sorbet Sitting on the bed of dried ice
We experienced the special effect of vigorous bubbling water and luminous flowing fog. You might have also noticed the matching colors of the German flag.
Our main Course
A plate full of rich ingredients,
Grilled Veal tenderloin, imported especially for our meal, topped with Shimeji mushrooms & thyme veal jus essence.
It is worth noting that:
Shemeji Mushrooms are native to East Asia, rich in umami, it has a savory taste, together with sweetness sourness, bitterness & saltiness,
Sitting on the side is the tasty steamed German bread pudding, called semmelkenoedle …
Very nutritious you would want more when you know the rich ingredients: Olive oil, yellow onions, parsley, eggs, nutmeg, kosher salt & black pepper.
Other rich ingredients were white asparagus, brussel sprouts, baby carrots and shallots. The “ jus essence” is a simple sauce that incorporates the deep flavor of roasted pan juices with Chef Wissam’s touch, “ thyme infusion”.
Our colorful artistically designed desert, the sculptured marzipan black forest cake, coupled with Bienenstich
Bee Sting cake is a specific German desert with a history:
One version is a bee was attached to the honey topping of the cake, and the baker who invented the cake was stung! Hence the name.
Baked with caramelized almonds filled with vanilla custard, decorated with cherry puree and assorted berries.
Last but not least
Our tables were arranged with a selection of traditional German pretzels, sunflower & white sesame crackers paired with minted Labneh dip.
Not to forget the German WATER, Gerolsteiner.
What a Wonderful Evening hosted by his Excellency Her Eugen Wolfarath and Frau Anna Maria
Our thanks go to the GM of Safir Hotel and Residences – Fintas Mr. Saif Eddin Mohammed the Leader of an amazing Team,
Ms.Stanka Karazija .Food & Beverage Manager
Executive Sous Chef WissamKasdallah and his team
I hope you enjoyed your dinner, Ich Hoffe dass Sie ihr Abendessen genossen
Viva la Chaine……………Good evnning Gutten Abben Auf Wiedersehen
Dinner Compliments by Mrs. Randa Kayello Belgium Ambassador’s Residence - February 13, 2016
Your Excellences, Ladies and Gentlemen,
I would like to start by thanking his Excellency Mr. Andy Detaille and his wife Vittoria for hosting this elegant evening, and the Crowne Plaza for catering it.
Tonight’s menu was inspired by the Host Country Belgium, the hidden gem in the culinary world. Where a restaurant converted from a church into a temple of high gastronomy in Antwerp has been named the most beautiful dining destination for 2015, (The Jane).
Tonight our tables are named after the major Belgian comics, considered the 9th art, were it has played a major role in the development of European comics alongside France. Belgium’s comic strip culture has been called by Time magazine” Europe’s richest”. Albums of the main series have been translated into dozens of languages; moreover video games, animated and action movies have been made for popular series like Tin Tin, Spirou et Fantasio, Spike and Suzy, Lucky Luke and the Smurfs, that became a worldwide success with massive merchandising.
Our first course tonight, Cream of Asparagus soup, especially picked by Mrs. Detaille, was cooked to perfection, light on the cream rich with asparagus puree and silky smooth.
The cold appetizer was a fish lover’s dream with a selection of choice jewels of the sea. The addition of quail eggs gave the perfect balance of land and sea.
The hot appetizer, a personal favorite, Seabass roll with sea scallop and blue mussel topped a shallot puree, was excellent.
The lime and mint sorbet in a dark chocolate cup, was fresh, crisp and an excellent transition to the main event.
The Wagyu beef stuffed with morel mushrooms, cheese and herbs with vegetable mille feuille was a masterpiece, both in presentation and taste. Although I prefer my steak to be cooked medium, the overcooking didn’t alter neither the taste nor the texture.
Moving on to the grand finale, I’m short of adjectives. I felt I have to dress up just to sit for such a beautiful, sublime dessert. The caramelized, smooth chocolate mousse from the finest Belgian chocolate, combined with Speculaas, a Belgian cookie, crumble, praline cremeux, soft caramel and ginger flavored sponge was beyond words. It’s a chocoholic’s dream; this dessert said it all. Thank God my dietitian wasn’t anywhere near.
Once again thank you your Excellency and Mrs. Detaille for a memorable evening.
Thank you to the Crowne Plaza Hotel, headed by Mr. Ramy Haykel – the general manager, Mr. Nabil Shawky– director of food and beverage, Mr. Ehab Mustafa director of banquet operations, Mr. Ibrhaim Al Sharif executive chef and your team for an amazing culinary experience.
A special Thank you to Mr. Mohamed Najia Bailli Delegue of the Chaines des Rotisseures for always taking us on wonderful gastronomic journeys. For constantly raising the bar, for your unwavering support to keeping the Chaines where it’s at, and for making each and every event unique
And now Ladies and Gentlemen, a little information about Belgium,
Belgium produces 220,000 tons of chocolate per year. That’s about 22 kg of chocolate per person, the home of Neuhaus who created praline chocolate, Godiva the Official purveyor to the Belgian Royal court since 1968, and hundreds of specialty shops who produce artisan chocolates to please every palate.
Brussels sprouts really do come from Belgium, and have grown in the Brussels area for over 400 years..
The longest tramway line in the world is the Belgium coast tram 68 km, which operates from the French border to the Dutch border.
Belgium makes over 800 different beers.
Belgium is also home to Europe’s oldest shopping arcades, the Galleries St Hubert in Brussels opened in 1847.
French Fries are actually Belgium.
Besix, a Belgian construction company, was one of four contracted to construct the world’s tallest building Burj Khalifa.
Delvaux is the oldest fine leather luxury goods in the world, founded in 1829 in Brussels, is the Official purveyor to the Belgian Royal Court.
Belgium you’re definitely on my bucket list.
Dinner Compliments by Dr. Linda Fouke Jumeirah Messilah Hotel, December 12, 2015
From Adelaide to Wombat and Perth to Sidney, we dined tonight on a 6- course meal that was creatively concocted by the culinary team lead by Executive Chef Christopher Curtis. Chris has only been in Kuwait just under 3 years - coming most recently from Dubai where he was at the Madinat Jumeriah and Jumeriah Emirates Towers. Chris and his team wanted a menu that would reflect the down to earth bounty of foods from his native Australia. This menu highlighted the renowned quality of Australian lamb and beef and, as you saw, this creative culinary team had fun with the dessert! Surely Crocodile Dundee never ate as exquisite a meal as we had tonight.
The presentation tonight is like that from an artist in his studio, holding his palette aloft with his choice of colors, textures and ingredients and brushes of whisks, spatulas and piping bags to apply strokes both bold and delicate to his canvas, that is, the multitude and variety of plates from the Jumeriah BH.
1. Our 1st work of art, Clams Champagne Sabayon presented a petite clam on a salt crust, with a delicate sauce. The clams were sourced locally and the Sturia Caviar was precisely placed as if small black pearls, adorned with a garnish of confit shallot, apple blossom, and micro cress. With a dollop of foam whisked to perfection. This dish was the perfect teaser for what came next:
Open Duck Ravioli / Caramelized Cep's / Parsley Sponge / Chioggia Beetroot / Lemon Grass Foam / Tahoon Cress
2. Following our delicate and tasty miniature mollusk, we were visually delighted with the presentation of open ravioli with wild mushroom, individual sprigs of Chioggia beetroot, pungent watercress and light and airy parsley sponge mingled with lemon grass foam. All of this anointed with a delicious duck consommé which the savvy service crew served separately.
Sous Vide of Australian Lamb
Coriander and Chili Crust / Lamb Loin Croquette / Green Pea Puree / Pickled of Root Vegetable / Caramelized Endive / Artichoke purée / Natural Lamb Jus
3. Our next creative course was the Coriander and Chili encrusted Australian Lamb prepared Sous Vide. As Chris told me, in preparing this dish there is no room for error! Sous vide, 'under vacuum,' where the meat is seared and slowly poached in a vacuum sealed bag at low temperatures to retain the flavor and tender texture. The vegetables carefully plated were imported from Holland and other parts of Europe. The green pea puree artistically applied with drops of jus d' agneau.
Both livestock we experienced tonight – the lamb and the beef – came to Australia with the 1st colonists in the 18th century. In 1797 the first merino sheep (for wool production) arrived with the first fleet of settlers and they've been shearing ever since!
Foie Gras Cracker / Pecorino Provençale / Seasonal Mini Vegetable / Topinambour Mousseline / Toss Wild Mushroom / Truffle and Buratta Jus
4. Just when you thought it could not get any better, we are served top of the line Waygu Queensland chateaubriand beef! This - another palette for our palates arranged with colorful and tasteful mouthwatering morsels! Who can forget the artichoke puree upon which tender beef, Heirloom cauliflower, carrot, spring onion, sit on a "dish" of butternut pumpkin and topped with the Pecorino Provençale, a tomato concasse where the tomatoes are peeled, seeded chopped and mixed with pungent pecorino cheese. Atop this tower of tastiness a crisp foie gras cracker and to the side a swath of sautéed mushrooms flavored with truffle and Buratta – a delicate mozzarella and cream sauce.
5. After feasting our eyes and stomachs on that wonderful Waygu , we are treated with an Exotic tropical fruit emulsion of Mango / dragonfruit / Cantaloupe balls fancifully topped with cress. It is the perfect entremets before the grand finale.
Almond sponge / Caramelia cremeux / Raspberry jelly / Coconut rocks /Dulce ganache / Violet crumble, tin tam garden
And that is – a "confused" Lamington.
There is nothing more Australian than a Lamington, something every Aussie mother makes. Indeed, there would be no Tea Time Down Under if there were no Lamington. Why is this dessert confused? It's confused because it looks nothing like a traditional lamington but tastes exactly like it. It has all the elements of the real thing but it was created completely different with modern techniques. Like the coconut rock crumble on top which is normally powdered coconut that totally coats the cake.
This dessert also has some famous Australian sweets which everyone loves. Chris and Executive Pastry Chef Hindika made them into stones as part of a tim tam garden with violet crumble. If you gave this to an Australian and told them it was Lamington they would look at you as if you're totally confused. But after they had a taste they would smile!
Layers of almond sponge cake, caramel cream, raspberry jelly, framed by a hand sculpted chocolate opera house would fill Jorn Utzon, the architect of the Sidney Opera House, with glee. To carry the Sydney Harbor theme further we have the rocky coastline represented in wonderful Crunchy bites of dulcy chocolate and milk chocolate.
Have you ever beheld a more imaginative dessert? Truly a marvel! We crave one more bite, please!
Our delectable delightful dinner Down Under required over 40 chefs to prepare, plate and garnish each of the 120 plates that were served tonight. X 6 courses that is over 700 dishes! Which, alas, the clean-up brigade has to take care of.
Our gourmet gastronomic experience this evening is truly the representation of what Aristotle said centuries ago – "the whole is greater than the sum of its parts." Indeed each plate placed before us was the result of exceptional synergy, collaboration and leadership in that kitchen. Let us congratulate Jumeriah's entire team for creating such masterpieces as we consumed tonight! Special Thanks to:
General Manager, Hakan Petek
Director of Food and Beverage, Mohd Al Khatib
Executive Chef, Chris Curtis
Chef de Cuisine, Eka Mochamad
Executive Pastry Chef, Hindika Ravomageeky
Head of the Service: Taimour al Salaiteh
The Entire Team of Jumeriah Messilah Beach Hotel and our And Mohamed Najia, our beloved bailiee, without whom these festive occasions would not be possible.
Finally, let us be grateful for our blessings of friends, family and freedom. As we draw the year to a close this month, may we remember in the spirit of the season – Peace on Earth and Goodwill to All.
Viva la Chaine!!!
Dinner Compliments by Dr. Stacey Al Ghawas US Ambassador's Residence November 21, 2015
(Mr. Mohamed Najia invites the Chef and Kitchen Brigade into the room before I start)
Dear Excellencies, US Ambassador Douglas Silliman & Catherine Silliman, Friends and Members of the Chaine,
In a few days, on Thursday, November 26th, Americans will be celebrating Thanksgiving, the quintessential harvest meal commemorated each Autumn season. Tonight, we are giving thanks to HE Douglas Silliman and his wife, Catherine for their generosity in hosting a special harvest meal in Kuwait for our Chaine Dinner this month.
We are privileged to be here together in the spirit of the Chaine: good company, good spirits and great food.
Tonight we dined on a four course meal that was designed by the Executive Chef of the Hilton Hotel and Resort, Chef AbdulKader Yamout. Our chef envisioned a feast that was delicious and delicate –but, we only experienced the part that showed up on our plates and our palates.
Behind the scenes, over 35 people with years of training and experience labored over days to prepare this sumptuous meal. Following Abdulkader’s vision for the meal, his leadership and precision teamwork enabled it to become a reality on our table.
Our first course, the beetroot carpaccio began its voyage to our plates yesterday. The chefs in the salad kitchen created the filo pastry stuffed with herbed feta cheese, a tangy delight. They delicately sliced and layered the beets with Aspic infused with lemon grass and aromatic limes leaves and prepared the sauces we enjoyed tonight.
From the Abdally farms to your table tonight, the baby greens with delicious roasted cherry tomatoes were as fresh as could be. To get this beautiful dish before you, ten chefs worked on each plate, garnishing and drizzling the salad with the wild berry vinaigrette minutes before serving.
Following our fresh and tangy salad was the rich, warm Butternut squash soup. I loved the vanilla seedpod froth – prepared like a cappuccino foam. The richness of the roasted sliced almonds and the diced poached pears - marinated in balsamic vinegar infused with cinnamon and cloves - balanced out the natural sweetness of the squash and was amazing. It takes a chef like AbdulKader, with over 35 years of experience to create the depth of flavors found in this dish.
Our main course of Angus Beef tenderloin and Kuwaiti jumbo shrimp was a delicious surf and turf entrée. It may look simple on the plate, but it is deeply complex. Angus beef is used because of its delicate marbling, meaning that you can cook it past medium rare and it will remain succulent. We always want more sauce and the demi-glace itself took 24 hours to make from beef bones and vegetables, garlic, tomato, leaks and thyme. Garnished with porcini mushroom sauce, it was a rich taste sensation.
The tricolor gratin potatoes, like a sunset on our plates, thinly sliced layers of purple potatoes, sweet and white potatoes baked and smothered in cheese sauce was a mini project on its own. The poached baby vegetables, tied into tiny bundles looked like they belonged in a doll house. I loved the shrimp, fresh from Kuwaiti Gulf, plump and tender, matched with an amazing beurre blanc seasoned with orange zest.
To get this dish prepared took several days and each portion of fillet was grilled but left rare, individually sealed, the vegetables and shrimp portioned and placed in a professional combi oven that was moved from the Hilton to His Excellency’s home for this event. This Rolls Royce of an oven combines heat and humidity to ensure exact cooking and serving temperatures.
The meal then requires over ten chefs to plate and garnish each of the 80 plates that we had the privilege of eating. We are thankful for the deep experience and the teamwork it takes behind the scenes to create this delicious meal for us.
Last, but not least was desert! There is nothing more American than apple pie! A crescent of fresh berries framed the star shaped pastry crust which proudly held a baked apple, hallowed out and filled with syrup-infused chestnuts and walnuts, topped with vanilla bean and pumpkin pie spiced ice-cream. Drizzled with caramel sauce, it’s the embodiment of Fall with its richness of colors and flavors invoking the changing of the seasons, the celebration of harvest, the triumph of Autumn.
As we celebrate being here together among good friends, safe and satiated, let us give thanks for our blessings. Let us rejoice that we have shared this meal, prepared by the Hilton’s expert Executive chef Mr. AbdulQader Yamout and Pastry Chef Aruna and the talented kitchen brigade, who have dedicated their lives to creating such masterpieces!
Thanks to Mr. Florian Gruhl, Director of Operations, Mr. Mahmoud El-Feky, Events and Conference Manager and Mr. Ziad Tantawi, the Hilton General Manager for organizing this lovely event!
And of course, last but not least, let us join in a toast to Mr. Mohamed Najia, Baili Delegue De La Chaine in Kuwait, whose tireless support of our Chaine des Rotisseurs makes all of this possible.
Viva la Chaine!
Chaine history of the Induction speech Mr. Zaher Al Munajjed on 10th October 2015
In 1248, over 750 years ago, the Chaîne des Rôtisseurs was established by King Louis the IX of France at an exclusive professional guild and it was called then the Guild of the Goose Roast Masters (les Oyers).
Over the years, the activities and privileges of the guild were extended to include other kinds of meat like poultry, venison and lamb and in 1509 its name changed to the Rôtisseurs.
In 1610 King Louis the XIII granted it a Royal Charter at its own coat of arms.
The original coat of arms consisted of two crossed turning spits and four larding needles, surrounded by flames of the hearth on a shield.
Following that and for more than 4 centuries the brotherhood of the Rôtisseurs cultivated and developed culinary art and the high standards of professionalism and quality befitting the splendors of the French Royal table.
In 1793 during the French revolution the guild system was disbanded and the chaîne des rôtisseurs disappeared for almost a 150 years.
In 1950 and after being forgotten for many years a group of enlightened gastronomes including Dr. Auguste Becart, Jean Valby “Prince” Curnonsky (elected Prince of Gastronomes*), and chefs Louis Giraudon resurrected the society and created La Confrerie de la Chaîne des Rôtisseurs.
Today the Chaîne des Rôtisseurs is in 85 countries and has over 25,000 members worldwide, it joins food professionals and non professionals around the pleasures of the table fostering the spirit of togetherness and enhancing the joy of life.
Chaine Appreciation speech Mr. Zaher Al Munajjed during master induction ceremony on 10th October at Symphony Style Hotel
Every chaine dinner owes its success to a group of food professionals willing to invest their creativity, technique and hard work to craft the precious gastronomical moments the chaine offers.
The Symphonie Hotel has offered us exceptional cuisine worthy of a special journey the quality of ingredients was outstanding, mastery of cooking technique is superb, every plate had personality and consistency
The confit and foie gras tian was a real delicacy… The presentation colorful ….it was rich unctuous and delicate , and the pairing with the fig chutney and the crunchy pear and celery salad was a success….
The scallops were little jewels, light tender and fresh, the presentation was beautifully minimalistic, the sofness of the scallops contrasted wonderfully with the crispness of the almond crust and was very nicely enhanced by the pumpkin puree
The green apple sorbet was a welcome splash of freshness…for some a lityle too sweet
The main dishThe veal loin was a classic,
it was lean tender and moist..and cooked to perfection……the pomegranate jus a delicious addition….the potato layers a treat.
As the grand finale……the white chocolate sphere
It was such a sinful pleasure melting in the mouth….
What fire works of tastes and colors every body loved it at my table.
Ladies and gentelmen
Tonight’s dinner was a delight that does not come easy
This dinner has required tradition and finesse, passion and creativity, know how, & technique, hards work and coordination…over 100 people between kitchen brigades and service brigades have toiled to provide us with this special moment.
Thank you to all
And special thx
Thank you to GM peter shuller
Executive chef Jonathan spiteri
Director fb yamen tehfeh
Senior banquet operation mohammad kassem
Please join me in applauding
Chaine Gala Dinner / Saturday, September 22, 2012 / Holiday-Inn Salmiya, Al-Danah Ballroom.
TRUFFLES / The Diamond of the Kitchen
Your Excellencies , Ladies & Gentlemen , Good evening
Tonight’s dinner theme was “Truffles”. And , as our Chef called it “The Diamond of the Kitchen” Now I know , Chef , if your wife asks for a Diamond , what would she get ???
Anyway , thank you Chef for such a radiant dinner . looks like everybody enjoyed it . it shows on their glowing faces !
Before we start , let me give you some hints that I learned about Truffles. Truffles are fungus that grow next to Oak trees and Hazel trees , traditionally in regions of France like Perigord ( or rather Dordogne), and in Italy as well as in Spain. They are formed 20 cm on top of the soil and are harvested manually after using dogs to detect their presence by the perfume they emit once matured, which normally occurs in the winter months of December January and February .
However , Truffles of various other kinds grow in north and south of the U.S. , in Australia , as well as in North Africa’s desert – I was told that some of the Pharaonic drawings in upper Egypt show Truffles – which I intend to investigate during my next visit home. After all, It’s possible that I have inherited my gourmet habits from Granpa Ramses . Given their seasonal harvest and difficult hunting , Truffles have always been an expensive delicacy at the dinner tables of great nobles in Europe .
However , Black Truffles is also produced in China , and like everything Chinese , at a bountiful growth . Therefore , often exported to the West as a cheaper quality and price substitute. But don’t worry , the Truffles we ate was imported from Tuscany in Italy , worthy of great nobles at our dinner table tonight.
Getting back to our Dinner-Menu
We started with a Cappucino of Mushrooms : a mixture of Shitaki , black mushroom, and bottom mushroom , with a fresh Parmesan foam composed of fresh milk, Parmesan cheese , salt , pepper , and Truffle oil. The Truffle emulsion in the soup and on top of the foam added a wonderful taste. A better taste could have been obtained if you had stirred all ingredients together before drinking the soup.
The second entrée was the Trio brioche foie gras.
But in the meantime we enjoyed an exclusive Bread basket on the table together with a Truffled olive oil dip. The beauty of Truffle is both its taste and aroma.
The colorful Trio-brioche foie gras at first sight competed with Fauchon ’s Macarons. Red , Yellow , and Orange. All natural ingredients . The red was from beetroot topped with Cress salad enhanced with white Truffle olive dressing .The yellow from saffron , topped with Goat cheese , and the orange from cumquat topped with caramelized red cabagge.
Then came the fish-dish. The Kuwaiti Pomfret fillet ( Zubaidi ) was indeed a daring , however highly successful attempt by the Chef as it was just natural and cooked to perfection without any dressing . The Duo Truffled Lobster Tortellini dressed with saffron pepperoni sauce and Salvina olive oil together with roasted garlic spreaded all over the plate was both colorful and exquisite. Also on the side were baby beetroot , baby chives , and baby zucchini which added a lovely garniture.
To exit the fish taste , the Passion fruit Sorbet was introduced with a Mojito-mint flavored syrup , on a plate that’s similar to the first soup plate as a sign for a restart.
Now comes the main dish , Medalion of Fallow Deer drizzled with a mushroom truffled sauce and a sour cherry froth…. I have a confession to make at this moment : before today , I was not so fond of Deer-meat , but the way the Chef prepared it today has promoted Deer-meat to the top of my preference list. Obviously we had it the right way tonight . Thank you Chef . Not to forget the garniture on the side of the Deer: the sculted baby vegetables , the Cress and the Truffle infused mashed potatoes.
The Chef-pastry came up with the Trilogy of Black truffle tiramisu , Mascarpone ice cream on espresso biscuits with berries , and a Rose crème brulee. A trio combination permitting enjoyment of each taste exclusively or combining with one another , really delighting our taste buds.
Last but not least was the Mignardise – what a surprise ? Aren’t these chocolate truffles the Truffles we know ?? but what a creative idea after all ? bringing together our own perception of chocolate truffles with the reality of real wild truffles growing next to a big Oak tree . kitchen Artist Nuwan : chapeau ! your artistical touches were observed from the very beginning of the dinner in the presentation of each and every dish .
Your Excellencies , ladies & gentlemen , guests and colleagues of the Chaine , I salute the Holiday Inn team starting with the General Manager , Mr. Pierre Merhej , Mr. Simon Slim , Food and Beverage Manager , Executive Chef Kassem Al Ashek ( good job ), Hussein el Sayed executive sous chef , Pastry Chef Denish , Garde Manger Chef Sampat, and Kitchen Artist Nuwan . Also my appreciation goes to the service brigade , Mr. Naiim and Mr. Adel , F&B Service operation mgrs , Mr. Ahmed & Basel , and Mr. Kumar chef steward.
My thanks are also extended to our Pianist Mrs Anastasia who has added an enjoyable atmosphere to our dinner tonight.
One cannot leave without commenting on the overall atmosphere where our dinner took place tonight : The black & white decoration of the room enhanced with the white carpet that was not originally part of the room , intercepted by colorful dishes at each course . The serving of white and red wine throughout the dinner , had it been real , may have interacted more positively with the Piano themes
Thanks everybody for such an unforgettable evening
Remarks by H.E. Enrico Granara, Ambassador of Italy to Kuwait at the end of the Gala Evening held by the Chaine of Rotisseurs ‘ Kuwait Chapter, at the Atlantic Restaurant, Marina Hotel, Kuwait. March 12th 2011.
Greetings. The tasting made a week ago gave us the opportunity to have a full understanding of the intentions of the Chef and the techniques used in the preparation of the meal.
What is the culinary theme of the evening ?
We don’t really know whether this was intentional, but when chef Maher Assad told us it was all about celebrating the colors of Italy, we immediately associated this tribute to the 150th Anniversary of Italian Unity. The Anniversary falls exactly on March 17th, 2011, as it was on March 17th 1861that the Kingdom of Italy, under the Savoy Royal House, the previous King of Sardinia and Piedmont (and Savoy) was officially proclaimed in front of its first Parliament in Turin. So Turin was the first political capital of unified Italy, then it was moved to Florence about 5 years later and then to Rome in 1870, ending the rule of the Popes as territorial monarchs.
This quick reference to history has a lot to do with the nature of the Italian cuisine, the current one, from North to South, East and West. In other words it is a multi-regional cuisine across the board. Someone called it a Federal Cuisine. Why Federal? Well, because there is a lot of talk going on in Italy now, regarding the future reform of the State and Government in a more federal shape, like in Germany, for example. While still waiting for that kind of reform from their Parliament, the Italians have set their priorities a long time ago, by adopting the most popular plates of other regions and making them a permanent part of their daily diet. This is why you can find a very good Mozzarella ‘’caprese’’ in Northern Italy and a good Carpaccio with Parmigiano in the South. You can also find a good Sardinian Bottarga all along the Roman coastal restaurants and a good Genoese Pesto almost everywhere.
So, to reply to the 2nd question on – how was this decided and achieved – this is the second idea that inspired our chef tonight, and that is to combine Southern, Central and Northern Italian flavors in his own way, which we found quite enticing and stimulating. We also now that Chef Maher has had a not so distant direct working experience in Italy, Milan and the Adriatic Coast, where he was able to refine his techniques, as far as the Italian recipes are concerned.
As for the 3rd question: Are there any special techniques used? I would like the chef to tell us directly how he prepared the Risotto, which, in our view, is the most refined and interesting plate this evening.
As for the 4th question: Is there special food being brought into Kuwait for this occasion? The answer is: almost everything was brought directly from Italy. All the ingredients named hereafter were imported for this occasion.
Now a quick look at the 7 course of tonight’s menu: the ‘’amuse bouche ‘’– or stuzzichino – the home-made ravioli with a touch of gorgonzola. As you know, Gorgonzola is a very savory cheese from a place by the same name, in the hinterland of Milan. Worth noticing that Gorgonzola was the favorite food, a sort of addiction, for a British writer, Anthony Burgess, the author of the ‘’Clockwork Orange’’ novel, which inspired the famous 1970s movie by Stanley Kubrik.
Now, an off the record suggestion: for those who enjoy it, just pour some olive oil on your gorgonzola, then smash it with your fork and spread it on a piece of bread… and the you let me know.
Without indulging too much on this highly caloric cheese, let’s move to the red Carpaccio (reference in brochure). Which we rated as true delicacy by the Chef, who was helped by the high quality of the meat.
The Sorbetto is also very Italian in its ingredients. At the same time it is the product of a fusion including the Italian berries, the lime (imported in pulp by Italy though lime is not grown in Europe except in small quantities in the Spanish Canary islands or in some Dutch controlled islands in the Caribbean). This remarkable sorbet was topped by a genuinely Italian Limoncello syrup. I would encourage the chef to replicate this nice creation in any future culinary event.
Now the Risotto coi tartufi all’olio di tartufi, rosmarino and parmigiano. The risotto, as you know, is part of the Po Valley tradition. South of the Apennines Mountain Range dividing Emilia-Romagna and Tuscany, the Risotto is not really the pride of the central and southern cuisine. Still, there are notable exceptions everywhere. This is to say that the real place for Risotto is Lombardy starting with its two food capitals: Milano and Mantova. The chef used a very good brand of Arborio Semifino, cooked it for 20 minutes, using his 5 senses. He will tell us what he means by that.
Now the Fish Plate: an effort was made here to make more Mediterranean therefore more Italian a fish plate visibly coming from another sea. The chef used all his available tools to do it: a marinated sauce based on aromatic olive oil, thyme, oregano and rosmarino. Then he added a touch of roasted garlic and some home-dried pomodorini. The result is quite remarkable.
Now, the Cheese plate, dominated by the Fontina, a pre-alpine or alpine cheese, therefore a northern Italian cheese. We were lucky to have a taste of it at the end of the fresh season in Kuwait, as we normally associate the taste of Fontina to winter, snow and chimney fire. The goat cheese accompanying it is coming from the Bologna area, the chef told me.
Dessert: again, this is a personal creation of our chef tonight. Departing from the standard notion of Tiramisu he thought it would be a good idea using the mascarpone in a different way, adding some fresh thyme. A very original result, with an eastern Mediterranean touch, since the thyme is not widely used in the Italian cuisine: you will be able to find it in Florence when you order your Ribollita (the queen of all vegetable soups) as well as in some other recipes. Thyme should be used more in our daily recipes at home.
Finally, a comment on the setting and ambiance (including but not limited to the service brigade), decorative touches and music. I would like to congratulate the Marina Hotel General Manager, Mr Nabil Abboud, for the elegant setting, the Tognana original dishes, the impeccable service, the beautiful Armani flowers at the center of each table. Concerning the music, I would like you to get in touch with my staff at the Embassy, to share a more updated compilation, more in tune to what the Italians are listening nowadays.
Also on behalf of my wife, Federica, my sincerest congratulations, Thank you.
In essence, the critique is regarded as an opportunity for members to gain an appreciation of the planning and execution of the meal, including particular culinary skills, employed by the Chef. The GM, Chef, F&B Director, other hotel management that is appropriate, and the service & kitchen brigades, will join us before the critique when Bailli Delegue, Mohammed Najia or the Committee Member officiating the dinner, come to the podium. Announcements made by Bailli Delegue, Mohammed Najia or the Member officiating the dinner.
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