MAYBE IT’S IN HER BLOOD? Lydia Forte, daughter of Sir Rocco Forte and niece of Olga Polizzi, makes her mark in the family business as bar and restaurant development manager for Rocco Forte Hotels, responsible for the concepts, management and performance of the group’s restaurants.
According to Forte, there are some elements which make all the difference that the brand will never compromise on in the hotels. Forte’s dream is to have at least an herb garden in every hotel. Verdura, in Sicily, boasts an organic farm, and at hotels without space for gardens, like Balmoral in Edinburgh, they produce their own smoked salmon and honey. Personal touches like these and an eye for quality create a stand-out culinary experience across the brand.
Prior to joining Rocco Forte Hotels in February 2014, Forte managed the opening of The Markham Inn in Chelsea and led projects to improve HIX Mayfair in London and Bocconi in Brussels. She worked her way up in the industry, from front-of-house positions to accounting and reservations, and also completed a professional cookery class at Leith’s, a four-month internship at Hotel Astoria in St. Petersburg and maître d’ training at The Wolseley.
WHICH DESTINATIONS INSPIRED YOU, AND HOW HAS THAT INSPIRATION TRANSLATED INTO YOUR CULINARY CONCEPTS?
I live in London, which has become one of — if not the — centers for culinary excellence in the world. There has been a food revolution here in the last 10 to 15 years, with hundreds of new concepts constantly opening. What I find unique in London is the number of high-quality restaurants that last. There are several places I would be happy to visit every week for the rest of my life, which I don’t find as much in other cities. Restaurants with extremely high-quality food, service and ambience, such as The River Café, stand the test of time, are authentic and offer an all-around world-class and exceptional experience. Those are the restaurants that truly inspire me and that we aim to emulate.
WHOM DO YOU CONSIDER TO BE YOUR CULINARY HERO?
Fulvio Pierangelini, our creative director of food at Rocco Forte Hotels. He is an exceptional chef — few people can create food like his. When you go to his apartment, he might have a few vegetables and somehow, with what seems like nothing, he will conjure up a meal of dreams within a few seconds. The few fantastic female chefs who have broken into the world of cuisine also inspire me; there are not enough of them. Being a chef is an incredibly tough job with terrible hours, constant pressure, hot kitchens … and few make it to the top — but being a female chef is even harder. We want more female chefs in the world!
WHAT ONE PERSON MOST INFLUENCED YOUR COOKING STYLE, AND HOW?
Fulvio Pierangelini. I have traveled and worked with him in our hotels for more than four years, and he has taught me so much about food. Doing the classics in the best way possible is the hardest thing in the culinary world. Some say he’s like a food whisperer. He has taught me so much about practical things.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE FOOD CITY?
It is hard to pick one! London, Barcelona. I’m excited to visit Tokyo for the first time next year. I love all Italian cities for their regional cuisines; Italian food is the best in the world. I love our restaurant, Le Jardin de Russie at Hotel de Russie in Rome. We offer delicious Roman cuisine in our stunning Roman garden, right in the center of the city, and you can’t get a better sense of the city than that. It inspired me to keep to the Roman theme in our new hotel in Rome, Hotel de la Ville, opening next year. All the cities I visit inspire me in some way. Los Angeles inspired me because it was at the forefront of vegan and healthy food development.
WHAT DO YOU THINK THE NEXT BIG TREND ON THE FOOD SCENE WILL BE?
Going back to basics — extremely high-quality, simple food; excellent service; good atmosphere. It’s always fun to experience new cuisines and restaurants that offer something different, but people will always come back to quality.
I also love that Asian and Middle Eastern styles of sharing food have become mainstream, as I love being able to try a little bit of lots of things.
Healthy, vegetarian and vegan offerings are a craze and will continue because we understand the importance of feeling good in today’s world. Luxury is treating your body and our world well. Following this trend, my sister, Irene, and I developed Rocco Forte Nourish, partnering with local nutritionists to develop healthy menus.
American Airlines Mobile ID creates a more seamless, touchless travel experience for American Airlines customers with TSA PreCheck. Recently started at Dallas Fort Worth International Airport, AAdvantage members with PreCheck can use Mobile ID at selected checkpoints to verify their identity. AA plans to deploy the technology at Miami (MIA), Phoenix (PHX), Washington, D.C. (DCA) and more later this year.
First opened in 1742 by George William Wilton, a seller of oysters, shrimp and cockles near Haymarket in London, Wiltons continued drawing diners with its delicious food for more than two centuries. This summer, Wiltons celebrates its 280th birthday and its place as one of London’s most beloved fine-dining establishments with a unique dining experience.
Resting on the edge of Reykjavik’s Old Harbour next to the soaring, sparkling glass edifice of Harpa concert hall and conference center, the brand-new Reykjavik EDITION brings a new level of swish lodging to Iceland’s capital city. Steps from Laugavegur — the city’s main shopping street — and an easy walk to a wide selection of museums, restaurants and cafés, the newly opened hotel delivers high on luxury and service in a location ideal for becoming fully engaged in the energy of this spirited capital city.
Start planning that long-awaited trip to the island of Ireland. With all travel restrictions now lifted, there has never been a better time to visit.
Recently, more than 345 million people globally watched OMNIYAT light up the sky for the launch of AVA at Palm Jumeirah, Dorchester Collection, Dubai thanks to more than 500 drones. Now, OMNIYAT will once again illuminate the sky with one light to signify the groundbreaking of AVA at Palm Jumeirah Dorchester Collection, Dubai.
Through Aug. 31, guests who stay at Château du Sureau for four nights receive the fifth night free. The extra day allows for more time to enjoy the outdoors and embark on nature-themed adventures such as rock climbing in Sierra National Forest with South Yosemite Mountain guides and renting a boat to explore Bass Lake.
THE MOST EXCLUSIVE TOURS OF EGYPT EVER OFFERED
In time for summer, the recently opened Palacio Provincial hotel in Old San Juan, Puerto Rico, launched a new exploration-driven offer. The Sip & Savory Summer offer includes a mixology tour for two adults, a sweet or savory welcome amenity and a hotel-branded gift.