IT’S A FOOD PAIRING you likely won’t experience anywhere else. At Brasserie Prince by Alain Roux at The Balmoral Edinburgh, Executive Chef Alain Roux, in collaboration with his father, Michel Roux, O.B.E., matches the best in Scottish produce with classic French cooking. The seasonally inspired classics include freshly caught seafood, a raw bar, lively light bites and sharing plates.
The collaboration marks a pairing of two families famed in the hospitality industry: Roux and his father with Rocco Forte Hotels. The Balmoral, a landmark in the city, has served as Edinburgh’s most prestigious address for more than a century. It boasts other eateries, including the Michelin-starred Number One restaurant and an award-winning spa.
WHICH DESTINATIONS INSPIRED YOU, AND HOW HAS THAT INSPIRATION TRANSLATED INTO YOUR CULINARY CONCEPTS? I seek inspiration wherever I go. When I arrive in a destination, I love to explore the local ingredients, so a visit to the local market is a must. It’s always been about the beauty of things as well as the taste, for me. California is a chef’s paradise, stretching from farmers’ markets to Chinatown in San Francisco. There is such a rich variety of ingredients. Asia is also a mecca for chefs, and I love to explore the crazy, busy streets and fall in love with a recipe to bring home. I’m obsessed with the simplicity of the flavors and ingredients.
But when it comes to ingredients, Scotland is hard to beat; it is the heart of Great Britain for food. The cold, clean waters of its lochs and seas mean Scotland’s fish and seafood is some of the best in the world. I love the Highland beef, game, wildfowl, venison and the quality, freshness and flavor of the fruits and vegetables.
WHOM DO YOU CONSIDER TO BE YOUR CULINARY HERO? Either my dad, Michel, or Uncle Albert … depends who’s listening! I must also credit my mother, Françoise, a naturally gifted cook, and perhaps the family’s most important culinary influence, my maternal grandmother, Germaine. We all grew up on her humble yet delicious recipes.
WHAT ONE PERSON MOST INFLUENCED YOUR COOKING STYLE? It is difficult to choose since I have worked under eight head chefs, mainly in France at some Michelin-starred restaurants. If I have to choose one, it would be Denis Ruffel, chef owner of Pâtisserie Millet in Paris, under whom I served an apprenticeship during the 1980s. Chef Ruffel was an inspiring, generous teacher who guided me through a varied, focused pastry apprenticeship, but he taught me so much more. I accompanied him to the food markets, worked with him on his cookbooks, participated in demonstrations and collaborated on new recipes. We also catered for special events for private customers, so it was an excellent, multifaceted learning ground.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE FOOD CITY? I have two equal favorites on opposite sides of the globe: New York and Tokyo. New York is mind-blowing for its sheer diversity. Even fast food and tea shops offer outstanding service and top-quality ingredients; I don’t know how they do it. I love Asian flavors, and I find the best representation in Tokyo, where I love to explore and always discover a new style of dish, restaurant or combination of ingredients. The food is less processed and meals are balanced.
WHAT DO YOU THINK THE NEXT BIG TREND ON THE FOOD SCENE WILL BE? I sense restaurants serving food sourced from their own kitchen gardens or at least locally will become more popular. The consumer is losing trust in corporate mass production and the damage it is wreaking on our health and environment. It’s about self-respect and wanting to eat food on our doorstep. As a chef, I feel passionate about this and place great importance on building relationships with local suppliers when sourcing grains, meat, fish, organic vegetables, fruit and even dairy products.
THE BALMORAL EDINBURGH
1 Princes St.
Edinburgh EH2 2EQ
tel 44 131 556 2414
Welcome to Rhodes, a medieval treasure beautifully preserved throughout the centuries. Rhodes is the capital of the Dodecanese, an island ideal not only for those who want to relax, but also for those looking for an action-packed holiday! With its bright green hills, rich green valleys and uninterrupted line of golden beaches, Rhodes is truly a blessed place. “The sun island” has more sunshiny days and milder temperatures throughout the year than any other location in Greece. It is, after all, one of the country’s easternmost places and among the first to welcome summer on its impressive beaches. Add in the excellent facilities for tourism, the island’s special blend of cosmopolitan and traditional, and numerous cultural and archaeological sites, the most important being the Medieval (Old) Town, a UNESCO World Heritage site, and you’ve got the perfect holiday destination. While on Rhodes, don’t miss a daytrip to nearby Sými. An island of sponge divers and seamen, Sými used to have 30,000 inhabitants before the Second World War and was the richest island in the Dodecanese, despite its small size. Today, Sými attracts many visitors thanks to its beautifully preserved Neo-Classical buildings and the famous Archangel Michael monastery at Panormitis.
As part of Germany’s climate package, a plan to reduce emissions, the country will raise departure taxes at German airports. Taxes will go up as much as 60 percent, and are expected to raise up to €740 million. The funds will then be used to lower VAT on rail fares from 19 percent to 7 percent.
Norwegian Cruise Line took delivery of its newest ship, Norwegian Encore, ahead of its naming ceremony Nov. 21. The 1,100-foot-long ship boasts a guest capacity of nearly 4,000. Since Norwegian Cruise Line took delivery of the shi, Oct. 30, Norwegian Encore sailed from Germany to England before making its way to New York City, then Miami, where the christening ceremony takes place next week.
Experience a big-city hotel stay that doesn’t feel like your typical urban visit at Chicago’s Claridge House, nestled in the sought-after Gold Coast neighborhood. The hotel’s sophisticated décor and serene residential ambience foster the atmosphere of an oasis amid the hustle and bustle of a busy metropolis.
Thessaloniki is the second-largest city of Greece and the most important center of the area. Built near the sea, elegant and refined, the Greek “Lady of the North” is a modern, vivacious city that welcomes visitors eager to learn about its history and culture, and at the same time have fun, relax, go shopping or simply explore the cityscape by the sea.
Swiss-Belhotel International boasts an impressive portfolio throughout 22 countries, including 10 ASEAN member countries. This growth is continuing with the group’s new plans to debut four properties in Thailand.