Compliments

Press release

  • Dinner compliments by Mrs. Amal Abou Khater at Australian Ambassador Residence February 17, 2024

    Good evening, everyone. Before I begin, allow me to express my sincere appreciation to Mrs. Ambassador and Mr. Najia for orchestrating this splendid dinner and entrusting me with the role of food critic for this distinguished event.
    Thank you, Mrs. Ambassador.
    Thank you, Mr. Najia.

    From the outset of the evening, as we stepped into this beautiful garden, where tables stood inviting, with flower arrangements displaying their hues and striking colors, it was obvious that we were in for an unforgettable journey.

    A journey, that Chef Thierry and his team at the Four Seasons, had conjured by weaving culinary excellence with cultural insight making a splendid representation of Australia, a land of diverse landscapes and rich cultural heritage.

    Our journey started with a bouquet of Canapes, carefully crafted to present us a vibrant tapestry of flavors capturing traditional, Asian-inspired and nouvelle cuisine tastes.

    It was as if we were sampling delicious bites at Sydney Harbor.

    • Our first rendezvous with Australian culinary specialties, was the Vegemite on toast. One can immediately sense the complexity of the flavor which was packed with umami.
    • Vegemite is an iconic Australian food crafted from yeast. But Chef Thierry was successful in taming the yeasty condensed flavor, softly introducing us to our first cultural touch point with Australia’s cuisine.
    • Then the Chiko roll and the Dagwood Dog… two other iconic snacks transformed into elegant presentations. The Chiko Roll is a portable snack for Australians to enjoy without the need for cutlery.
    • The Dagwood Dog is yet another Australian street food specialty. An enjoyable delight without fuss at any outdoor (or outback!!!) events. An American would just simply say “it is a hot dog on a skewer”, but an Aussie would dismiss such a description and would answer “no, it is a juicy sausage fried to golden perfection to create a thick, crispy exterior and beneath the golden armor lies a savory surprise: a succulent hot dog.
    • The Dim Sim canape …a delightful burst of flavor wrapped in delicate pastry skin. Dim Sim, is affectionally called “dimmy” in Australia, and traces its roots to Melbourne Chinatown.
    • Then the succulent prawns seared just right, deliciously wrapped with fresh avocado. A typical sophisticated bite in places like Sydney’s Darling Square, or Melbourne’s Richmond food scenes.

    On to the FIRST COURSE,

    With The Rainforest Salad … what a captivating medley of colors and flavors. Like an orchestra, in Sydney’s Opera House, ingredients harmonized seamlessly with each other, creating a delightful symphony of flavors and textures.

    Beach

    The Yellowtail carpaccio with leche de tigre sauce was a brilliant fusion of cuisines, harmonizing the flavor and texture of raw fish with the zesty and spicy sauce.

    Imagine savoring this carpaccio at a seaside restaurant, with breathtaking views of Bondi or Bronte beach in Sydney.

    Now with the MAIN COURSE

    Starting with the Reef

    An exquisite fusion of Australian cuisines, presenting a seared seabass adorned with a vivid red hue, zesty rosella sauce.

    This would be a dish to savor while visiting the culinary districts of the Australian Gold Coast.

    Oh !! The Paddock

    What a sublime showcase of Australian Wagyu beef which was expertly seared, resulting in a marbled texture with a melt-in-your-mouth sensation.

    Tasmanian pepper berry enhanced the natural flavor of the beef while adding a hint of spice and a floral aroma.

    Moving on to the DESSERT

    Uluru

    At first glance, we are presented with a mysterious, earth-colored dome. I bet, we all wanted to immediately crack it open and discover what it’s hidden under. A strange name, Uluru, one may wonder if it is a landmark somewhere in the desert of Australia. Yes, it is.

    Uluru is an ancient monolith dating over some 500 million years, considered sacred by the Australian Aboriginals. It is also known to be the keeper of stories and the guardian of dreams

    CONCLUSION

    This evening was indeed a culinary voyage into the land of Australia. Each element of this evening reflected a part of it.

    Perhaps the Uluru dessert somehow metaphorically described our aspirations towards Australia. The dessert was shrouded with mystery and intrigue. Isn’t it Australia mysterious to us, in its remoteness?

    As we cracked the delicate chocolate shell, an amazing and colorful scene appeared. It captured us. I believe Australia is similar, ready to be cracked, visited and discovered.

    Tonight’s event was indeed a fleeting trip to Australia and back.

    The musical ambiance Jazz Duo added a sprinkle of magical delight and was as wonderful and delicious as the food we had.

    Thank you all and welcome to Australia!!

    Please join us in extending our warmly gratitude and thanks to:

    • Mr. Martin Kipping – Four Seasons’ General Manager
    • Mr. Abdullatif Kabbara Four Seasons’ Director F&B
    • Mr. Thierry Papillier – the Executive Chef
    • Mr. Mamdouh Samir: Associate Director of catering
    • Mr. Ratheesh Maruthiyodan: Outside Catering Manager
    • Mr. Ed and Kevin: Jazz Duo

    Thank you, Mrs. Ambassador for hosting us at your lovely Residency

    Thank you, Mr. Najia for your endless energy and commitment to the Chaine.

    Vive la Chaine.

  • Dinner Compliments by Mrs. Soumaya El Azem at Germany Ambassador Residence October 14, 2023

    Good evening, Ladies and Gentleman your Excellency, fellow Gourmets

    What a wonderful celebration of autumn and harvest time we had tonight. Ambassador Freiherr von Reibnitz and his wife Ina aspired to give us the delightfulness of experiencing October with all it signifies, bountiful acres, hunting season, vivid colors, and the gathering of ripe crops.

    A mission that the team of the Regency Hotel managed so well in every aspect, bringing all the flavors and shades of fall onto our table, speaking of tables, here we had our first eye catcher, the beautiful decorated wooden tables, setting the perfect ambiance for an Autumn seasoned dinner.

    Our amuse bouche, the tasty introduction to one of the plenty crops fall has to offer, Parsnips prepared in three ways, roasted, chipped, and pureed, accompanied by truffle, truffle emulsion and a white tender nugget of bay scallop. Although parsnips is small plant it has tremendous health values, it’s an anti inflammatory, antimicrobial, it has anti- cancer properties and is a blood pressure regulator, as well as an excellent source of many important nutrients.

    Our starter; The foie gras, a deliciously prepared terrine with the crunch of walnuts, gingerbread powder, the sweetness of the figs and fig chutney. Walnuts and figs yet another characteristic of the rich autumn gathers.

    Foie gras originally discovered by the Egyptians, observing that the livers of geese and ducks enlarge when consuming large amounts before migration, the Egyptians replicated the process feeding them figs to produce a fattened liver. Nowaday the fig liver is called the French name foie gras, literally meaning the fat liver.

    Our hot starter; Autumn infused sea bass with a pumpkin, barley risotto in fennel sauce topped with chanterelles, a real autumn delight. While in addition to the delectable taste the benefits in barley are surprising, lowering cholesterol and insulin levels, also called a cleaner that detoxifies, while the Fennel can contribute to strength and bone structure and ladies it’s furthermore a good source of collagen and vitamin C supporting the skin structure.

    Chanterelles the most popular wild edible luxury cousin of the mushroom, infamously difficult to cultivate, and like truffles very unique in their aroma and due to the scarcity of the yield, they are sold by Grams.

    Our Sorbet of Quince and Pomegranate, an exquisite blend of refreshing flavors, the lovely texture came from small chunks of quince, the forgotten fruit, hence an appropriate choice as a fall produce reviving the usage of this fruit known since ancient times and used in folk medicine for decades. In combination with the pomegranate, both aromas expanded to a mouthwatering umami level.

    Our main course, a story of itself, a dish full of intense tastes, well balancing the savors of venison, the sweetness of the grand veneur, the sauerkraut, the natural tastes of the root vegetables, just a superb plate. Preparations started a week ago to ferment the red cabbage, the grand veneur alone needs three days to cook, with the happiness ingredients of chocolate, and blackberry jelly. I would also like to mention salsify; in German we name it Black Root, Schwarzwurzel, black from the outside, very white inside, sometimes also called the asparagus of the poor. Keeping the season in mind we also had a baby orange beetroot, a purple carrot, potatoes, and the star of the dish, the venison, belonging to fall as well, since hunting period starts in October. Humans practiced deer hunting for thousands of years, as many cave paintings show, nowadays hunting is regulated in most countries to be more animal friendly and game meat is also farmed.

    Last but not least our desert, a refined, redesigned, black forest styled, roasted plum guglhupf, a combination of 3 different famous German deserts, the plum tart, the black forest and the soft guglhupf, all brought to a scrumptious harmony, while the vanilla quark, in Arabic an equivalent to Labneh, giving it the finishing balancing touch.

    Our compliments and appreciation for the magnificent execution of this autumn dinner, a fantastic accomplishment integrating such abundance of components, ingredients, tastes, and not to forget colors, we literally cleaned and polished our dishes, keeping only the decoration and enamel.

    Real special thanks to our hosts for receiving us in their residence,
    HE. Hans Freiherr von Reibnitz and Ina von Reibnitz, And special thanks to the Regency Hotel and it’s executive team
    Mr. Urs Solenthaler General Manager of the Regency Hotel Mr. Philippe Bossert Executive Head Chef
    Mr. Olivier Ramos Executive Asst. Manager Food & Beverage
    Mr. Hussein Musselmani Executive Sous Chef
    Mr. Chanaka Wickramasinghe F& B Manager
    And the whole Kitchen and service Brigade, well done and Vive la Chaine.

  • Dinner compliments by Dr. Bahareh Azizi at Italy Ambassador Residence June 7, 2023

    Good evening your Excellencies and fellow Chaine members.

    Your Excellency, Ambassador Carlo Baldocci, and Mrs. Cristina Turchetti, thank you for inviting us to your home for such an exquisite and magnificent culinary experience.

    I think it is safe to say that for many of us Italy is synonymous with rich culture, vast history, and passionate people, but more often than not, with food. Its inspiring and delicious cuisine involves the combination of the richness and resources of the land, mixed in with the delightful recipes, spices and influences that marry all our different senses together. When you say Italian food, you know that the food is bound to entice your palate, by its unique complex flavors of simple ingredients, further heightened by the essence of family and friendship.

    I know that many of us have traveled to Italy and have had divine experiences with Italian cuisine, but I thought I would indulge us with some historical facts about Italian food. It makes sense that the culinary history of the country dates back to Roman Empire over 2000 years ago, and the first Italian cookbook is from the first century B.C, indicating the importance of food in society.

    The fall of the Roman Empire led to the structure of the country changing to individually governed states, with their own separate and distinctive identities and traditions, leading to the diversity of food. For example, the north was known for Tuscan beef, whereas truffles originated in Marches, located in the central part of the country. The south of Italy is credited for producing mozzarella and provolone cheese. Tortellini comes from Bologna, pesto from Genova, pizza from Naples and Milan is famous for its risotto, because the Mediterranean climate is conducive to growing short and medium grained rice.

    And there were external influences on Italian cuisine, even very early on, starting with the absorption of ancient Greek cookery. With Roman ships bringing back wheat, fine spices and other exotic ingredients, the Italians added new imports to their kitchens, some coming from even as far as China. The influence of Arab cuisine can be found in Sicily, through ingredients such as marzipan and couscous.

    There are also differences in the common foods, such as bread and pasta. The southern part of the country prefers al dente pasta, while the north is akin to consuming soft egg noodles. Tuscan bread is made with no salt because the city state of Pisa had control over salt trade and, in 1100, imposed a tax on salt. Florence refused to pay for it, leading to the creation of the salt-less Tuscan bread, which is quite delicious.

    And tonight, thanks to the culinary vision and talent of Michelin star Chef Claudio Sadler, I think that you will all agree that we were able to experience exceptional, unique, and memorable dishes, from different parts of the country. Now most of us may understand the way Michelin stars are awarded: one star is awarded to restaurants using top quality ingredients and of consistently high standard. However, two stars are awarded when the personality and talent of the chef are evident in the dishes; their food is refined and inspired. And this evening, we were truly inspired by Chef Sadler’s vision of combining traditional and novel tastes to create excellence.

    We started with an amuse bouche, inspired by the Chef’s home town of Piedmont, which combined the wonderful and vibrant taste of tuna tartare with the intense and traditional aroma of Piedmontese Hazelnuts, which are considered the most prized variety of hazelnuts. The combination of tuna, the wonderful sauce, and delicate flavor of the hazelnuts led to a beautiful dish.

    We then moved to the wonderful Tatin di cipolla rossa and the pecorino cheese, which was traditionally produced in the countryside around Rome and was used historically for feeding Roman legions. We were immediately taken by the smell and elegance of the dish. The deliciously rich red onion and pastry with wonderful tangy and sweet tastes, combined with the depth and earthy flavors of the cheese, provided a perfect balance of a savory and decadent appetizer.

    For the third dish, we ventured to the north and tasted the delights of the area. Risotto was combined with the nutty and rich Grana Padano, a cheese also from the northern part of the country. The creaminess of the risotto, cheese and the brightness and sweetness of the peas, also from the north, were so wonderfully put together allowing us to taste and experience the beauty and exoticness of the region.

    The main course was simply elegant and rich. The delicate and tender veal cheeks, which were slowly cooked for 15 hours, with the stunning taste of the black truffles, provided a sumptuous and vibrant dish that melted in your mouth. Veal, which is a common staple in Italian cuisine and dates back to ancient Rome, was created in such as a delicate and special way, left us only wanting more.

    We finally ended the evening with a combination of cool and light Italian watermelon ice, which nicely complemented the succulence of the main course, while bringing its own unique taste of another Italian spice: aniseed. The ancient Romans used anise to flavor cakes, that were eaten as a digestive. The dish was refreshing, fragrant, and delightful to the palate.

    Just when you thought that was the finale, the breathtaking cherry soup and cinnamon ice cream with biscotti, was brought to the table, provided a truly wonderful end to this amazing Italian culinary journey.

    All I can say is wow. Thank you, Chef Sadler, for sharing your talent and vision with us, through these perfectly crafted dishes that will be engrained in our memories.

    The success of the evening was also a result of the teamwork and collaboration between Chef Sadler, and his sous chefs, Andrea Gianella and Giuseppe Campanale and the Executive Chef Gulkin Gozyilmaz of the Waldorf Astoria that provided this extravagant experience of fine cuisine. Congratulations to you all.

    Our thanks and congratulations to the entire team from Waldorf Astoria, starting with Mr. Kemal Sirtikirmizi, the General Manager, for the excellence that you and your team have delivered this evening.

    Our congratulations and thanks to Gulcin Sevdinli (Director of Groups and Events), Eugene de Rooze (Director of Operations), Taimour Salaitah (Banquet operation manager) and Manu Koshy( Commercial Director) and their teams for their excellent service.

    We cannot end this evening without thanking the amazing Alessandra Salerno! What a talent, what a voice! Thank you for providing us with such beautiful music!

    Of course, as always, thank you to the Chaine de Rôtisseurs for bringing us all together to unite in the appreciation of fine cuisine, but more importantly, to celebrate culture, passion for food and friendship.

    Thank you again, Your Excellency, for allowing us to experience such a memorable evening.

    I would like to end with a wonderful quote by Federico Fellini, Italian filmmaker and screenwriter:

    “La vita è una combinazione di magia e pasta.”

    “Life is a combination of magic and pasta.”

    Vive La Chaine!

  • Dinner compliments by Mrs. Kyla Mulvaney at Belgium Ambassador Residence – May 13, 2023

    I would like to thank His Excellency and his wife Anne for being our gracious hosts tonight, you have welcomed us into your residence and have provided such a beautiful setting.

    I would also like to thank our president, Bailli Delegue Mohammed Najia for being so brave to ask me to present the summary. To stand in front of all of you, having originated from a country which is famous for fish and chips to comment on the complexities of Belgium cuisine, created by a French Chef it quite an interesting situation, but one I will embrace!

    I feel that most of our senses were exercised tonight. Our eyesight was challenged to see those amazing translucent potato chips. Our hearing was blessed with engaging conversations. And of course, our 8,00 taste buds were subjected to experiencing the delights of all the sumptuous dishes Chef Thierry and his team created for us.

    Belgium is located at the crossroads of Europe, and as such, it has been heavily influenced by the cuisines of its neighbouring countries, including France, the Netherlands, Germany, and Luxembourg. Over time, this has led to a fusion of different culinary traditions and the development of a unique Belgian cuisine. For most of us Belgium is famed for its Chocolate, waffles, beers and some may argue is more famous than America for its fries (Frites), but tonight we were treated to bold flavours and hearty dishes.

    We started our journey of Belgium by landing from the North Sea onto the shores of the Belgium coastline with a Tomate Crevettee. This was truly an homage to the 67 Kilometres of coastline, featuring sandy dunes, historic forts, and beautiful nature reserves. The Crevatte drew on the dunes and the bounty of the North Sea incorporating the use of the simple tomate in four ways. Chef, the Tomate gel was inspired.

    We then travelled into the southwest of Belgium, with Witloof Met Hesp, also known as chicory au gratin or Belgian endive with ham and cheese. The story goes that in 1830, a Belgian farmer discovered that he could force chicory roots to grow in the dark and produce a tight, white head. This new variety of chicory, which became known as Belgian endive or witloof in Dutch, quickly became popular.

    A chef named Henri Kumps, came up with the idea of pairing witloof with ham and cheese. In the dish you ate tonight Chef Thierry has adapted that traditional recipe with the introduction of the Black truffle and added the texture from the golden croutons.

    Our fish dish originated in the Lowlands of Flanders. The region is home to several world-renowned art museums, Gothic cathedrals and historic architecture and in any of the medieval squares you can find waterzooi on the menu. Typically, Waterzooi is a rich creamy, comforting stew that originated in the city of Ghent, filled with meaty white fish, hearty vegetables and is perfect for a cold winter’s day, thankfully tonight the Chef recreated it using sea bass and lifting the flavours with asparagus and a lighter cream base. Perfect, given that currently we are about 20 degrees hotter than in Ghent!

    We then travelled to the eastern part of Belgium, the Ardennes region is famous for more substantive dishes: pates’s, beef and deep rich sauces. Vitoulet, originating from the city of Liège represented all of those elements. The meatballs we ate tonight adapted some of the original ingredients, however, the deeply rich sauce maintained that beef broth flavouring. In a lovely twist to the dish the addition of potato straw lifted the dish whilst also incorporating into the menu the infamous Belgium frites.

    After the rich creamy fish and the deep beef meatballs I was relieved to taste the light and subtle flavour of the Rijsttart. Suspected to have originated from Limbourg but popular across Belgium, this sweet pastry crust filled with creamy rice pudding was perfectly marriage of smooth vanilla rice and crisp crust, out of all the dishes tonight I felt like that this was a dish synonymous with family cuisine across the whole globe, Although, the addition of the speculouus Ice cream added the flair to lift it to another culinary level.

    Finally, no decent Belgium meal cannot finish without the luxurious finales of Belgium chocolates, and in this instance your Excellency I will plagiarise a famous advert by saying “Why ambassador, you have spoilt us” I appreciate these chocolates were personally chosen and shipped by you and represent some of the finest chocolatiers in Belgium and for that my waistline thanks you!

    I would like to conclude with my gracious thanks to the Four seasons team for creating such a wonderful homage to Belgium cuisine and allowing us to sample more traditional dishes in a lighter and modern way -General Manager, Martin Kipping, Hotel Manager Ksenia Novikova, Director of Catering Ayca Civigin and Executive Chef Thierry Papiller and his amazing team for creating what was a beautiful representation of some of the popular Belgium dishes.

    It is now my pleasure hand back to Mohammed Najer and to thank you all for allowing a new member of the Chaine to perform such an honour as I have tonight.

    [Or it is a chance to raise to Toast to Le Chaine}

    Thank you

  • Dinner compliments by Mrs. Randa Kayello at France Ambassador Residence – January 21, 2023

    Your excellencies, ladies, and gentlemen,

    Bonsoir, et bienvenue au France, the most visited country in the world with the largest art museum in existence. When you think of France images of beauty, romance and sophistication are evoked. Home of the true Bon Vivant lifestyle, where opulence and sophistication meets laid back simplicity. France is also home of some of the world’s most significant innovations and technologies, and their famous Eiffel Tower is a testament to their ability to seamlessly blend science, engineering, and art to create a thing of beauty. But their ingenuity did not stop at science and technology….

    They applied these same principles to their food, creating a gastronomic heaven. And French cuisine is as diverse as its various regions, from crystal blue seas, to rolling fields of flowers, to snowcapped mountain tops and bustling cities, the various dishes from this country reflect the many flavors these environments conjure.

    Having been blessed with such incredible flavor sources, France produces some of the finest ingredients in the world and has remained one of the top cuisines with no signs of slowing down. They produce over 1500 types of cheese and are one of the largest producers of wine.

    Tonight, we will be enjoying but a few of the wonderful ingredients and classic recipes this fine country has to offer.

    I would like to start by thanking H.E. Claire Le Flecher for hosting this exquisite evening and the Jumeirah Hotel for their flawless execution.

    Our menu tonight is a classic French menu, but far from outdated. Every course was carefully selected to represent a region in France. As Mr. Livio Faverio mentioned it started with a star and ended with a star!

    We began our meal with a sample platter of mini hors d’oeuvre, a small taster to set the scene and get us in the mood for the delights ahead. The hors d’oeuvres were followed by Coquilles Saint-Jacque which was cooked to perfection, moist and tender, followed by a vegetable terrine, which was light and earthy. The lobster filled pasta was truly phenomenal and then the main event…the rack of lamb! A beautiful and opulent cut of meat which was expertly complemented by the herbs and spices.

    Last but not least, we move on to dessert. Indicative of the joyous opulence of France, we are being pampered with not one but two decadent desserts. The first, a southern French Arlette pastry, layered with sumptuous cream, and the addition of apple to compliment the cinnamon, a classic combination! After which we were served a second dessert! One that ended the meal perfectly, by pairing so well with an espresso! A buttery cookie, a fresh Gelee, and the bitter notes of chocolate works so well with that final cup of coffee for the night. What a perfect ending.

    Tonight would not have been possible without the wonderful creativity of our Executive Chef, Chef Emanuele Saracino, and our Pastry Chef for the evening, Chef Edi Santoso. I would like to extend a warm and appreciative thank you to them and their excellent staff for providing us with such an exquisite meal. I would also like to extend my gratitude to Mr. Livio Faverio, the General Manager, Mr. Yesim Ensel, the Food and Beverage Manager, and Mr. Mohamed Rameez, the Service and Banquet Manager, for executing such a flawless evening.

    Last but not least, thank you to the Chaines des Rotisseurs headed by Mr. Najia, for his continuous efforts and immaculate planning in making our dinners so enjoyable and sophisticated. VIVE LA CHAINES!

  • Dinner compliments by Mr. Inigo Arruti at Spain Ambassador Residence – November 12, 2022

    Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,

    I hope you have enjoyed this menu arranged in order to recreate the most varied and different flavors of Spanish cuisine and to be able to carry them forever in your memory. Likewise, we wanted to represent the most notable Spanish regions known for their gastronomic quality;

    Among others, we have been able to enjoy some delicious tapas during the cocktail, followed by the ‘ajoblanco’ cold soup and tuna, so representative of the southern region of Andalusia as the menu starter; AFTER which we turned north and passed by the Basque country, where stuffed peppers are enjoyed at every household during important family celebrations.

    Then the chef ‘cheated’ us with the fish – IT WAS the perfect excuse to bring us those unique flavors of the typical tapas bars to the table (‘chorizo’, ‘tortilla’, ‘patatas bravas…’) and thereafter, WE headed to the Mediterranean and were refreshed by a sherbet with the best Catalan cava, so typical in Spanish banquets…. Lamb, such a noble meat so used in both Arab and Spanish gastronomy, has taken us to the bread baking ovens of Castilla (in which the lamb is roasted), and its leafy forests where mushrooms grow in this part of the year... Finally, we have tasted a fantastic ‘Torrija’, the preferred dessert in Madrid, so typical during the Easter festivities; followed by the egg yolk marzipan, an homage to our Arab heritage, which has had AND still has a remarkable influence on our gastronomy.

    Thank you Mr. Ambassador for giving us the opportunity to bring Spain to the table, along with a great selection of wines, cheered by great artists such as Luis Alberto Llaneza and Eduardo Frías who have transported us to our country with their music, AND surrounded by our universally known painters - Goya, Velazquez or Picasso have witnessed a great event!

    I do not want to finalize without deeply thanking Martin Kipping (General Manager), Cosimo Lardo (F&B Director), Thierry Papillier (Executive Chef), Ayca Civgin (Director of catering) and Danny Gonsalves (Director of banqueting), as well as the Four Seasons Hotel team AND the embassy residency team - ALL involved in this event - for a great work, it has been a real pleasure and a learning experience to work with you. Thank you also Mohammed Najia for guiding us on the best path to be able to present our rich gastronomy in Kuwait.

    VIVE LA CHAINE! VIVA ESPAÑA! VIVA KUWAIT!

    (NOTE: THOSE WHO WANT CAN STAY AND ENJOY SOME MORE MUSIC ONCE THE EVENT OVER)

  • Dinner compliments by Dr. Bahareh Azizi at UK Ambassador Residence – October 15, 2022

    Good evening your Excellencies and fellow Chaine members.

    Your Excellency, Ambassador Belinda Lewis, thank you for inviting us to your lovely home, and the oldest Garden in Kuwait, for this incredibly beautiful evening and spectacular culinary experience.

    Many of us are frequent travelers to the United Kingdom and feel we have an understanding and appreciation for British food, that embodies its vast history, culture, and traditions. As we talk about British history, it is hard not to recognize Her Majesty, the late Queen Elizabeth II, who was, for many, including myself, an embodiment of the United Kingdom, and, of course, the British people. Her passing was a loss we all felt, in different ways. May she rest in peace and may her legacy continue through the long and prosperous reign of King Charles III.

    I think you will all agree with me when I say that we had a delightful culinary experience this evening! For me, I had the pleasure of experiencing the vision and talent of Chef Abdel Kader, at our different tasting sessions, where he creatively used the distinct elements of British food, in carefully crafting enticing dishes. Tonight, we experienced the culmination of his vision: a journey that reflected the traditions of British cuisine, while crafting dishes that visually represented the abundant richness and resources of the land.

    British cuisine today is very multicultural, with a mix of different influences. While the perception may be that this is a more current description of British food, it is quite the contrary. The vast influences of different tastes and cultures dates back to ancient times, in which the cuisine was heavily influenced by the Romans, and in medieval times the French. Sugar, for example, was introduced with the invasion of the Frankish Normans, which also lead to the introduction of other spices from the East, such as cinnamon, saffron, and ginger.

    The use of spices continued during Victorian times, when British food was mixed with exotic spices from all over the Empire. Examples that are we are all probably familiar with are the adoption of tea from Asia and curry-style spicing from India, which is fair to say, has led to curry becoming a national dish.

    During both world wars, British cuisine was affected greatly, due to the shortage of food supplies. This, in turn, led to food rationing and the prevalence of salmon sandwiches, tinned fruit with evaporated milk and fish on Fridays, and the decline of traditional British stews, pies and breads.

    In the 1980s, British food was reinvented, where chefs started to redefine the cuisine, by searching for inspiration closer to home. This meant embracing the multifaceted tastes that British cuisine had historically embodied, along with the resurgence of popular meat and dishes, such as game, roast beef and Yorkshire pudding, Cornish pasties, and others. Some parts of the country, such as London, became a metropolitan for ethnic global tastes.

    While we were only able to taste a sample of the exquisiteness of British cuisine tonight, this evening’s food demonstrated a combination of the diversity, beauty and flavor of dishes that embrace the past and present inspirations

    We started the evening with a delicious cheese appetizer. We know, and have heard of, and have probably enjoyed British cheese. I say this because there are 700 varieties of cheese in the United Kingdom. It is said that Queen Victoria was delighted to receive a huge wheel of cheddar presented as a wedding gift by the villages of East and West Pennard. The dish not only presented the deliciousness of the cheese, but we were also able to experience it with delightful homemade crackers, and a delicious marmalade, another quintessential British taste.

    We then ventured north to Scotland, where we tasted the wonderful smoked Scottish Salmon, intertwined with a delicate beet root puree, horseradish and capers. While the taste of the dish was simply divine, it was the beautiful presentation that intensified the experience. It reminded me of the beauty of the Highlands, a place so rich in nature and culture. What I did not know, was that the salmon is by far Scotland’s biggest food export, and salmon farming, as whole has not only led to job creation in Scotland but is also an innovative and extremely energy efficient business, creating sustainability through projects such as recycling fish waste into fertilizer for farmland.

    The third dish was such a creative experience of the classic Beef Wellington. The Chef provided us with an aesthetically charming and delicious dish that was named after the Duke of Wellington, Arthur Wellesley, after his victory at the Battle of Waterloo in 1815. The deconstructed version created by the Chef, delivered on the unique tastes of the dish, combining the flaky, buttery pastry, savory mushrooms, perfectly cooked beef, and the smokiness of the bacon to inspire the traditional aspects of the dish. Again, the beautiful plating of the dish, with the vegetables, potatoes, and mashed peas, highlighted some key characteristics of British cuisine.

    Finally, the journey ended with a beautifully crafted apple crumble served with delicate vanilla ice cream. Originating in Britain during the World War II, during food rationing, recipes for apple crumble were invented to replace the more extravagant apple pie recipes. Even during the most challenging times for British cuisine, recipes were developed that still retained essence of British food: the play on various spices and availability of fruit grown locally to create a delicate tasting dish. What I loved about this dish that it allowed me, even in the desert, to feel for a moment, the beauty and tastes of the fall.

    What we tasted tonight was indeed extravagant. This whole evening would not have been possible without the Chaine de Rôtisseurs in Kuwait, bringing us all together to unite in the appreciation of fine cuisine, but more importantly, to celebrate culture, passion for food and friendship in this particularly historical location in Kuwait

    And now to the most important part: giving thanks.

    First and foremost, our thanks to the members of the British Embassy Team for all of their help and support in organizing this event

    Our thanks and congratulations to Mr. Ziad Tantawi, the General Manager of the Hilton Resort, for the very fine work that you and your staff have put together this evening.

    Our congratulations and thanks to Chef Abdel Kader Yarmout, and Emad Yassin, his sous chef, for enticing our taste buds and other senses this evening.

    Our thanks to Fady Iskander, Director of Operations, and Mahmoud El Feky, Banquet Manager for their excellent service for the evening.

    Our thanks and congratulations to the entire team at the Hilton Resort: the kitchen and service brigade.

    Many thanks to wonderful musicians for the lovely music!

    Thank you again, Your Excellency, for allowing us to experience such a memorable evening.

    Vive La Chaine!

  • Dinner compliments by Mr. Frank Bardoni at Italy Ambassador Residence – June 18, 2022

    Italian cuisine includes deeply rooted traditions common to the whole country, as well as all the regional gastronomies (sorry to quote a Frenchman) but as Jean Paul Satre says to know a country to have to eat it and that is never more true than with Italy ranging from the mountainous northern regions of Trentino and Venice, through to the central region of Lazio which includes Rome, my ancestral home town and that of HE and his wife down to Campaina and of course Sicily. And of course being a hugely costal country it enjoys incredible fish and seafood.

    Italian food is ranked worldwide as one of if not the most favoured cuisines in the world and even more so these days where people are choosing simple authentic and healthy options and diets. Italian cuisine is responsible for more that €200 billion sales worldwide and of course Italy is the worlds largest producer of wine.

    The menu tonight was a subtle yet technically brilliant and personal interpretation by Chef Luca (who is from Venice) and of course his team.

    The Seafood Mosaic was a celebration of Venice the waters of the lagoon provide a wealth of fresh fish and seafood and it is said that in times gone by the vendors of the city's fish market would offer restaurateurs a piece of raw fish so that they could prove it was fresh expertly blended with the Sicilian tradition of using raw fish with citrus fruits.

    No Italian can eat a meal without either soup or pasta and our second course of raviolini didn’t disappoint. The pairing with rich Molinterno cheese, a fudgy Pecorino from Sardinia laced with truffle was heavenly.

    The scampi with watermelon and squid ink a celebration of Italian traditional ingredients and pairings with modern interpretation and culinary technique.

    The sorbet and palette cleanser takes us back up north to Trentino and the Tyrol which is the largest apple growing region in Italy with an annual production of over 45,000 tons a year.

    Italy is famous for its cattle and breeds and the main course of beef with pepper was a nod to me and those of us old enough to remember the 80’s dish of Bistecca al pepe nero from Lombardy.

    Finally the homage to the Traviso classic Tiramisu where it is said the combination of nourishing ingredients such as chocolate, vanilla, coffee would reinvigorate diners at the end of meal.

  • Dinner compliments by Mrs. Helene Sioufi at Greece Ambassador Residence – May 28, 2022

    Your excellencies, ladies and gentlemen,

    Indulge me for a moment and close your eyes. Now picture yourself on a yacht, the weather a perfect 23 degrees, not too hot, not too cold. The breeze in your hair and a glass of wine in your hand. You’re just swaying to the rhythm of the calm waves of a crystal clear, glassy turquoise sea, with Demis Roussos playing in the background. The Greek isles dot the horizon as you sail between them, island hoping.

    How wonderful is this fantasy?

    You all thought that I would introduce tonight’s host by speaking about the ancient Greek civilization, and the many wonderful influences that have attributed to making modern society what it is today. Their many influences on everything from philosophy, education, medicine, mathematics and even politics. Influencers, before social media ever existed, such as Socrates, Plato, Aesop and Homer.

    However, after the dust storms of the past few weeks, I have no desire to pull out my dusty copy of Homer’s Odyssey to look for quotes, and instead wanted to whet your palate with this image before we dive into tonight’s wonder meal.

    Tonight, we were delighted with the unique and wonderful tastes of the Greek cuisine. Drawing from its location between lush mountains and clear blue seas, their dishes have a wonderful balance of the flavors of the earth and sea. The exquisite quality of local ingredients, which inspired clean and simple dishes, allowing each ingredient to shine. We have been taken on a gastronomic tour all around Greece, sampling the bountiful flavors of its many regions.

    Chef Papadopoulos perfectly balanced and combined the ingredients, allowing them to mingle yet stand out on their own merit.

    We began with an amuse bouche to get the evening off to a playful start, which combined an oyster cream with sweet and tart apples and an exquisite Greek wine jelly.

    Following that we were served a dish which draws from the bounties of the sea, The Kritamo. Sometimes referred to in English as sea asparagus, this samphire type vegetation grows along the coast and draws its flavors from the ocean. To enhance and compliment its ocean flavors, Chef had paired it with prawns and bottarga, or fish roe.

    No Greek meal would be complete without dolmadaki’s, or as we call them warak anab. Paired with a wonderfully cooked grouper in Greek olive oil, the flavors could not be more authentic.

    Moving away from the flavors of the ocean, we must have lamb cooked in the Greek manner. But first a refreshing palate cleanser to reset the taste buds. A chilled coconut frappe, that was the perfect transition from sea to land.

    Once we reset our palates, we were regaled with a perfectly cooked fillet of lamb served along side asparagus, and an eggplant puree with a wonderful, charred flavor. This together with the decadent truffle and red wine elements created a dish fit for a Greek God.

    We ended our meal on very traditional sweet note. What’s Greek dessert without Halva? This wonderful dessert, alongside the lavender, lemon, and glacee olives, summed up Greek flavors on a plate.

    Tonight, has been a true gastronomical feast. The colorful flavors, all balanced yet diverse just goes to show the masterful skill of the Greeks to seamlessly combine opposites in beautiful harmony.

    Allow me a moment before you go off planning your Greek trip to first thank the wonderful team behind tonight’s feast, a true collaboration of Giants…. The St. Regis team, headed by Mr. Frank Noack – Food and Beverage manager, and Mr. Simone Murru – Executive Chef and Mr. Taha Wadgy - Service Manager, on one side, and Executive Chef George Papadopoulos and his brilliant team for an exquisite meal. A special thank you to Mr. And Mrs. Piperigous, for turing their home into a world class restaurant and indulge us in this memorable experience. Last but not least, thank you to the Chaines des Rotisseurs headed by Mr. Najia, for his unrelentless efforts. VIVE LA CHAINES!

  • Dinner compliments by Mrs. Soumaya El Azem at German Ambassador Residence – March 28, 2022

    Good evening, Guten Abend, Al-Salamu-alaikom

    It is such a joy to be back and able to experience the wonderful world of food, unique cuisine and great companionship. Food is live and sustenance, hence am appreciating these delights so much more after our long break, lock downs and social distancing. What a great way to start it with the theme of tonight, “Farm to table”, by taking nature back to the kitchen.

    Our beautiful setting on the lawn, in the garden of the German Ambassadors’ residence, the real natural table decorations and the delicious menu, invigorated the theme perception. To source produce and dairy for the evening it had to be organic, organic producers can be best described as relying on biological farming methods, and crops that are cultivated without the use of chemicals and genetically modified elements. In Germany we even jest about the dairy products and say they come from happy cows, mouhs as my granddaughter calls them, well maybe these cows are really happier, when grazing freely on the meadows.

    Now lets talk about Umami, its not as I learned the name of a Japanese dish, but the Japanese discovery of the 5th sense of taste on our tongue, the 4 known are salty, sweet, sour, and bitter and Umami our 5th, sometimes translated into savory, is actually what gives us this full mouth sensation, the mouth watering long lasting taste.

    In our menu tonight we had this unity in diversity of tastes, the natural organic, and the umami. To highlight a few of the creations; I would like to mention the Tortellini dish and its organic fermented Jerusalem artichokes filling, also known as Topinambur, or Sunroot, the word Jerusalem here actually comes from the Italian Girasole, for sunflower, this ingredient alone was fermented for a couple of weeks to develop its uniqueness of flavor, bringing back the natural old ways of preparation, the lemon grass cream and caper powder gave it the rich sharpness and the Umami sensation.

    In our Hammour dish the Umami kicked in again, texture from the fish and gnocchi, salty from the seaweed butter, and sweetness from the black garlic. Black garlic is popular in the Asian cuisine, it was developed most probably in Korea for it health benefits, it has to age over weeks to rich that molasses like sweet aroma. Our beef fillet was hay smoked, a real surprise to me, we can smoke food with hay, another traditional method that utilized the farm to table concept and giving the meet that rich smoky savor. Even in the sorbet and desert a sense of umami and farm to table, while pairing the unusual, the lemon and ginger, and the chocolate with pumpkin. I really like that although attending many years of refined gastronomy dinners, am still learning about the miraculous world of cooking, the unique ways of preparation, rediscovering traditional techniques and natural ingredients.

    A big thank you to our hosts H.E. Stefan Moebs and his wife Ruth, the Regency Hotel, General Manager Otto Kurzendorfer, Executive Chef Robert Prendergast and his kitchen team, Chanaka Wikram Food and Beverage manager and the service brigade, and the lovely violin music performance by Manuel Druminski. Manuel was the first violin of the Munich Symphony Orchestra before coming to Kuwait.

    We had a wonderful evening in a picturesque beautiful atmosphere and an innovative, delicious dinner.

    Vive La Chaine and Vive Umami

    Charge de Mission

    Soumaiya El-Azem

  • Dinner Compliments by Mrs. Katherine Baker at German Ambassador Residence April 27, 2019

    Good evening your excellences, fellow Chaine members and guests.

    I ask that the General Manager of The Regency Hotel, Otto Kurzendorfer please join me.

    And now we invite the Kitchen Brigade & Service Brigade

    There is only one word for tonight – SPARGEL!

    BUT before I begin my compliments let us all please raise our glasses to Mohammad Najia, with all best wishes for his good health!

    Welcome you all to a striking evening of a traditional German food with a modern twist! Thank you Ambassador Karlfried and Mrs Uli Bergner for opening your home, sharing your passion for Bauhaus and Spargel and working with The Regency hotel’s General Manager Otto Kurzendorfer to offer us a wonderful way to appreciate spring and ease into Ramadan – by enjoying food that is exceptionally prepared, impeccably served and beautifully accompanied with fine wine and good company - all under the stars of Kuwait! Just about perfect!!

    Bauhaus was a German art school operational from 1919 to 1933 that combined crafts and the fine arts, and was famous for the approach to design – reuniting creativity & manufacturing - perfectly reflected this evening by The Regency’s approach to tonight’s menu.

    Bauhaus was arguably the single most influential modernist art school of the 20th century. Its approach to teaching, and to the relationship between art, society, and technology, had a major impact both in Europe and in the US long after its closure in 1933. It was influenced by 19th and early-20th-century artistic directions and sought to level the distinction between the fine and applied arts, and to reunite creativity and manufacturing. It fashioned itself as a kind of craftsmen's guild, much like the Chaine des Rotisseurs started as a guild.

    Bauhaus was arguably the single most influential modernist art school of the 20th century. Its approach to teaching, and to the relationship between art, society, and technology, had a major impact both in Europe and in the US long after its closure in 1933. It was influenced by 19th and early-20th-century artistic directions and sought to level the distinction between the fine and applied arts, and to reunite creativity and manufacturing. It fashioned itself as a kind of craftsmen's guild, much like the Chaine des Rotisseurs started as a guild.

    I have come to know that it is impossible to overstate the German obsession with Visen Shpargal, yes, obsession! . Whereas other asparagus-eating nations like France, Italy and the US prefer the green variety, in Germany it's white asparagus or nothing. Germans consume around 125,000 tonnes during ‘Spargelzeit’ - the white asparagus season, which runs from mid-April to June 24th. It has been called the 'vegetable of kings,' 'edible ivory,' or simply 'white gold.'

    White and green asparagus are essentially the same species, with the plant grown under different conditions. In order to achieve the pure white spears demanded by German consumers, certain varieties of asparagus are grown underground under piles of dirt called hillings. This way, the production of chlorophyll is inhibited and the spears do not turn green. The harvest is back-breaking work as the spears need to be gently freed from the surrounding dirt before being cut by hand. Each Spargel must also be individually peeled before being cooked.

    Legend has it that the plant was introduced to Germany some 2,000 years ago by the Romans, who prized asparagus as a delicacy, an aphrodisiac, and also because of its medical properties. Even today, it is renowned for its cleansing effects.

    Although white asparagus is available in other countries almost throughout the year, its taste and texture does not reach the quality and aroma of its counterpart from Germany. Weißer Spargel needs a specific combination of soil, temperature and rain in order to develop the perfect taste and has a long tradition of being grown in Baden-Wuerttemberg, Hessen or Alzase.

    Unlike Grűne Spargel, the white variety is said to be softer, lighter and not as heavy, which I am sure you noticed throughout tonight’s dinner. In Germany, it is traditionally boiled and then served with a variety of side-dishes, ranging from new potatoes and pancakes, to ham, Schnitzel or smoked salmon. Not tonight! It is expensive, and traditionally served on at Sunday family meal – on white linen.

    I have selected only a few of tonight’s many hightlights, as each table had a culinary host to explain the dishes and answer any questions while enjoying the food – a first for the Chaine in Kuwait, thanks to the creativity of the Regency General Manager, Otto Kurzendorfer…. What a wonderful idea, especially for a dinner so innovative and particular! Thank you very much.

    Many of the dishes reflected the design & creativity of the Bauhaus in their use of space and color, starting with butter that reflecting the German flag, and the colors of Bauhaus. The black butter was made using squid ink, the yellow, saffron and the red, tomato, to accompany the very tasty German bread!

    The presentation of first course looked like a still-life inspired by Bauhaus. Being a huge fan of Foie Gras, I was especially pleased when it was so perfectly textured and tasty, made even more remarkable by the compliment of caramelized Grűne Spragelspitezen - green asparagus tips.

    The salted egg yolk of the second dish was something truly extraordinary! Cured up to 48 hours, the chewy, salty flavor of the dehydrated yolk was a very unique and appreciated compliment to the tasty home-cured lamb loin slivers, which also involved a lengthy preparation process. Served on a bed of wonderfully marinated Weißer Spargel – it was a sheer delight!

    Again, it was the two asparagus’ – Gűrne & Weißer - that were the base of the delicate tortellini soup with lobster medallion. Lovely.

    The risotto was a quintessential representation of spring – mushrooms and Spargel. The risotto was cooked to perfection, creamy, firm and delicious and the scallop a nice addition.

    The risotto was a quintessential representation of spring – mushrooms and Spargel. The risotto was cooked to perfection, creamy, firm and delicious and the scallop a nice addition.

    Grilled Weißer Spargel is very unusual in German cuisine, but done to perfection, it was a perfect complement to the outstanding stuffed veal filet, prawn and spring vegetables, served with a splendid beetroot reduction – another visually pleasing presentation.

    And finally, dessert – and could you believe it, Weißer Spargel! I was astounded to be honest. Yes, you can taste it in the Bavarian cream, but the white asparagus was not overwhelming, and in fact was a lovely compliment to the milk chocolate & ganache. I loved the honeycomb – which is actually quite difficult to keep to the desired consistency – not too chewy, not too brittle. Again, the presentation was a lovely Bauhaus inspired work of art.

    I don’t want to forget the beverages… We were greeted with a lovely spring aperitif of sparkling wine and Elderberry. The dinner menu was complimented by a lovely German Pinot Noir with beautiful purity and freshness on the nose and a nicely perfumed Riesling.

    I’m afraid I might have run out of superlatives, but the attention to every detail and the superb execution of this creative menu was really outstanding – further complimented by the service brigade and this fine weather! I do hope you noticed the impressive military precision of the service brigade.

    Well done, Otto & Chef Dirk and your team for your expertise and success in creating a lovely fusion of art and cuisine, in the true Bauhaus spirit. Sincere compliments to Karl and Uli for their creative inspiration and committed involvement. I never knew that the asparagus, Weißer or Grűne, were so versatile, thank you for this very enjoyable & learning experience.

    Thank you Otto Kurzendorfer , General Manager of the Regency Hotel for opening up your kitchen and catering services to create, produce and serve this stunning Bauhaus inspired Weißer Spargel dinner, with attention given to EVERY detail including the table seating chart, aprons on the service staff, table décor and flowers!

    Chef Dirk Heinen – Executive Chef –and chef extraordinaire, and surely one of the top Weißer Spargel experts! Sincere compliments.

    Michel Gesthuizen – Food & Beverage Director

    Valeriu Petcu – Executive Pastry Chef

    Chanaka Wickramasinghe - Banquet Operations Manager

    Vladimir Laka – Assistant Food & Beverage Director

    …thank you all from The Regency Hotel, very much

    Thank you again Ambassador & Mrs. Bergner for opening your home and working with the Regency Hotel to produce this gastronomic pleasure and visual delight. We shall miss your presence in Kuwait, and will remember for a very long time this wonderful Spargel inspired dinner!

    According to one of my table companions, ‘If the Chaine is about connoisseur, then this was a wonderful German gastronomic & epicurean journey.

    Viva La Chaine!

  • Dinner Compliments by Mrs. Katherine Baker at Romania Ambassador Residence January 19, 2019

    Good evening your excellences, fellow Chaine members and guests. Welcome to another lovely evening of traditional Romanian food. This is a wonderful way to begin the 2019 season of Chaine dining - food that is excellently prepared, wonderfully served and beautifully accompanied with fine wine.

    Having recently returned from holiday in Burgundy France, I was sure that the quality of food and wine would not compare. I was proven wrong on both accounts! Hats off to the Sheraton Hotel, Executive Chef Frank Noack and his fabulous team for yet another stunning dinner, and thank God for the perfect temperature to really enjoy this lovely rich winter cuisine and stunning wines.

    It is always important to stress the extensive efforts that the hotel goes through to obtain as many ingredients as possible from the source in order to be as authentic as possible. The process for this dinner began months ago and, guided by Ambassador Tanase and his wife, Lina, the hotel did its utmost to get all the Romanian ingredients possible.

    The complexity of each dish is such that I decided to highlight many of the details for everyone’s appreciation – and my education, which I will share. HOWEVER, I will not attempt to pronounce the name of each dish in Romanian!

    The AMUSE BOUCHE prepared us for this fine dinner. The waxy Romanian Cartofi Mondial potatoes with high moisture content are perfect to combine with white Alba truffle and Dijon mustard to make this delicious bisque – creatively presented with individual pipettes of truffle and spicy oil to season as you wish.

    The visually stunning STARTER of various goat cheeses and 3 kinds of beets (red, golden and white) with crayfish and individually peeled cherry tomatoes did not disappoint with its full flavors and surprises, including the small mounds of tasty herb infused extra virgin olive oil and micro cress avocado mousse. Quite a long description of something so small, highlighting the extensive efforts the Chef has gone to on every detail!

    I was told by Faisel al-Mannaie that the de-hydrate bits of goat cheese crunch were also a tradition in Kuwait years ago. Called Yegat, it lasted ‘forever’ thus perfect for animal herders, sailors on long voyages and hungry children. The dried cheese this evening was produced in the Sheraton kitchen.

    Another goat cheese was mixed with Crème Fraiche and the 3rd cheese was a half-sphere of lovely white. This was a product of Molecular gastronomy, a modern style of cooking that takes advantage of many technical innovations from the scientific disciplines and seeks to investigates the physical and chemical transformation of ingredients that occur in cooking, taking into consideration the three components of cooking: social, artistic and technical.

    The MIDDLE COURSE of sautéed chanterelle, brown bottom and trumpet mushrooms was fabulous. In a cream sauce reduction and milk foam – the wild mushrooms, along with a lovely rich butter fried white bread dumpling with organic eggs, beef bacon bits and chive was, for me, a truly lovely winter dish.

    Moving on to the MAIN COURSE, personally, I have never had a piece of lamb as wonderfully delicate and tender as what we just ate, served with a beautiful demi-glace sauce. Cooked to absolute perfection this sous-vide cooked, grass fed salt-lamb was served with exquisite pan fried & buttered broad beans and a wonderfully smoked, garlic infused creamy polenta. Fantastic!

    Not being familiar with the Sous-vide method of cooking, I googled it! It is a process in which food is placed in a pouch or jar and cooked in a water bath for longer than normal cooking times at an accurately regulated temperature, much lower than normal – typically 55 to 60 degrees Celsius for meat.

    And salt-fed lamb, is a term that means the lamb has eaten in pastures close to the sea side which are often flooded by the sea in spring, making the grasses rich in sodium and iodine. The lamb might also eat samphires (a European plant of the parsley family that grows on rocks and cliffs by the sea) and sea kale.

    After all this divine winter fare, I was sure I could not manage dessert….Until it was served….

    DESSERT was a stunning presentation with a delicious selection of traditional Romanian sweets, tastes and textures. Just enough to satisfy any sweet craving with wonderful pops of flavor.

    The CHEESE selection was lovely! From the no-fuss salty Telemea, the favourite staple food on every Romanian table, to the more exotic Brânză de burduf, a kneaded cheese set in fir-tree bark, Kashkaval - the semi-hard high-fat yellow cheese and Năsal, a soft cheese aged in a tiny cave in Transylvania, many Romanian cheeses are vying for international recognition. Produced with the best local ingredients and using ancient traditions, they are the ultimate comfort food in any season.

    These typical Romanian cheeses were joined by Colummiers & Roquefort from France to round up the selection. Served with fruits, traditional hazelnut sour dough bread and dried fruit whole-grain rye bread, a fitting end to a hearty meal.

    What a delightfully enjoyable winter dinner. Accompanied by lovely Red Pino Noir and Pino Grigio Romanian wines and delightful conversations. Romanian winter cuisine at its finest.

    Thank you Ambassador & Mrs. Tanase for opening your home and working with the Sheraton Hotel and Chef Frank to produce such a gastronomic pleasure.

    Thank you Fahad Abushaar, General Manager of the Sheraton Hotel for opening up your kitchen and catering services to produce and serve this stunning dinner;

    Kurt Vehman, Resident Manager in charge of Food and Beverage and your entire team;

    Director of Convention and Catering, Fathi Ofman;

    Executive Chef extraordinaire, Frank Noack and your accomplished kitchen staff

    And Mr. Taha, Outside Catering Service Manager and your very efficient service brigade.

  • Dinner Compliments by Mrs. Randa Kayello at Mexico Ambassador Residence March 16, 2019

    Your excellences, ladies and gentlemen,

    WELCOME TO MEXICO!

    Tell me your passion and I’m positive you’ll find it in Mexico, a country so rich in history, culture, nature, beauty and art.

    I would like to start by thanking his Excellency, Mr. Miguel Angel Isidiro, and his wife, Patricia, for hosting this spectacular evening, and the Jumeirah Hotel for their impeccable execution.

    To start, let me tell you a bit about the Modern Mexicans. They are a blend of many great civilizations, Olmec, Zapotec, Toltec, Mayan, Aztec, Inca, African, French and Spanish. Today, the descendants of the Aztecs speak a form of the Aztec language called Nahuatl. Many of our English words originate from the Nahuatl dialect; particularly words to describe certain types of food, such as tomatoes which originated from tomatal, chocolate from chocolatl and avocadoes from ahuacatl. The Mayans on the other hand take credit for domesticating “Maize” corn, over 9000 years ago, which still is the base of most of the Mexican cuisine.

    With food in mind, allow me to discuss tonight’s menu. With exception for the bread rolls, “bolilos”, the menu is gluten free, from the canapes to the dessert, our chef has chosen to represent a bit of every aspect of the traditional Mexican Cuisine; which was inscribed in the year 2010 on the “Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity” by UNESCO.

    • The tacos “street food” were in the canapes as Taquitos “mini tacos”.
    • The Tamale, our starter, dates back as early as 8000 BC.
    • The Pescado a la Veracruzana shows the Spanish influence.
    • Moving on to the main event, Costilla de Rescon Mole Negro de Oaxaca y Nopales, if there were awards, this dish would be the winner. Mole is a sauce used for special occasions such as weddings, festivities, and feasts etc.… using Mexican chocolates and numerous spices and chilies. It took 48 hours of preparation, with a lot of experience, precision and skill.
    • The dessert stole the show, starting with Bunuelos and finally the Crepas con Cajeta flambed with tequila, a special treat served by our host Mr Ambassador, Chef Jorge and his team.

    Tonight is a night that exudes art and beauty, from the paper flowers on the pergola where we had our cocktails, which were handmade by the embassy’s staff to the Frida Kahlo theme that graced every table with her portraits. Raising the bar was the mission of Mrs. Patricia and the Jumeirah Hotel team headed by Mr. Teymour and his crew. No detail was overlooked, no expense was spared, no department missed their mark, from catering to housekeeping creating a memorable ambiance. Chef Jorge flew in twice, the second time he brought 40kg of food and spices to ensure the quality and authenticity of the dinner. The table clothes and staff uniform were reproduced to bring a bit of Mexico to Kuwait. Not to mention the Mariachi Band especially flown in from Italy.

    A big thank you to Your Excellency and Mrs Isidiro, for making us feel so special, it was an unforgettable evening.

    Thank you to the Jumeirah Hotel headed by Mr Savino Leone, General Manager, Mr Salaiti, Banqueting Manager, Chef Jorge executive from Jumeira Dubai, Chef Pascal Executive Chef, Chef Antony executive sous Chef, and Chef Norbert Pastry Chef. When we had the degustation dinner Mrs. Patricia commented at the end of the meal with so much pride and glee I’m happy and proud. Two words that said it all to describe this evening’s dinner. Please allow me to use your words. I’m happy to see such a high standard of excellence in Kuwait, and Proud to be a member of the Chaines, Mr Najia Thank you for always taking us to unique and exotic journeys and keeping the Chaines were it is at. You’ve raised excellence a few notches.

    I’d like to leave you with few interesting points about Mexico:

    • They have the largest Pyramid in the world.
    • The first printing press and the first university in North America in the 1551 were Mexican.
    • They’re the largest exporters of Avocados in the World.
    • Diego Luna, Javier Bardem, Salma Hayek and Thalia are from Mexico.
    • This year they won the Oscars for best director, best cinematography and best foreign film for the movie Roma.

    I am delighted to deliver tonight’s highlights on such a rich country like Mexico. Have a wonderful evening.

  • Dinner Compliments by Mr. Hani Kafafi at Brazil Ambassador Residence February 16, 2019

    Y.E. Norton de Andrade, Your Excellencies, Colleagues and Chaine Members.

    Brazil is the largest country in both South America and Latin America. At 8.5 million square kilometers and with over 208 million people, Brazil is the world's fifth-largest country by area and the fifth most populous.

    Brazil has a dense and complex system of rivers, one of the world's most extensive, with eight major drainage basins, all of which drain into the Atlantic Major rivers include the Amazon (the world's second-longest river and the largest in terms of volume of water.

    Brazil is considered an advanced emerging economy. It has the eighth largest GDP in the world. It is one of the world's major breadbaskets, being the largest producer of coffee for the last 150 years. Brazil is one of the largest producer of oranges, coffee, sugar cane, cassava and sisal, soybeans and papayas.

    Brazil has become the fourth largest car market in the world.

    The theme of tonight’s dinner is Fruits from Brazil. The popular fruits that typically grow in Brazil are Guarana, Cashew nut, Acai, Coconut, Star fruit, Papaya, Banana, Passion fruit, Pineapple, Lime and Cocoa fruit.

    Pineapple, Ananas or “abacaxi” , as people call them in Brazil are a very tasty and popular fruit. Usually Pineapple fruits are served for breakfast. In Brazil Abacaxi has a more white colour inside and taste much sweeter than Ananas from Hawai.

    Chef Sebastiano and his team have made a substantial effort to design a menu that will truly represents Brazil with the wealth of fruits and vegetables that represent the country.

    The Pass-Around Canapes were all impressive from a presentation to freshness, to variety and the art of using the Brazilian food that were served in an amazing presentation.

    The Tomato Salad with the Heart of Palm, Steamed Prawns, Mango, Roasted Corn-Pineapple Salsa and Coconut Cream was a fabulous combination that was presented creatively and final touches from H.E. Norton.

    The Caldo Verde, the Potato and Kale Soup were served hot with right spice and right quantity.

    Moqueca Baiana, the Brazalian Fish Stew. Filet of Portuguese Bacalhau. Bacalhau (Portuguese pronunciation: [bɐkɐˈʎaw]) is the Portuguese word for cod and—in a culinary context—dried and salted cod fish.

    Feijoada with Beef Short Ribs. The combination of beef ribs, sausage and bacon, is a true presentation of a Brazilian taste and blend well with a steamed rice.

    Passion Fruit Mousse is a piece of art from presentation to color, to combination of taste. The base pastry and the lightness are all an outcome of a superb artist who loves his job.

    The Spiced Barbecued Pineapple Cameo with Vanilla Ice Cream is another spontaneous presentation that was challenged by H.E. Norton and responded extremely fast by the Four Seasons Culinary team.

    The Petits Fours and the Chocolate Brigaderos was another astounding presentation.

    Service team are smiling, pleasant and attentive. The Culinary team were on their toast to prepare the food on time.

    Four Seasons Team

    General Manager: Mr. Didier Jardin
    Hotel manager: Mr. George Safi
    Catering Manager: Mrs. Shahd Abumwais
    Chef: Mr. Sebastiano Spriveri
    Pastry: Mr. Lucio Colombo
    Outside Catering Manager : Mr. Ratheesh Maruthiyodan

    Ambassador of Brazil – H.E. Norton de Andrade Mello Rapesta

  • Dinner Compliments by Mrs. Nicole Gegenheimer at Italy Ambassador Residence May 05, 2018

    Signore e Signori, Buona sera

    It’s usually my husband who does speeches and doesn’t like doing them… but I am enjoying doing my own! In fact, I am honored to be asked by Mohamad to talk about the amazing experience of this evening! Starting from the setup, which I hope you like (a” No” cannot be taken as too much time has been put in to produce those luxury cars at your tables)<- {joke in between + background on the Pagani Car} Well, what could I say? Savoring a well flavorsome Italian dinner, with everything Italian that compliments it, and then yeah it’s a pleasure to be the speaker about this exclusivity.

    The menu was tailored All’italiana, starting with the;

    Antipasto: which was not only refreshing with its colorful presentation, but also with the marriage of taste of each and every element sitting in it

    Il Primo, with the homemade tortelli, which is not the small tortellini, and not the big tortelloni.“si” that’s super particular. The stuffing of the mix of sweet green peas and asparagus from one side, and the Portobello foam in parmigiana fondue from the other side, were such a success!!

    And oh, the bread please it is not an appetizer, it was meant to wipe off the remaining sauce on the plate WINK

    Il secondo, simple, elegant and the fish had firm, flaky meat and a delicate flavor; its easy breezy lightness made those colorful carrots a perfect companion!

    Il Dolce!! Was a reinvented Tiramissu! A deconstruction technique using the ingredients of a Tiramissu: Mocca Ice-cream with coffee vanilla sauce on an espresso sponge and dehydrated cream powder, mascarpone vanilla mousse, coffee sprinkled meringues, coffee jelly, and Raspberries finally to burn some sweetness with its gentle acidity..

    What could I add? An Italian Ambiance, inspired by His Excellency Giuseppe, whom we dearly thank, and a fantastic music, Grazie Chiara and Matteo, and dinner atmosphere created by Sheraton Kuwait,

    I guess we could give an outburst of clapping to:

    Kitchen Brigade,

    headed by Chef Frank Noack, the Cluster Culinary Director,

    Chef Edward George, Head chef Tournant

    And chef Thandar Saw, the Assistant Executive pastry chef

    And no matter how much great the food is, the whole experience wouldn’t reach perfection without an excellent and elegantly executed service, So please let’s give a big round of applause to;

    Service Brigade,

    Taha Wagdy, Assistant outside Catering Service Manager

    Ronaldo Robles, Assistant Banqueting Service manager.

    Dear Area Director and General Manager, Fahed Abou Chaar, thank you and congratulations for a meticulously chosen team!

    • Remark: (about Italian houses of fashion)
    • Praising La Chaine des Rotisseurs

    Dear Mohamed Najiya, chief of a well-orchestrated and refined gatherings, the stand is yours.

    Vive La CHAINE,

  • Dinner Compliments by Dr Hanan Al-Mutawa at Mexico Ambassador Residence March 17, 2018

    Misah’ Al khair, Buenas Tardes, Your Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen

    Tonight, we celebrate Mexican Gastronomy – not “Tex-Mex”! Everyone usually associates Mexican food with chili con carne, nachos, hard tacos and fajitas, with loads of shredded cheese, meat, beans, blah, blah, blah. This is “Tex-Mex” – a fusion of Mexican and American comfort food. If you want to tease Patricia, compare tonight’s cuisine to Tex-Mex

    In 1967, Monsieur Jean Berthelot brought the Chaîne to México City and became the country’s first Bailli Délégué. Savino earnestly tried to bring Jean to Kuwait for tonight’s event as a surprise for Mohammed Najia, but unfortunately the trip from Mexico to Kuwait is too much for Jean’s 87 years.

    Tonight’s menu was inspired by a recent annual event in Mexico attended by HE Miguel with all the Mexican Ambassadors, hosted by the Mexican President. My critique tonight is very simple, and will be short, thanks to Chef Jorge Rodriguez, who’s already introduced every course the way it should be.

    2 Tonight’s menu was inspired by a recent annual event in Mexico attended by HE Miguel with all the Mexican Ambassadors, hosted by the Mexican President. My critique tonight is very simple, and will be short, thanks to Chef Jorge Rodriguez, who’s already introduced every course the way it should be. We have to appreciate the special efforts put in Patricia and HE Miguel for hosting this event at their home, Mohamed Najia, and Savino Leone and his teams from Jumeirah, especially for sharing their regional resources to make tonight’s event so very special. All the spices tonight are authentic, flown in from Mexico through Dubai, plus a special delivery flown in through the Embassy. Head Chef Jorge Rodriguez, and Chef Alberto Ayala flew in from Restaurant Tortuga in Dubai’s Madinat Jumeirah, especially for us tonight. Chef Jorge himself brought with him about 90 kilos of spices in his suitcases. That was no sandstorm last night, that was the Jumeirah kitchens working overtime, eh, Savino?

    The “Majestic Beat Band”; BRAVO! Javier, Maria and Sindy, who are the resident band at the Restaurant Tortuga, playing music especially selected by Patricia – wonderful!

    The superb attention to detail by Patricia and H.E. Miguel has to be commended. The pairing of the superb wines, the design of the special “guayabera” Mexican shirt, matching the napkins and table clothes to the shirts, the flower arrangements with cactus of course and the fresh Chile representing the table name written beautifully on green leaves, because a true Mexican dish always has some form of chile in it. My Husband and I even dressed up as Habaneros tonight, the hottest chilies in town, to celebrate our anniversary.

    Even the inspiring front-page cover was personally selected by Patricia and HE Miguel, representative of “Papel Amate” – timeless traditional bark paper indigenous to Mexico.

    Key people from Jumeirah Messilah that must be recognised tonight are:

    • Chef de Cuisine Madhu Edamana – whose specialty is Mexican cuisine;
    • Executive Sous Chef Anthony Ittera;
    • F&B Manager Hassane Ait Bega;
    • Banquet Manager Taimour Al Salaiteh;
    • Executive Sous Chef for Banqueting Thomas Joseph;
    • Pastry Chef Susantha;
    • Executive Housekeeper Virginie Desfontaine;
    • Director of Engineering Khalil Roussan;
    • Flower Designer Mrs Fayette; and
    • PR and communication Director Carol Roncoletta;

    Let me share a “True Story”; “True Story”; a Mexican gentleman, Jorge, dies and goes to hell. Once there, he finds that there is a different hell for each country, so, of course, he tries to seek out the least painful one.

    At the door of the German Hell, he’s told: “First they put you in an electric chair for an hour. Then the German Devil comes in, lays you on a bed of 9-inch nails for another hour while doing a traditional ‘Schuhplattler’ folk tap-dance on top of you. He then whips you for the rest of the day”.

    Jorge, he doesn’t like the sound of that, so he checks out the American Hell, the Brazilian Hell, the Maltese Hell, and the Argentinian Hell. They’re all the same. However, at the Kuwaiti Hell, there’s a long line of people waiting to get in. Amazed, Jorge asks, “What do they do here?”

    They tell him; “First they put you in an electric chair for an hour. Then the Kuwaiti Devil comes in, lays you on a bed of 9- inch nails for another hour while doing a traditional Khaliji Samri folk dance on top of you. He then whips you for the rest of the day”.

    “But, mis amigos, that’s the same as the others”, says Jorge. “Why are so many people waiting to get in?”

    “Well, because of the power cuts, the electric chair doesn’t work. The 9-inch nails were paid for, but never supplied, so the bed is comfortable. And the Kuwaiti Devil used to be a civil servant, so this Shaitan comes in, signs his time sheet and goes back home for Siesta”

    Thank you, from the bottom of our very satisfied appetites, for this memorable journey into the distinct cultural and gastronomical heritage of Mexican cuisine. It has been amazing just taking part with all these passionate connoisseurs who helped prepare this Dinner this evening. Viva La Chaine!

  • Dinner Compliments by Mrs. Nadia El Arabi at Malta Ambassador Residence October 27, 2018

    Dear friends,

    Long time ago I visited Malta for the first time, and I was smitten by its culture, history and the kindness of its people. I loved the place so much, that I went back few months later for the second time. So naturally, I am delighted tonight, to talk about the Maltese culinary culture.

    Strategically located in the Mediterranean Sea, Malta has always drawn the interest of big powers, over its thousands of years of history: Phoenicians, Carthaginians, Romans, Byzantines, Greeks, Arabs, Sicilians, French, Spanish, the Knights and British empires….and naturally this has contributed to what Malta is today.

    • Can you imagine that Maltese language is a mix between Italian, Arabic and English?
    • It is said that Malta name probably derives from the Greek word Meli, meaning Honey, till now, one of the valuable product of the Island.
    • One should also know, that Malta is home to some spectaculars Unesco world heritage sites: Valetta, Hal Safleini Hypogeum, and the Meghalithic Temple of Malta which is one of the oldest free standing stone constructions in the world, even older than the pyramids in Egypt.
    • Malta is also, a popular filming location for big budget productions. This small island is an attractive destination for some famous movies like Gladiator, World war Z and Captain Philipp, as well as TV series like Games of Thrones.

    But now let’s talk about the Maltese cuisine. Naturally Mediterranean; the dishes are fresh and bring the best out of the abundance of the nature. Being a country surrounded by the sea, fish is traditionally the most popularly used protein. The Maltese love food and their cuisine are full of flavour. It’s certain that passion, love and dedication are the key ingredients. So, Maltese gastronomy is an extension of its history. Dishes and ingredients point north, south, east and west:

    • There is Pasta from Italy in all its flavours (Hardly surprising!)
    • There is Aljotte, which is a Maltese version of Bouillabaisse, another traditional dish
    • The Arabic influence is very obvious when it comes to the sweets
    • But there are also very local typical dishes, like Suffat Tal-Fenek, is a Rabbit, and something of national dish. The culture of eating rabbit is said to come from a period when the knights of St John introduced a hunting ban. But after the revolt, and resistance of the population, the consumption of rabbit became again very popular

    And now, dear friends, let’s talk about the dinner we just have enjoyed. Our Maltese Chef Jonathan Spiteri and his team, created for us an exceptional menu that promised to be a fine dining experience, a real art of delights:

    • The starter: A real Symphony of colours, gorgeous presentation and exciting fusion of different tastes and textures. The sea bass, sea bream, black mussels, and gulf shrimps, where marinated with herbs, and presented with a Mediterranean Green Peas Vinaigrette, squild ink jelly, and a topinambour Puree, which has been created through a molecular way of cooking, using nitrogen. Creative, highly imaginative, the starter set the scene for a fabulous dinner
    • The traditional Soup with poached Quail eggs and homemade goat cheese ravioli is called in Maltese: soppa tal Armala, meaning widow soup. It’s called so, as it refers to its simplicity, it’s normally cooked during winter time, with the 7 available ingredients in the fridge.For the soup of tonight, the Chef has made his own goat cheese, with milk coming from Wafra, near the Saudi border.
    • Blood orange Sorbet: was also a star of this dinner, with a distinctive flavour, as the skin of the black orange was used as a marmalade, with a pinch of Basil. This was refreshing and delicious.
    • The main course: The Barbary Duck breast, was cooked inside duck bones for more than 5h, and was served with confit leg croquets that were crispy and light. It was complemented with potato fondant and exciting foie gras espuma thanks to the use of the magic of nitrogen again. The Maltese sauce made by adding the juice of blood oranges completed the dish. The name maltese sauce, come from the time when Napolean was in Malta and lived in an area called El Buscate, and where trees of black oranges grows.
      For me the main dish was simply divine!
    • The dessert was beautifully presented; Milk Parfait, Almond cake, Mqaret dates, prickly pear ice cream: This was absolutely fulsome, enjoyable and it brings me somewhere home with some familiar flavours, like almond and dates
    • Patisserie Mignon: a kind of homemade petits fours: village biscuits, bitter almond biscuit, honey rings… This kind of patisserie is served during weddings celebrations

    So, the wow factor was certainly not lacking in the menu created for tonight’s dinner. A big bravo to Chef Jonathan Spiteri, Director of Culinary, and Chef Lanka De Silva, Chef de Cuisine, Symphony Hotel.

    Mr. Yamen Tehfe, Director of operations, and Mr. Iskander Belkhiria, Food and drinks Service Manager, at Symphony Hotel made sure that we were treated with a service surpassing expectation. Thank you Mr. Peter Schuller, General Manager of Symphony Hotel for taking on the challenge to arrange tonight excellent dinner. A big thank you Peter, and the whole symphony Hotel team for an outstanding fine dining experience.

    Last and not least, a very special Thank you to his Excellency the Ambassador of the Republic of Malta to Kuwait, Mr. Patrick Cole, and his charming wife Mrs. Josephine, for hosting us tonight.

  • Dinner Compliments by Mrs. Katherine Baker at Romania Ambassador Residence January 20, 2018

    Good evening Ambassador and Mrs. Tanase, fellow Chaine members and dignitaries. Before I begin with my compliments on a truly enjoyable evening, I would like to extend our sincere appreciation to His Excellency Daniel & Mrs. Lina Tanase for their kind and generous hospitality.

    I would now like to ask the Sheraton General Manager, Fahed Abushaar to please come up and join me ….

    We would also like to welcome the Kitchen brigade, headed by Chef Frank Noack, Cluster Culinary Director; Chef Simone Murru, Executive Sous Chef; Chef Edward George, Head Chef Tournant and Chef Thandar Saw, Asst. Executive Pastry Chef …
    – AND -
    …the Service Brigade, headed by Kurt Viehmann, Resident Manager; Nadi Abdel Rahman, OutSide Catering Service Manager; Taha Wagdy, Assistant OutSide Catering Service Manager; and Ronaldo Robles, Assistant Banqueting Service Manager, to please join us.

    For me, it is always a personal pleasure to compliment Fahed Abushaar and his outstanding team. I gave my first Chaine compliments, which happened to be 30+ years ago, at the Riccardo Restaurant in the Sheraton Hotel, during a visit from Italy. It is a testament to Fahed’s outstanding professionalism that he has maintained the highest quality of service over all these years. I am delighted to be standing here with him.

    Now, to the food.
    As always, the Sheraton has delivered a lovely dinner with the finest ingredients prepared by outstanding cooks with excellent service!

    Tonight, under the direction of His Excellency & Mrs. Tanase who worked with Chef Frank to create the menu, we were treated to a classical Romanian dinner with some twists. Romanian food is distinct, yet familiar to most people. It has been said by Nicolae Klepper that “the central characteristic of the Romanian cuisine is its great variety. It is a cuisine influenced by repeated waves of different cultures: the ancient Greeks, with whom Romanians traded; the Romans, who gave the country its name; the Saxons, who settled in southern Transylvania; the Turks, who for centuries dominated Romania; as well as Slavic and Magyar (Hungarian Clan) neighbors. All of these influences gradually blended into the varied and delicious Romanian culinary tradition”

    We were introduced to the theme of Romanian culinary tradition, with canapes of tasty fish, beef, egg and cheeses combined with horseradish, herbed mayonnaise, pickles and wholegrain breads.

    The starter of fish was a visual delight and culinary treat! The trout fillet with caviar was divine. But for me, it was the smoked Balik salmon that took my attention! Considered by most aficionados to be the best-smoked salmon in the world, it traces its roots back to Imperial Russia. It was forgotten for decades, until Hans Gerd Kubel had a chance meeting with the grandson of the Imperial Court Smoker. They chose a location in the Swiss Alps because of its pure groundwater and the quality of the wood in the high-altitude forests, to recreate the original smoke ovens. Chef Frank took is one-step higher by marinating it in spiced 18-carat gold powder to enhance the texture even more!

    The unexpected presentation of the beetroot soup with beef was truly appreciated and practical, allowing each of us to personalize the amount of sour cream to add to this delicious Borsch. Complimented by the wonderful wholegrain bread, the soup was warm and wonderful.

    One of the ultimate comfort foods was our next treat. The exceptionally tasty corn-fed chicken atop the tomato coulis, delicate cabbage roll and polenta combined all the lovely flavors of Romania. A perfectly combined main course for tonight’s chilly weather.

    Our culinary journey was topped-off with a beautifully presented dessert with sumptuous tastes, delicate accents, fabulous walnut ice cream and lovely cheese. I can see why the sweet cottage-cheese donut rolls brought back fond memories to Ambassador Tanase.

    Thank you Chef Frank and your team for an extraordinary culinary trip to Romania and Kurt Viehmann and your team for top-notch service. You have taken traditional cuisine to another level with the best ingredients – haute comfort food!

    Ambassador Tanase, we thank you for giving us the opportunity to taste some of Romania’s fine wines, which have developed over its 2,000-year winemaking tradition!

  • Dinner Compliments by Mr. Basil Toutoungi at Brazil Ambassador Residence – February 10, 2018

    Boa noite your Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen and friends de la Chaine.I would like to thank His Excellency Norton De Andrade Mello Rabesta and his lovely wife for hosting us tonight at their residence.

    Marina and I have a sentimental attachment to Brazil as we went to Rio on our honeymoon!

    Mr. Ambassador you stole many points of my speech so it will be shorter however you skipped an important element: I am sure you’ve all heard about the most famous Rio carnival which just started yesterday and will end next Wednesday on Valentine’s Day! It’s too bad we don’t have a live demonstration here tonight of what’s happening there! The carnival is symbolic of the national ethos because it highlights the dualities in Brazilian life: wealth and poverty, African and European, female and male.

    Brazil is probably best known as the land of the Amazon, the world's largest river in volume of water. The Amazon forest is the largest rain forest in the world covering 40% of its territory and it contains the largest reserve of biological organisms. I spent 3 days in the Pantanal and it was the most memorable sightseeing trip I’ve ever done. I was about to be devoured by a group of caimans but managed to escape! I’m serious it is not a joke!

    It is the 5th largest country in the world with over 200 million people. Brazil is also famous for its beaches and its cult of football as it has won the World Cup on more occasions than any other country. It has one of the tallest statues in the world; it is Christ the Redeemer in Rio de Janeiro one of the 7 Wonders of the World.

    The first European to come to Brazil was Pedro Cabral from Portugal in 1500. In the mid 19th century a civil war lead to the independence from Portugal and freeing the slaves. It is the only country in the Americas that speaks Portuguese and it is a huge melting pot of different nationalities.

    Although the Portuguese culture is predominant, it has been influenced by the indigenous Indians, freed African slaves and other immigrants to represent the modern Brazilian way of life. Other large communities include Germans, Italians, Japanese (largest community outside Japan) and from the Middle-East.

    Although the Portuguese culture is predominant, it has been influenced by the indigenous Indians, freed African slaves and other immigrants to represent the modern Brazilian way of life. Other large communities include Germans, Italians, Japanese (largest community outside Japan) and from the Middle-East.

    Brazil is a very rich and well developed country known for its natural resources: coffee, cocoa, cotton, oil, cattle, soybeans, minerals, gem stones, gold, as well as for its sophisticated technology (aircrafts, etc.).

    Now about its gastronomy: There is not an exact single "national Brazilian cuisine", but there is an assortment of various regional traditions.

    The many waves of immigrants brought some of their typical dishes, replacing missing ingredients with local equivalents. For instance, when potatoes were not available they discovered how to use the native sweet manioc as a replacement. Root vegetables such as cassava and yams and fruits like mango, papaya, guava, passion fruit and pineapple are among the local ingredients used in cooking.

    In the Northern states, due to the abundance of forest and freshwater rivers, fish and shrimps are staple foods. In the deep south like Rio Grande do Sul, the influence shifts towards gaúcho traditions due to this region livestock based economy where churrasco, a barbecue of a variety of meats is popular. In Espírito Santo the state dish is of Amerindian origin, called moqueca which is a tomato and fish stew.

    The foreign influence extended to later migratory waves. In São Paulo Japanese immigrants adapted the recipe of fried spring rolls to sell as snacks at street markets. The Risólis (from pierogy of Polish cuisine) and kibbeh (from Syrian and Lebanese cuisine) are common finger food items.

    The national beverage is coffee, while cachaça is Brazil's native liquor. Cachaça is distilled from sugarcane and is the main ingredient in the national cocktail, caipirinha, which we had at the beginning. Other drinks include beer, rum, mate tea and a variety of fruit juices such as pineapple or lemon mixed with sugarcane often called vitaminas.

    Not surprisingly with a great weather, plenty of sun and fertile land the Brazilian wines we sampled tonight were fabulous.

    To accompany our drinks and meal the cheese buns (pao-de-queijo) we had are made with tapioca flour (so gluten free), parmesan and mozzarella cheeses. They are so addictive and easy to make, crispy on the outside yet amazingly soft and chewy inside. They are very similar to their French cousin called Gougères.

    Our mixed leaves salad with baby green and purple spinach and cashews was very refreshing with its raspberry vinaigrette. The timbale of mango, avocado and strawberry illustrates the Brazilian art of mixing fruits and vegetables.

    The hot entrée of stuffed pumpkin with sautéed shrimps was delicious with the seasoning composed of tomatoes, olive oil, shallots, garlic and coriander. I hope you dug deep to scoop out the mascarpone cheese. Not only was it delicious but the presentation was a work of art.

    Unfortunately Brazilian beef not being available locally, the American Angus variety was used for our main course. It was perfectly cooked with wild mushrooms. The accompanying succulent mashed kidney beans were flavoured with beef bacon and shallots and the polenta was mixed with quinoa and seasoned with rosemary, olive oil and saffron; a very filling dish.

    Unfortunately Brazilian beef not being available locally, the American Angus variety was used for our main course. It was perfectly cooked with wild mushrooms. The accompanying succulent mashed kidney beans were flavoured with beef bacon and shallots and the polenta was mixed with quinoa and seasoned with rosemary, olive oil and saffron; a very filling dish.

    In closing I would like to thank the team from the Hilton Hotel for serving us such a delicious dinner. In particular I would like to highlight the contribution of:

    • Executive Chef Abdulkader Yamout & his kitchen team
    • Banquet Manager Mahmoud ElFeky & his service team
    • Florian Gruhl Director of Operations who is replacing General Manager Ziad Tantawi in his absence.

    Last but not least a warm hand of applause to our maestro Mohamed Najia for organizing such great events!

    Vive la Chaine

    Obrigado

  • Dinner Compliments by Mrs. Marina Toutoungi at Canada Ambassador Residence – September 23, 2017

    Good evening your Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen and friends de la Chaine. It is a great pleasure for us to be here this evening at the Canadian Residence.

    We are gathered here at the start of another year of dinners to gorge on succulent flavours and smells. We are hosted tonight by the Canadian Ambassador Martine Moreau to highlight the fact that this year Canada is celebrating 150 years of existence. Tonight the generous team of the J W Marriot served us a delicious meal using Canadian recipes and ingredients.

    150 yrs ago two European nations, the French and the English decided to bury their hatchets and smoke the pipe of peace le calumet de la paix and finally shake hands to create the great country that is Canada.

    On July 1, 1867, four provinces (Ontario, Quebec, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick) got together to form the new Dominion of Canada under the leadership of the 1st Canadian Prime Minister John A McDonald. This union was inspired by fear of annexation by the US coming out of the civil war and the belief that Britain was becoming reluctant to defend its North American colonies. The other provinces joined over the following hundred years, with Nunavut joining in 1999 making Canada the second largest country in the world with one of the lowest population density.

    It is important not to forget that before the arrival of the Europeans, the Native Indian tribes lived in this vast area and today we owe them a lot in terms of traditions including culinary recipes.

    This year is not just a random celebration for Canada only: Montreal is marking 375 years since the founding of Fort Ville-Marie and in our national sport; the National Hockey League is celebrating the centennial year of the Montreal Canadians team.

    This year is an occasion to reflect back and look forward and I am convinced the future is forever bright for a country that does not discriminate against race, religion or ethnic background and where all citizens have equal rights and opportunities.

    Tonight we were presented with 3 plates by chef Joseph D’Acosta and his skilled team.

    The dinner started with a smoked salmon roll accompanied by a fig that was poached for 12 hours and marinated in a tangy raspberry vinaigrette.

    In Canada this is simply called lox on a bagel with cream cheese. The salmon came from Nova Scotia it was soaked in brine then cold smoked. We learnt this technique from Native American Indians who smoked and dried lox and used it for food and barter.

    As for the bagel part, it’s an Austrian import that most likely came with the wave of European immigration at the start of last century. Finally cream cheese has its roots in Britain.

    What's certain is that bagel met and married lox in Montreal and it has become a staple of Montreal’s food scene.

    The intermezzo plate was composed of 3 seared scallops that originated from the Atlantic coast. This was my favorite part of the meal.

    The North American scallops are larger and genetically different from their European cousins called coquille St Jacques. Biting into the perfectly cooked scallops felt like eating a seafood marshmallow seasoned with an aromatic combination of crisp capsicum and well-seasoned endives.

    The piece the resistance was a surf and turf, a classic Canadian dish marrying beef from the western prairies and lobster from the eastern coast.

    Historically the prairies were hunting grounds for the native Indian Crees. Only two centuries ago, about 40 million buffalos roamed freely across North America.

    By the late 19th century settlers drove them to the brink of extinction as a result of over-hunting and mass slaughters and they were replaced by herds of cattle and now Canadian beef is known worldwide for its well marbled tender meat.

    As for the surf part, the Canadian cold water lobster is unique as it has a very hard shell; it has been called the “king of seafood.”

    This lobster is the preferred type and one of the most nutritious sources of protein.

    Before we discuss deserts I would like to mention that British Columbia has become a significant player in wine production. My favorite wine comes from the Niagara Region in Ontario and is an ice-wine made with white grapes that are only harvested after the first freeze of the season.

    It is mostly produced by German immigrants who brought their knowhow to this micro-climate region. As you probably understood: it is an award winning desert wine!

    To end this delicious meal we had a generous and sophisticated table of deserts. I would like to highlight the maple syrup pie (tarte au sucre).

    Maple syrup is produced with the sap of maple trees in spring time. The province of Quebec is one of the largest producers of maple syrup in the world. We should not forget that the use of maple syrup in deserts comes from the Iroquois Indians.

    The maple tree was of particular importance to the Native Americans who developed the art of processing maple sap into syrup as the sugar could easily be transported and lasted through long winters. Maple sap was considered a gift from the Creator and many aspects their culture and traditions revolved around maple sugaring.

    Today going to a “cabane a sucre” (or sugaring off party) marks the beginning of warmer days and a delicious meal shared in the woods with family and friends.

    Nothing says CANADA more than a maple tree in fall, and as a matter of fact its leaf adorns our National flag. As you may have noticed, our tables this evening are named after the provinces of Canada.

    Last but not least, we have been entertained by the beautiful voice and music of the one and only Mr.

    By the way I would like to mention that Canada is home to many world class artists. Just to name a few,Neil Young, the late Leonard Cohen, Paul Anka, Diana Krall, Celine Dion, Shania Twain and Justin Bieber.....the list is very long!!!

    Thank you all for participating this evening.

    Special Thanks to Mr George Aoun Cluster General Manager
    Mr Ziad Wafti Directors of operation
    Chef Joseph D’Acosta Executive Chef
    Chef Padreep Kurup Pastry Chef
    Mr Mohammad Bleik Director of Events

    Mohammad you are the most accomplished maestro.

    Vive La Chaine.

  • Dinner Compliments by Mrs. Dina Attie at Malta Ambassador Residence – March 21, 2017

    Good evening your Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen. It is a great pleasure for us to be here this evening at the Maltese Residence.
    A big thank you to Ambassador Patrick Cole and his lovely wife Josephine for hosting us ....

    This is indeed the first Chaine dinner to be held at the residence and we hope that it will be the first of many more to come...

    The Maltese people are known to be friendly, generous, welcoming and happy.... In fact, last year Malta was the 30th happiest country on earth according to a UN report....
    Coincidently, the UN World Happiness Day is next week on March the 20th... when the new ranking will be revealed...
    We wish Malta the best of luck and hope that they will be in the 10 top this year!!!!

    Some more interesting facts I'd like to share with you about Malta.... The republic of Malta is part of the European Union and sits just 50 miles south of Sicily and 186 miles northeast of Tunisia. It has a craggy coast, stunning beaches and bays, is rich in history and is one of Europe's smallest countries. With a population of just under 450,000, it is also one of the world's smallest and most densely populated countries....

    Malta has 2 official languages - English and Maltese...
    Maltese is a unique branch of Arabic. Descended from Siculo-Arabic which developed in Sicily some 800 years ago, Maltese sounds Arabic but uses Latin script...

    The capital Valletta is not only the smallest national capital in the EU but it is one of the most concentrated historical areas in the works according to UNESCO. In fact, Malta is home to 10 UNESCO World Heritage Sites 3 confirmed and 10 tentative...

    Malta's location has historically given it great strategic importance as a naval base, and a succession of 11 foreign powers have ruled the islands ... including the Phoenicians, Greeks, Romans, Moors, Normans, Sicilians, Spanish, Knights of St John, French, and finally the British who ruled Malta for 150 years until 1964, when it became independent.

    These foreign rulers left behind various traces that can be found and admired around the Maltese islands. From unique prehistoric temples to Roman catacombs, it also has medieval towns and the extraordinary architectural and artistic legacy of the Knights of St John also known as the Knights of Malta.... Who controlled Malta from 1530 until 1798...

    The Knights of Malta are most remembered for successfully defending the island against the Ottomans during The Great Siege of 1565.

    As you may have noticed, our tables this evening are named after the famous Grand Masters of the ORDER...

    Jean de La Vallette Parisot, Alof de Wignacourt and Nicolas Cotoner to name a few... you can find more information about them on the signs on your table....

    Incidentally, the Knights of Malta still exist today with 13,500 Knights and Dames of the Order remaining true to its original inspiring principles....

    Maltese cuisine is the result of a long relationship between the Islanders and the many civilisations who occupied the Maltese Islands over the centuries. This marriage of tastes has given Malta an eclectic mix of Mediterranean cooking which we have been so fortunate to sample this evening.

    Prepared by Maltese chef Jonathan Spiteri, we were served an exquisite meal - Jonathan's unique versions of typical Maltese specialities were a delight from the very first bite.....

    Our starter of cheese stuffed mini aubergine, red pepper and courgette set on baby fennel with a splash of balsamic glaze was soft, creamy and light, enhanced by the subtle mix of herb flavours....
    a striking contrast to how it usually is prepared with meat....

    Following, we were served a distinctive and simplified version of the traditional Widow's Soup... Using a rich herb infused creamy pumpkin base... the chef cleverly incased the goat's cheese in ravioli to create an intense 'rustic' impact from the smokey to the sharp cheesy flavour....

    Our third dish was a slow cooked Seabass fillet on a pool of yellow egg sauce. In Malta this dish would have been prepared with the local fish called Lampuki... Decorating the delicious Seabass were the stuffed artichoke hearts that had a surprise taste in every bite... One stuffed with sundried tomatoes, the other black olives and the third with pesto... A truly fresh homemade experience...

    To change our palates, we were served red orange sorbet sitting on a bed of candied sunflower seeds with traditional Maltese marmalade. The experience of sweet crunchy verses the fruity cold and tangy orange was exceptionally tasty and refreshing. **BTW did you know that blood oranges are originally from Malta ??? And apparently Napoleon whilst in Malta fell in love with these oranges and took back seeds to plant them in France...

    For the main course we were presented with rabbit which is a Maltese local favourite. The beautifully presented moist herb wrapped rabbit served with the succulent braised lamb loin combined with the flan set on a savoury rich herb sauce was a tasty delight complimented by the mild rabbit brûlée. It was a most creative and successful contemporary representation of a typical homemade dish...

    And last but not least... The dessert... we were beautifully presented a fabulous selection of the best desserts in Malta... The Milk Semi Freddo which is traditionally served at weddings was deliciously creamy and soft, in contrast to the tangy bitter orange and strawberry cream sitting besides it....
    Similarly the (Mqaret) Emarret date pastry was subtly crunchy in contrast to the sweet yet light textured almond cake ... All of which were surrounded by a fruity pink biscuit crumble that completed our dessert experience.

    With such a superb dinner, the Chef has truly succeeded in taking us through a memorable culinary journey through Malta.

    I would like to thank the Symphony Style Hotel and their team for this superb meal and most enjoyable evening.
    Thank you to:

    Peter Schuler – General Manager

    Yamen Tehfe – Director of Food & Drinks
    Jonathan Spiteri – Executive Chef
    Donfred Valladares – Executive Sous Chef
    Mohammed Asim – Senior Operations manager

  • Dinner Compliments by Mrs. Randa Kayello at South Koreca Ambassador Residence – February 18, 2017

    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. ZiadTantawi, the general manager. Mr. AbdulkadirYamout 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 NajiaBailliDelegue 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
  • Dinner Compliments by Mr. Basil Toutoungi at Italy Ambassador Residence – May 13, 2017

    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 have the May Chaine dinner at the Italian residence and we all hope it 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 a name on it and it is the name of an inventor. Some of them had good ideas, in fact so good that they revolutionized the world and many are commonly used in our daily lives.

    I will tell you a story; a frog story: In 1786, Luigi Galvani, a doctor, noticed that a frog's throat contracted sharply on contact with two metals: he then thought he had discovered "animal electricity". His friend, Alessandro Volta, a physicist, thought instead that it was the coupling of metals that created electricity. He was right, he had just invented the electric battery; a true revolution was born…

    If you thought that the smart phone that you have in your hands was the descendant of the work of Graham Bell, this American of Scottish origin then you are wrong! Two Italians were the originators of the telephone. First, Innocenzo Manzetti then Antonio Meucci came up with this idea but, for lack of money, neither one of them patented their invention. Then came along Graham Bell and the rest is history...

    Father Eugenio Barsanti together with Felice Matteucci invented the first version of the internal combustion engine in 1853. They thought it was a great improvement over the steam engine. The main target was to provide mechanical energy in factories and for naval propulsion but unfortunately their version was not light enough for use as an automotive engine.

    Alessandro Cruto while working on producing diamonds in his lab created the incandescent light bulb in 1874. His factory was sold a number of times, went bankrupt and was eventually acquired by Philips in 1927.

    Enrico Forlanini, a physician developed in 1877, an early helicopter powered by a steam engine. It was the first of its type that rose to a height of 13 meters after a vertical take-off from a park in Milan and it remained in the air for some 20 seconds. I don’t know if it crashed after or landed safely!

    The radio was developed as a communication medium by Guglielmo Marconi in 1895.

    Obviously who else would have invented the espresso machine but an Italian: Angelo Moriondo in 1884 in Torino.

    The piano was invented by Bartolomeo Cristofori in 1709.

    Federico Faggin an Italian physicist became famous for designing the first commercial microprocessor. The Programma 101, which some consider to be the first desktop computer, was designed at Olivetti, and launched in 1965.

    There is no end to the list of inventions by Italians, here are just a few others:

    Chemist Giulio Natta was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1963 for his invention of plastic (PVC) in 1954 which at that time was considered science fiction.

    The first bank to open for business was the Bank of San Giorgio in Genoa, in 1149

    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 but there were no airplanes at that time! So not only they invented the helicopter, they had the parachute ready for it!

    And the list is long…So with all these inventions let us give to Caesar what is to Caesar!

    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, abundance of difference in taste, 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. Ingredients and dishes vary by region.

    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 olive oil unfiltered 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.

    As starters the 3 scallops 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 slices of truffles from Umbria and morel mushrooms signalling the arrival of spring. The veal was so tender we didn’t need a knife to cut it. Here again the challenge was to get the meat cooked to perfection for everyone. 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 with Sorrento lemons.

    After such a fabulous meal I can only repeat the Italian saying of: 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
    • Cihan Alici - Food and Beverage Director
    • Chiara Mondi - Marketing Manager

    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!

    Vive la Chaine

  • Dinner Compliments by Mrs. Randa Kayello at Dutch Ambassador Residence – October 07, 2017

    Your Excellency, Ladies and Gentlemen,

    We meet again, at the Embassy of Kingdom of the Netherlands, a kingdom that dates back to 1815; The House of Orange Nassau is the Royal house of the Netherlands. The current king is Willem Alexander; he’s married to queen Maxima, of Argentinian origin, who was listed in the Vanity Fair magazine as the best dressed royal in 2014. They have three daughters, Amalia, Alexia and Ariane.

    The Netherlands is a country that is part of the kingdom of the Netherlands; Most of it is in Western Europe, and several small islands in the Caribbean Sea which are Aruba, Curacao and Sint Maarten.

    Tonight we have the pleasure to be seated at tables named after Dutch icons, such as, but not limited to, FIETS (Bike): For a population of 17 million they have over 19 million bikes, no wonder it’s called the land of Bikes. Koe (Cow): The Dutch are the world’s largest cheese exporters, with a dairy industry worth over seven billion Euros. Our menu tonight was inspired the traditional Dutch cuisine, which started as simple and straight forward with many vegetables and little meat, and evolved by the 21st century into a much more cosmopolitan and internationally acclaimed cuisine.

    I would like to start by thanking his Excellency Mr. Frans Potuyt and his wife Anita for hosting this evening and the Symphony Style hotel for catering it.

    No Dutch meal would be complete without its famous Cheeses, the breaded Maasdam cheese with parsley pesto, Quail eggs and confit of fennel tartare was a fitting starter for traditional meal. The second course, my favorite, Seared Scallops with Pumpkin puree, paired with Sole Beignet over apple salad, was cooked to perfection; the seasonal sides, especially the apple salad were carefully chosen to enhance and not overpower the subtlety of the seafood.

    The sorbet was an excellent palate cleanser. Pleasantly sweet and tart all at once. Adding the strawberry rhubarb compote was truly creative.

    The main event, as usual, outshone it all. The slow roasted Dutch bobby Veal Loin, expertly cooked for 6 hours @ 55degrees is a carnivore’s dream, The basil barley risotto took it from ordinary to the extra ordinary. The piece de resistance was the stuffed morels, I loved it

    The dessert was an absolute delight, I’m speechless, a perfect finale to a perfect meal, carefully chosen, impeccably executed, and artistically displayed. But then again, anything less wouldn’t be the Symphony Style Hotel standard would it.

    And now Ladies and Gentlemen,

    Things we didn’t know about the Netherlands:

    The Netherlands has the world’s oldest national anthem dating back to the 16th century.

    • The kingdom of the Netherlands is a founding member state at the European Union.
    • Amsterdam, the capital of the Netherlands, has more than 150 canals, 1500 bridges and about 90 islands; it has many names, the diamond capital, or city of a hundred canals. Due to its soil, it was entirely built on wooden piles, hence the name Venice of the North.
    • The Netherlands means the low lands. The land only rises on average 1 meter above sea level. One third of the land is below sea level, making the Dutch experts keeping the water away. So, in 2005 during hurricane Katrina, the United States government turned to the Dutch.
    • The Dutch consume more than 150 liters of coffee per year, making them the biggest coffee drinkers in the world.
    • They export around 1.3 billion liters of beer making them the largest exporters of beer in the world.
    • The Royal Dutch Shell, Unilever, Schlumberger, ING group, Philips and Heineken Holding are a few among many Dutch companies on the Forbes top 1000 companies list.

    Once again, thank you your Excellency and Mrs. Potuyt for a lovely evening. Thank you, Symphony Style hotel, headed by Mr. Schuler, the general manager, Mr. Amin A Tehfe, director of food and beverage and your team for a memorable experience. Last but not least thanks to Mr. Mohamad Najia for bringing the Chaines to what it is from where it was. No one does it better.

    Thank you and Goodnight.

  • Dinner Compliments by Dr. Hanan Al Mutawa at German Ambassador Residence November 04, 2017

    Welcome
    Guten abend
    herr botschafter und frau bergner
    ihre exzellenzen
    vorstand und mitglieder der Chaîne des Rôtisseurs in kuwait
    sehr verehrte gäste
    und wunderbares team des Sheraton
    Ambassador Karlfried and Madam Uli, Bergner

    Your Excellencies, Mr Mohamed Najia Baillis Délégué for Kuwait ; Executive Board ,Members of the Chaîne des Rôtisseurs chapter Kuwait and their distinguished guests

    The management, hospitality and table service teams in attendance from the Sheraton Hotel Kuwait Good evening

    Personal story of various celebrations at the hotel
    Many a happy occasion is celebrated at this esteemed organisation and with special mention of the Riccardo one of its luxurious restaurants on site.

    Introduction
    It is an absolute privilege to be given the opportunity to not only be provided a seat at the Chaîne des Rôtisseurs Dinner hosted by H.E. The Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany and Madam Uli, but to be asked to critique the cuisine is an additional honour. Embarking on this journey, I discovered great stories behind the tradition of the German feast heading into winter. Many moons ago, a Roman officer, travelling through a snow storm by horse, came across a beggar who was suffering the natural elements. The officer, without thought, removed his own cape, cut it in half and offered the half to the beggar. It is with this story that Germans welcome winter and the spirit of giving through the sharing of food around a dinner table. It is with this insight, that I came prepared to experience such generosity and representation of tradition on a plate. I certainly did not feel I would be let down when a team such as our gracious hosts were working hand in hand with Chef Frank Noack Cluster Culinary Director and the Sheraton Grand Hotel.

    Table Decorations and Theme
    It was delightful to see the classic setting welcoming what was to come for the evening. The purity of the white flowers and linen laced with white crockery provided the perfect canvas for the delicate food plating. On brand new collection of fine Baucher china dressed beautifully by the humbling technique shown through the plating of the dishes. For final touches, fresh Pumpernickel bread and refreshing Gerolsteiner water and the paired elegantly with the various wines from the region set us off for the evening. Furthermore, our tables were named after famous German composers, adding to the ambiance of the classical Chaîne des Rôtisseurs dinner held at the German Embassy. Bach, Händel, Haydn, Beethoven, Mendelssohn Bartholdy, Schumann, Wagner, Brahms Elegance of the music classicists of Beethoven and Bach are the favoured composers to Karl and Uli I have been informed that Ambassador Karl and Madam Uli are gifting their guests with a CD compilation of Beethoven.
    Thank you

    Walking into the venue, one instantly got the sensation of escaping to Germany through the senses. The plating of the food emphasized this through the vivid autumn colours of reds and oranges. Highlighting the traditional hunting season too, did not go unnoticed, with the addition of goose and duck within the dishes. I instantly got the feel of exploring various geographical regions through the morsels of delight on each plate. It was a privilege to be exposed to such great food preparation techniques.

    Course 1 – Geraucherte Entenbrust & Eingelegte Birnen
    The first plate enchanted us with smoked duck breast and liver parfait, marinated baby pears and raspberry coulis. The region of influence for this course is both west Germany and France, as seen by the incorporation of the fois-gras. The terrine roll was exquisite with its delicate duck liver mousse. However, the star of the dish was the perfection of the Duck. It was served at optimum temperature which the Chef masterfully perfected; Not iced or lukewarm but MAKELLOSIEGKEIT This dish was paired beautifully with *** red/white wine.

    Course 2 – Klare Ochsenschw Anzsuppe
    When the clear, golden broth immersed from the serving pot and engulfed the island of beef meat in my dish, I was truly excited. The presentation of this dish was charming and most suitable as a second course. The flavourful oxtail soup and grilled butter crouton, which was thoughtfully paired with *** red/white wine, made me long for cold winter nights that will be arriving in the near future. Can you just see yourselves sitting by a log fire snuggled with your loved one sharing this soup?

    *Annotation on German Industry in Kuwait
    Mercedes, BMW, Siemens, ABB Volkswagen, Porsche, Audi Lufthansa, Sebamed, Nivea Aigner, Mont Blanc and MCM (Mode Creation Munich)

    Course 3 – Gebratenes Zanderfilet & Rahmsaurkraut
    This North regional dish greeted us with pan fried pike perch fillet, creamy sour cabbage, crashed baby potatoes accompanied by a micro cress salad. The Szandeh fish is a delicate river fish, comparable to an Arabic fish called Sheem. The perfect balance of the crunchy skin harmonised with the fresh, flakiness of the fish which was triggered by the flavourful, lemon touch. The white cabbage was sensational and finished the dish off appropriately. This third course was meticulously paired with *** red/white.

    *Annotation on German Foods in Kuwait
    Bretzel, Dr. Oetker (for baking, large selection in Coop!), Ritter Sport chocolates, Frikadellen (cold beef minced meat, like a Knödel), Spätzle (German pasta), Schupfnudel (German Gnocchi), Black Forest Cake, Marble Cake, Kinderschokolade, Gummibärchen!!! , Jägermeister (to be served), Rote Grütze (berries compote with vanilla sauce), German Christmas cookies and Stollen.

    Course 4 – Traditionelle Martinsgans
    It is clear to say that this dish surpassed my expectations. The traditionally braised Goose, orange-mugwort gravy, red cabbage, bread dumplings and caramelised chestnuts left nothing to be desired. It was pure perfection on a plate. This course honoured the German autumn months representing the result of a successful hunting season. The highlight, apart from the braised, glazed Goose, is the infamous Knoodle Dumpling, which can be mistaken for scrumptious baby potatoes. To know that these tiny delights are carefully stuffed with seasonal fruits such as prunes, apricots and raisins is worthy of recognition on its own. The Goose was cooked to perfection with crispy skin and guests were spoilt with beautiful cuts of breast as well as the leg. The hints of apple shavings and use of warming nutmeg and clove spices are commendable. This dish was flawless; absolute compliments to the Head Chef and his team.

    Course 5 – Apfelstrudel & Vanilleeis
    Tonight, the Pastry Chef has perfected the orchestra of delightful courses closing the masterpiece of fine dining with Apple Strudel coupled with Bourbon vanilla ice cream. Insightfully designed, this dish was elegantly completed by a playful serving of Apple Brule foam. In true German style, klar wie Kloßbrühe; it is crystal clear that the option for the last course was the perfect ending to our dining experience.

    Conclusion
    With Germany currently boasting 292 Michelin Stars for the year 2017, it was an honour to be provided the golden opportunity to dine amongst connoisseurs and leaders of this industry and, indulge in German cuisine and critique German culinary excellence

    Credits to the Culinary, Hospitality and Service teams

    • I would like to close with giving thanks to the teams involved in making tonight a success.
    • Mr Fahed AbuChaar General Manager
    • Mr Kurt Viehmann Resident Manager i/c of Food and Beverage
    • Chef Frank Noack Cluster Culinary Director
    • Chef Simone Executive Sous Chef
    • Chef Edward Head Chef
    • Mr Nady Outside catering Manager And his assistant Mr Taha

    Additional Thanks
    A Special mention to our Pianist who has delighted us with her talent, Miss Kinga from Poland A special vote of thanks to MCM retailers for your contribution of the gift bag . Elegant black and gold bags await to be collected by each person Thank you MCM for your support.

    With Mohamed Najia’s permission, I close the evening wishing you a safe drive home and till we meet again – Viva La Chaîne!

    Vielen dank – kommen sie gut nach hause – gute nacht

    Kind regards
    Hanan Al-Mutawa
    Kuwait

  • 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

  • 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.

    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

    Next

    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:

    Duck Consommé

    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.

    6.

    Confused lamington

    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

    “Dear friends

    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

    After that…..

    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
    And
    Good night.

    Mamdouh

  • 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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