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ISSUE 9

Robin Hutson

On bringing boutiques to Britain and life with The Pigs

Malcolm Lee

Singaporean food for today, inspired by tradition

Tim Mutton

When it comes to design, why he’s happy to be a Blacksheep


“True art, when it happens to us, challenges the “I” that we are.” — Jeanette Winterson “Future Mirror” by Hannah Stewart © Kalisher

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CONTENTS

Setting

SPECIALS

Entrée 009

Starters

The Politics of Dining

The Halyard

SIPPING Cocktails 041

The Perception

Appetisers 013

W London, Leicester Square

Trends and concepts impacting the world of

Morimoto

global hotel F&B

Mondrian Doha Seafood Bar

042

Classic Jasmine

082

044 046

Drinks House Bar

048

084

Kimpton De Witt, Amsterdam Set Your Spirit Free

The Drake Hotel, Toronto

SERVICE

081

Hotel Montefiore, Tel Aviv

The Breakers, Palm Beach Drake Commissary

Black Beauty Blind Spot, St Martins Lane, London

Sound View, Greenport

088

Sobering Thoughts 094 Sober Grapes

100

Main Course A Very Big House in the Country

018

City Mouse

The Pig Hotels’ Robin Hutson discusses why

Ace Hotel, Chicago

F&B is at the heart of a hotel

The Dining Room

060 064

The Tamburlaine, Cambridge To Crack a Candlenut

024

Chef Malcolm Lee on reimagining the

The Lounge The Pilgrm, London

culinary traditions of Singapore

Fiskebar

072

030

Blacksheep’s Tim Mutton talks disruptive

Ferris

076

Tomorrow’s Restaurant World

Petits Fours 128 The Washing Up

MADE Hotel, New York

design and why hotels need to catch up

The cyber battle is on

Events 114 Wedgwood 124

The Ritz-Carlton Hotel de la Paix, Geneva The Black Sheep of Design

SIDES

068

146

David Edwards, JPA Design 036

SPREAD Hering Berlin: The Science of Plants

051

003


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Setting

“If you take the F&B out of the gaps in a hotel, it’s got no heart. It’s just a block of flats.” The Pig Hotels’ Robin Hutson on the heart of a hotel.


ENTRée

Millenial Minded

R

ecently - over dinner at an appealing new

that what we really mean – people young enough to

boutique hotel - a hearty discussion was

set trends and spearhead change, but old enough to

sparked over the use of Millenial Pink in

have spending power?

some of the lounge’s furnishings. The hotel’s

The hospitality sector - like most industries

PR and marketing guru noted that it felt stylistically

- has long sought to entice a youthful market. In

in keeping with the attitude they were going for,

doing so, a new generation of guests and customers

while an F&B designer friend lamented that the

are created and, for the most part, it results in

term existed at all: “Which other generation has

concepts that still appeal to everyone else. After all,

been so beatified as to warrant their own colour?”

inoffensively appeal to the young and one is still

At times it does seem that the hotel industry has an

likely to attract those who are older. Flip it around

almost insatiable need to appeal to this collection of

and the same is rarely true. But the problem with a

supposedly artisanal-coffee-drinking, Instagram-

label like Millenial – for a generation so apparently

loving, city-hopping, sourdough-buying men and

detesting of labels – is the propensity for descending

women, who are old enough to remember drinks

into cliché and writing it off as targeted thinking or,

trolleys the first time around, but young enough to

even worse, forward thinking.

claim them as a recent discovery.

The difficulty with the Millenial-minded project

I should highlight at this point that I fall indelibly

is that it rarely feels new, instead merely a reflection

into the ‘Millenial’ category. And, truth be told,

of the new normal. That’s not necessarily a bad

quite enjoy a regular dose of all of the activities

thing, but get too bogged down in what ‘Millenials’

listed. But I do wonder at what point my Pound,

want - instead of thinking about the changing

or Dollar, or Euro became the one to chase. Are

ways we all live and consume - and the risk is the

Millenials really that important, are they worth

creation of what is simply one long and drawn

devising and designing for and, crucially, do they

out compound-trend, defined by bar-lobbies and

ultimately exist as we think of them?

pineapple motifs.

We often pay little heed to the broadness of the

I like golden pineapples and dusky pink as much

term – those born between 1981 and 2000 – and

as the next guy, but what I really want is innovation;

define Millenials in strict terms, discussing ad

the new, not the new normal. Don’t give me what

nauseam their lifestyle habits and how to cater

I want, give me what I don’t know I want yet. And

there for. We lob around words like experiential, real

this coming from a Millenial.

and social, but there’s an argument that hoteliers

As I move on to my own new chapter, and with

and F&B professionals are chasing the idea of a

this my last issue as editor of Supper, a rapturous

demographic, more than a demographic itself. If

thank you to those who have supported the title

we supplemented the word Millenial, for the word

under my tenure.

‘young’, would it have the same clout? And yet isn’t

Harry McKinley | Editor

009


THE BRIGADE

Editorial

Advertising

Finance

Editor-in-Chief

Advertising Manager

Finance Director

Matt Turner

Rachel Chadwick

Amanda Giles

m.turner@mondiale.co.uk

r.chadwick@mondiale.co.uk

a.giles@mondiale.co.uk

Editor Harry McKinley

Marketing

suppereditor@mondiale.co.uk

Group Credit Controller Lynette Levi l.levi@mondiale.co.uk

Editorial Assistant

Brand Director

Group Financial Controller

Kristofer Thomas

Amy Wright

Sarah Healey

k.thomas@mondiale.co.uk

a.wright@mondiale.co.uk

s.miller@mondiale.co.uk

Editorial Assistant Ben Thomas

Design

Kerry Mountney k.mountney@mondiale.co.uk

b.thomas@mondiale.co.uk

Contributors

Accounts Assistant

Design David Bell

Corporate

d.bell@mondiale.co.uk

Alia Akkam

Production

Chairman

Angus Winchester

Dan Seaton

Damian Walsh

Daven Wu

d.seaton@mondiale.co.uk

d.walsh@mondiale.co.uk

David Edwards Caroline Morrish Emma Love Heleri Rande

Website designed and developed by

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APPETISERS

Going Green

An undergrowth of biophilic design has been emerging at

Behavior, comprising a multisensory concept built around

the feet of hoteliers recently. Perhaps the allure of biophilia

a plethora of greenery. Combining elements of community

is caused by our innate affinity to nature, and perchance its

and a layered homeliness, the urban retreat uses weathered

growth derives from a generational elevation in wellness,

redwood from water tanks alongside tone on tone green

re-connecting us with an environment degraded by over-

plaster to create an eco-friendly sanctuary in an ever-

indulgence.

industrial metropolis.

“We define luxury in many ways, one of which is connecting

Expanding the hotel experience from guestrooms and

with nature,” explains Maria Warner Wong, co-founder of

public spaces to restaurants and bars has become paramount

WOW Architects and Warner Wong Design. The firm designed

in today’s sustainability-focused hospitality industry, with

the renowned The St. Regis Maldives Vommuli Resort, fusing

natural elements proving subconsciously attractive to guests.

contemporary architecture and Maldivian inspiration to

According to a study conducted by carpet design company

create the hotel’s Sunset bar. Built in a shape reminiscent of a

Interface, in partnership with sustainability consulting firm

whale shark, the space features coral chandeliers and a mural

Terrapin Bright Green, Vice President of Marketing David

etched into its wooden ceiling incorporating the traditional

Gerson notes that guests are willing to spend 25% more on

local techniques of pyrography. “All of the materials we use,

a food and beverage item that affords a sense of theatre.

whether in architecture or design, are considered,” Wong

“You’re not just selling a product, but an experience,” adds

adds. “It is essential that designers consider the maintenance

Candice Madrid-Dahlqvist, Design Director at Millkeeper

of every last material used in a project.”

Studio, which has designed boutique hotels At Six and The

Biophilic design, made up of varying materials reminiscent

Hobo in Stockholm. This experience can also extend to the

of nature, each creating a sensory element that plays to a

immersion of hotel staff in a project’s philosophy, with

guest’s five senses to add a deeper level of connection to

Interface evidencing a 6% increase in productivity when

the surrounding environment, has become popular for F&B

people are exposed to biophilic elements in the workspace.

designers, thanks in part to its sustainable longevity as well as the aesthetic possibilities if offers.

Hoteliers are continually facing increasing pressure from eco-conscious Millennials to introduce greener, sustainable

La Capitale, within Four Seasons Hotel Amman, introduced

designs that in the same instance can be luxurious. Biophilic

biophilia to its interiors using greenery-filled planters and

design, encouraging guests to form a complex connection

custom teak wood designed tables. The restaurant also

with the environment they inhabit, could potentially

features an extended terrace, encompassing a vertical herb

combat the demands of this generation of eco-friendly

garden with fresh produce used in-house by Chef de Cuisine

luxury travellers and provide designers and operators with a

Arthur Vonderheyden.

profitable ethos for the future.

At Made New York, Studio Mai created rooftop bar Good

013


APPETISERS

Make it Yourself

Following an increase in consumer spending for the

meal-delivery service PeachDish, a culinary course enables

online grocery industry in 2016 - a 160% rise from the

extended stay guests to receive and prepare fresh and healthy

previous year - Wyndham Hotel Group implemented a

meals immediately after check-in, with discounted rates. On

grocery delivery pilot at eight of its Hawthorn Suites,

top of the partnership in the US, all HomeWood Suites by

where extended-stay guests can receive items directly to

Hiltons feature complimentary grocery shopping services,

their accommodations via a digital ordering programme.

allowing guests to leave lists with hotel employees and return

Through a partnership with Peapod and Instacart, the

Similarly, boutique hotel chain Affinia Hotel Collection

dishes to be cooked in comfort – eliminating the need for

announced a partnership with FreshDirect, a New York-

guests to venture out for ingredients in an unfamiliar

based grocery delivery service employed to distribute ready-

city. As the lifestyle of the modern traveller evolves, this

to-make meals to hotel guests. Served as ‘business’ and

forward-thinking project proved itself a new exemplary in

‘healthy’ kits, containing items such as fruit, vegetables,

an arguably declining age for room service.

Greek yogurt and cookies, as well as four-minute meals

“Food today is news. It has become content that is

that can be heated in-suite, they also cater to grab-and-

ongoing,” explains Ido Garini, Creative Director of Studio

go consumers and extended stay guests – while retaining

Appétit, an F&B design studio. “I think that all of us of have

a sense of modernity through Affinia’s online e-concierge

to have creative ADHD, and if we want something to stick,

service.

we have to trigger emotions.”

But shedding doubt on this culinary movement, Puccini

While many chefs establishing signature restaurants on

Group’s founder and CEO Bob Puccini noted: “For the first

hotel property are aiming to revolutionise room service by

time ever in the USA, dining out dollars are more than those

offering their complete culinary menu – without the need

being spent in grocery stores.” Yet if grocery shopping could

for guests to leave their complimentary robe and slippers

be delivered to the hotel guest with convenience, could these

- other operators are seeking to trigger home-from-home

figures be reversed?

emotions through grocery delivery services. Many hoteliers

With food-industry consulting firm Techomic evidencing

are conscious of the tightrope between forward-thinking

that the sales of fresh meal kits outpaced all other foodservice

convenience and traditional luxury, so how to find a balance

segments in 2015, at $1 billion globally, and predicting that

between a homely yet distinct F&B experience and a concept

the meal-kit service segment will grow between $3 billion

that generates both profit and intrigue?

to $5 billion over the next 10 years, the chain brands that

One experiential model is that of HomeWood Suites by Hilton, in Atlanta and Dallas, where, in conjunction with

014

to a fully stocked refrigerator.

new amenity is designed to offer healthy and cost-effective

dominate the market could learn from these more intimate, make-it-yourself F&B options.


APPETISERS

Deck the Halls

According to a study conducted by Culinary Visions Panel, 59%

in street-facing locations where hotel guests and passers by

of consumers highlighted the variety of F&B offerings as a

are enticed with fast-fuelling variety and value. And with some

key factor in the appeal of food halls. Meanwhile, a report

sources suggesting that this food culture is pervasive across

published by Cushman & Wakefield, as cited by the Wall Street

all generations, leading hospitality figures could be forced to

Journal, stated that the number of food halls in the US grew by

rethink their F&B strategy.

37 per cent in 2016 to over 100, a figure set to double by 2019.

At The Ned London, guests are bestowed with nine culinary

The food court’s up-and-coming sibling has fashionably come

options, from all-day Northern Italian cuisine served at a

up trumps, especially within hotel F&B, wherein counter-style

traditional Venetian brasserie, to Californian-inspired superfood

dining is challenging uniformity.

salads, cured seafood and organic juices. Meanwhile, a concoction

Traditional food halls have been popular for generations,

of globally inspired bars induces visitors into French and English

particularly in Europe, as a quick fix for on-the-go consumers.

wines, and time-honoured American classics. Each dining venue

Today, with schedules ever expanding, the hybrid concept -

boasts its own distinct space, and features weekly-refreshed

that blends fast food and quick-service restaurants with casual

menus, something inconceivable in hotel dining a decade ago.

dining - is leading hotel guests to demand a better-tasting

“We wanted there to be something for everyone - different

spread in a bustling environment. The pressure on hospitality

food from different regions and at different price points,”

F&B to showcase a variety of purveyors under one roof, for a

explains Gareth Banner, Managing Director of The Ned. “You

somewhat health-conscious generation, is ripening.

can have a baguette and coffee at Café Sou, or a four-course

Defining a new era for Denver’s social scene, the city’s Union

meal at Lutyens Grill. Initially, it was – in a good way – possibly

Station is a statement of this culinary shift. Combining the three

overwhelming, but now we see regular faces who comment on

public spaces of The Crawford Hotel – The Great Hall, Terminal

the variety we offer.”

Bar and The Cooper Lounge – designers AvroKO evoke a sense

Similarly, The Plaza Hotel in New York features a food hall

of luxury whilst meeting the demand for an eclectic social hub.

now considered one of the city’s hidden secrets. Guests are taken

Introducing custom-designed train benches as seating and

on a curated journey of international cuisines including French,

Pullman car-inspired drinking booths in blue leather, the F&B

Italian, and Chinese.

venue pays homage to the historic station whilst anchoring consumers and balancing the intricate line of decision fatigue. “We see food and beverage further infiltrating all sectors of life and business, and so we see this as being successful both

touched the sides of its potential in the F&B market, with plenty more to bring to the table for the Millennial guest.

in Denver and beyond,” explains William Harris, Principal of

Summing up the changing needs of today’s consumer, Banner

AvroKo. “What once may feel novel will start to feel like standard

noted: “F&B outlets in hotels have come a long way and caught

necessities, and we’ll see quality offerings continue to evolve as

up after a few decades of lagging behind. They used to be a bolt-

tastes become more discerning and sophisticated.”

on, but now restaurants are a huge part of the guest experience.

These fast-casual concepts deliver high traffic, especially

016

As developers narrow their traditional F&B venues and begin expanding their public spaces, the food hall culture has merely

If done well, they’re an important part of selling guestrooms.”


SERVICE

“A lot of clients ask me what it is that I do, and I’ve come to the conclusion that we are simply translators. We just allow them to communicate in a more powerful way.” Tim Mutton, founder of Blacksheep, on the role of design studios.


SERVICE

A Very Big House in the Country From boutiques to restaurants with rooms, Robin Hutson has carved his own path through the British hospitality landscape. He explains why F&B is at the heart of a hotel.

Words: Harry McKinley

O

ne of the downsides of living outside the

and evidence that early achievement is little indication

urban bubble of London is the need to brave

of future success. After all, at 16 he left school with few

the South of England’s notoriously fickle

qualifications and quickly decamped to the local technical

mainline trains on jaunts into the city. When

college to pursue something more vocational. At 18 he was

Robin Hutson arrives at Soho’s Groucho Club on a windy

taken on by the Savoy Group as part of a management

winter morning he’s already been through the wars, and

trainee programme and assumed his first position as a

his battle with public transport is his first refrain. It’s

commis waiter at Claridge’s. After working his way through

as British an introduction as it’s possible to get, short of

various departments at the group, and spending a year

discussing the weather.

in Paris at Hotel de Crillon, he was asked if he’d like to

Throughout his serpentine career, Hutson has in many

Berkeley. A couple of years in and he was promoted to

redefining the country’s hotel landscape. Before Hutson,

reception manager.

weekending was a very different affair, and typically

“At that time The Berkeley was really the five-star hotel

involved swish estates, priced for those happy to drop a

for people in the know and it had an amazing guest list,”

substantial wad on a cosseted escape to the country or

Hutson recalls. “I’d have Dustin Hoffman on speed dial and

some cobbled town. Hotel du Vin, which Hutson co-

Diana Ross giving me a kiss when she arrived. For a boy

founded with wine expert Gerard Basset in 1994, opened

from south east London, at the age of 22, it was a pretty

the door to boutique hospitality in the UK, whilst The Pig

sexy gig.”

hotels have proved that rustic charm at a reasonable rate will always be a draw. He’s now one of the nation’s most successful hoteliers

018

take up the assistant reception manager position at The

ways channelled notions of ‘Britishness’, whilst also

It was the beginning of what Hutson describes as his ‘career building’ stage and, after meeting his wife, a stint at Elbow Beach Resort in Bermuda followed. Here, he didn’t


The Pig Near Bath, Somerset

just swap the London drizzle for sun and sand, he went from a company

it would be simplified and relaxed. Importantly, it would provide a new

that was all about service delivery to one where marketing was key.

perspective on what a hotel outside of an urban environment was about,

“At that time Savoy was almost anti-commercial. It was a world that most people in our business wouldn’t understand at all. You never

“Today it doesn’t seem like anything radical, but in those days, in

talked about average rates or number of covers, it was all about whether

the sticks, it was all fanned napkins and duck a l’orange. That could be

the Aga Khan was coming in for breakfast,” he says, laughing. “I went

a pretty dire experience,” he says. “Most restaurants in hotels outside

from this rarefied, completely clientele driven business, to working with

of London were empty. So we put together a very simple strategy with

a nut marketing guy, John Jeffries, the manager of the resort. To this

Hotel du Vin, which was to concentrate on the basics. There was nothing

day I credit him with opening my eyes to what marketing was about.

revolutionary about it, we were just picking up on what was happening.”

The product was challenged, because it was very old and needed more investment, but his expertise drove it.” Hutson took his experience back to the UK with him, taking the reins

At Hotel du Vin there would be no white tablecloths, not just because it was more casual, but because they didn’t want the laundry bill. The menu would get to the point: four unfussy starters, four uncluttered

at Hampshire country house hotel, Chewton Glen, as general manager

mains and a few tasty desserts for good measure. The emphasis would

– a role he would hold for eight years. While he describes the hotel

be on quality products and accessible cooking. Unable to afford a

as being ‘at the top of its game’, it was a turbulent time. The country

‘proper’ head chef, Hutson and Basset hired the number two from

was going through a recession, the business had borrowed money and

Chewton Glen’s pastry department – a 29 year-old upstart by the name

interest rates were up. At 36, Hutson saw the market was evolving and

James Martin. Today, of course, Martin is a household name thanks

the industry called for a new outlook. “Chewton Glen was still quite a

to his frequent television spots, but at the time it was something of a

formal offering and I could feel the winds of change,” he explains. “I

gamble. “He didn’t have the full repertoire but he had the right attitude.

was upholding policy that I didn’t really believe in anymore.”

That was at the beginning of modern British food in London, and he got

Partnering with Gerard Basset, head sommelier at Chewton Glen,

it,” he explains. “Hotel du Vin became very food-centric. 60% of the

Hutson set out to do something different. The aim was to deliver a room

revenue was F&B. Each one of those hotels was doing between 100 and

product under £100, but give guests an experience that could compete

150 covers a day, in the middle of nowhere.”

with pricier stays. F&B would be a key component, but sensing that modern overnighters were veering away from silver service stiffness,

020

and could deliver.

The hotel group was sold by Hutson and Basset in 2004, but its original location in Winchester has been billed as, arguably, Britain’s


SERVICE

first boutique hotel. Hotel du Vin set in motion a wave of change in British hospitality and elevated Hutson to crown-bearer of what was still a new-fangled notion. The year after the sale, Hutson was tapped by Nick Jones to get

“Selling the notion of restaurants with rooms, we’re trying to manage guest expectations and then over-deliver”

Babington House off the ground. He admits they did “a lot of learning together”, but credits Jones as having much more of a finger on the “cosmopolitan pulse” than he did. They would forge a diamond-strong relationship working together on Soho House Group, with Hutson ultimately rising to executive chairman. “It was always Nick’s vision and my role, originally, at Soho House

Lime Wood is one of my favourite places to eat. It’s not always the case

was to help him with the organisation of a hotel rather than a restaurant

with your own restaurants, but I love the style Angela’s got there. It’s

or a club,” he says. “I was definitely a sounding board for many years.

precise, it’s clean and without a load of fuss.”

All of the projects right through until LA and Miami, we looked at

Today, Lime Wood is regarded among the top crop of English country

together before the deal was signed. We found the Soho House New York

house hotels and the group has expanded to include Portetta, a ski-in,

location – in the Meatpacking District – together. And perhaps I had a

ski-out resort in the French Alps. It’s still owned by Ratcliffe, while

role in tempering some of his wilder ideas, at a time when we frankly

Hutson manages the business as chairman and CEO.

didn’t have the money to chase every one. Equally, when he needed

It’s younger, scrappier cousins, The Pig Hotels, are a different breed,

support with the board to do something, I was a credible voice around

however - in more than name alone. A 50/50 venture between Hutson

the table. But I think he’s the bravest man in the hospitality business.”

and Ratcliffe, the group was born out of a proposal by Hutson to revive a

When the majority share in the business was sold to Richard Caring in

small, ailing hotel in Brockenhurst, near Lime Wood. “There were a few

2008, for £105 million, Hutson saw it as an opportunity to bow out after

other little businesses that also came under my responsibility, one of

13 years on the board and explore new avenues. His expertise would once

which was Whitley Ridge. It was losing money, was extremely out-dated

again be sought by another figure aiming to make a mark in hotels –

and – even though it only had 16 rooms – everything was wrong with it.

this time Jim Ratcliffe, the billionaire chemicals entrepreneur, who had

They were trying to do very fancy food, but of an evening there might be

spent a sizeable amount of cash on a property in Hampshire. It would

six covers; only four for lunch. I saw the kitchen garden, though, which

become Lime Wood Hotel, but was then known as Park Hill, which

was full of weeds and realised, maybe, that’s an interesting hook.”

Hutson describes as “sounding like a block of flats in Croydon.” “It was supposed to be a £20 million project, and by the time he asked

From this kernel of an idea bloomed the first of The Pigs, which has grown to a group of five hotels based on kitchen garden food and

me to get involved it was heading towards £40 million,” Hutson says.

“shabby chic” interiors, as Hutson describes – thanks to the decorative

“It was lacking a bit of strategic direction and market positioning. I’d

eye of his wife, Judy. “She hates when I buy some weird sofa from a junk

been at Chewton Glen, which was a very traditional country house hotel,

shop, thinking it will look great,” he quips. “We are not designers. We

and was highly involved with Babington House, which represented a

know how rooms work and we’ve got that down to a fine art, but apart

very contemporary hotel, and we realised there was a wide open gap

from that, we buy stuff we like and we pull it together. She has a good

through the middle, and so that’s what we aimed for.”

eye for colour and it’s meant to look random, collected and evolved, but

Lime Wood embodies the pastoral ease that has become Hutson’s trademark, along with flourishes of luxury. It is, after all, a five-star hotel, but without the pomp and primness that can be off-putting

she will have quite precisely chosen what’s in each hotel. We’ve tried to pull some new tricks in each one though, so they’re not cookie cutter.” While The Pigs – which sit in the likes of Somerset, Devon and

to some. It was always the intention to draw upon the rural location

Hampshire – are known for their quaint, almost rough and tumble,

and seduce guests through the promise of local, wholesome produce,

visual appeal, it is the concept that has shaped their success. Each

sympathetically prepared, but Hutson acknowledges that the hotel really

features a striking restaurant, serving up robust, heart-warming fare.

hit its stride when Chef Angela Hartnett got involved. “We still had the

They are at the core of each hotel - the rooms an accoutrement to the

same team in the kitchen, but it gave them confidence to do simple stuff

experience: “If you take the F&B out of the gaps in a hotel, it’s got no

well,” he says.

heart. It’s just a block of flats.”

Lime Wood’s Hartnett Holder & Co, is a characterful, no-nonsense

“Selling the notion of restaurants with rooms, we’re trying to manage

restaurant that presents Italian dishes, made using ingredients sourced

guest expectations and then over-deliver,” Hutson explains. “We’re

nearby. It is the bedrock of the hotel’s F&B offer and far from a starry

not saying that we’re a full service hotel.” Even the name is intended to

‘sleb-chef’ hangout.

evoke the ethos of the group, inspired by The Spotted Pig in New York.

“It’s much more than a name over the door, which is what I never

“I like the idea that The Pig sounds a little like a pub, because people

wanted it to be,” stresses Hutson. “When we first spoke to her, I only

aren’t scared of pubs. And if they think it’s a pub and then we bowl them

wanted to do it if Angela was committed to being there, and she is, every

over, it’s a win-win. It’s about creating something that isn’t too scary

week. The food at Lime Wood is very much a collaboration between

for ‘mum and dad’, but is cool enough for my kids.”

her and Luke Holder, who was the head chef there before. And it’s

Another driving factor in the health of the group is its accessible price

important that we deliver something genuine and not a false promise. I

point, part of a plan by Hutson from the off to target an under-catered

wanted something where we could put our head above the parapet and,

for middle market. And while rising costs are squeezing The Pigs, the

ultimately, I also love the food. I had dinner there this week and I think

average room rate is still more likely to engender a satisfied oink than

021


SERVICE

The Pig, Brockenhurst

a horrified squeal. Average occupancy is around the 90% mark, fuelled

guest-facing in one form or another for twenty-odd years, long before

by a desire for “special but achievable” weekends from guests. Three

I entered the entrepreneurial world, and so I’ll always come at it from

openings are in the pipeline, with two slated for 2019. Business is good

that angle.

and when it comes to expanding the litter, Hutson has a simple test

run places, luxurious or not, are all about the detail. Every element of

weekend?’ test.

this business should be a considered element. It doesn’t matter if you’re

“I might see a great looking property, that has a postal address in Woking. So I think to myself, ‘darling, would you like to go to Woking for the weekend?’ And it’s a no. But if it were Chichester, I’d think,

talking about the comfort of the bar stools or what cup guests are drinking from, the more consideration that goes into those details the better.” Overrunning, and with some of Hutson’s team stationed on a

‘darling, would you like to go to Chichester for the weekend?’ That’s a

neighbouring sofa waiting for their own session to commence, our chat

yes,” he says, with utmost sincerity. “I saw a great property the other

nears its close. But, I wonder: decades into the industry and having

day with a postal address in Essex. There are many great parts of Essex

already cemented his place as a ground-breaker, does it still hold the

and I have many friends who live in Essex, but I just can’t do it.”

‘sexy’ appeal it did when he was accepting kisses from Diana Ross all of

It’s been a circuitous journey for Hutson, but having become a highly regarded and prosperous hotelier in his own right, he’s pleased

022

“This business is not difficult, but it is about a million details. Well

for determining what is on-brand: the ‘darling, shall we go for the

those years ago? “I’ll say this: to deliver a great experience you have to have a passion

to have taken the long path. It has given him, he believes, a sense of

for this business because it cannot come out of the accountant’s office.

perspective, an empathy with his employees and a focus on the details

Too many hospitality businesses around the world are driven by those

that others may overlook. “There’s absolutely no substitute for putting

sorts of environments and they don’t work because they lack texture.

in the legwork. I know what it’s like to be on the pot wash when your

There should be a little bit of theatre and there should be surprises.

colleague doesn’t turn up for work, and you’re left with it,” he says.

Importantly, it should feel real. I can walk into a hotel and tell you

“It’s hard for individuals who parachute into this business and think it’s

within half a second if a design studio has created it, or if it is someone’s

form over function. The colour of the walls is unlikely to let you down

passion, because it shows.” And if The Pigs are anything to go by,

on a Saturday night during a full service, but your pot washer will. I was

Hutson’s passion still burns bright.


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SERVICE

To Crack a Candlenut Chef Malcolm Lee on the culinary traditions of Singapore, a crying mother and why ‘modern’ is no longer on the menu.

Words: Daven Wu

M

alcolm Lee remembers a childhood home

star. It was the anointment and belated acknowledgement

redolent with the scents of curries and spices;

of what local gourmets had long known: that this was an

chilli pastes concocted from lemongrass and

exceptional restaurant and Lee, one of the country’s most

belachan. He remembers his mother’s slow

important chefs. Important because he belongs to a new

cooking chicken curry, ayam buah keluak and mee siam.

generation of Singaporean chefs that are rediscovering

She had been trained by her mother to cook for large family

the city’s ethnic and cultural roots through its culinary

gatherings of their immediate and extended Peranakan

traditions. Important because he is re-imagining familiar

clan. Twenty for lunch was usual: uncles, aunts, and

favourites in a thoroughly modern, yet familiar, way.

grandparents. Every day.

Specifically, he gleefully up-ends Peranakan classics

It’s almost a cinematic arc that Lee, too, would end up

by sending out spring rolls filled with spicy prawns and

having an abiding love for food and cooking. “I think the

candied winter melon dipped in kalamansi lime cream,

first dish I ever cooked was luncheon meat and a sunny-

and fork-tender charcoal grilled Spanish pork that is

side up,” he says, late one afternoon. It’s after service at his

marinated with sweet dark soy and saw-tooth coriander,

restaurant Candlenut in Singapore’s Como Dempsey – an

and then cooked sous vide for 12 hours. The effect of this

ambitious complex of luxury supermarkets and eateries

marrying of new culinary techniques with local flavours

owned by the hotelier Christina Ong that includes, a few

and ingredients is an outrageously skillful makeover: the

aisles down from Candlenut, an outpost of Jean-Georges

dish remains completely recognizable in its appearance

Vongerichten, and the South-East Asian flagship of Dover

and taste, but it is reworked in a way that elicits smiles and

Street Market.

nostalgic wonder at the creative imagination of the kitchen.

In person, Lee is a compact, trim and taut man. He

Important because Lee is, for all his accomplishments, just

vibrates with a quiet energy. He seems quite unflappable,

33 and it beggars imagination to think of what he is capable

always ready to break into a shy smile, but there is also

of. And important, finally, because the kind of emotion and

a sense of compressed nerves and of being in perpetual

re-imagination that Lee’s cooking evokes doesn’t come

motion. He is polite to a fault, a disarming quality that’s

along all that often. Especially when you realise just how

counterpoised by a steely reserve that’s easy to miss

peripatetic Lee’s path to the professional kitchen has been.

beneath his chef’s whites. In due course, one understands

For starters, his mother, uncomfortably aware of her

that here is a man not to be dismissed quickly, because he

son’s culinary interest and inclination, was aghast at the

has been tempered by the fire.

idea that he would ever contemplate cooking as a career.

In 2016, Candlenut earned Lee and his team a Michelin

Not for her son were the long hours, the lack of a social life,

025


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and the existential loneliness of a chef.

“If modern technology helps to improve the flavour

but light sounds of activity float from the kitchen. “And

of a dish, then we’ll use it. If not, we don’t. My aim

so I enrolled in business management at Singapore

has always been to make a familiar dish as good as my

Management University. But I wasn’t really studying.”

grandmother would have made it, but in a new way.

Instead, he was just going through the motions. He

There’s no need to explain the technique to anyone. Just

figured that he just needed to get his degree to satisfy

as long as it works.”

his mother and then head for the nearest kitchen. In 2006, Lee was on a student work and travel

If it’s not already clear, nostalgia is a powerful catalyst here. Though Lee’s mother was a constant at his

programme in Washington, D.C. He tried Starbucks,

side in the kitchen in the early years, she came from a

but the money was lousy. Then, he answered an ad for

generation that never wrote down recipes. Her cooking

a kitchen hand at Harry’s Tap Room, a bar and bistro

was based on the memory of taste. And that, says Lee,

at Dulles International Airport. On his first day, a staff

is where restaurants like his became important – to

scheduling issue meant he was put on as line cook, with

document that memory, right down to watching his

no experience.

mother cook, measuring every pinch of spice, every ‘cup

“Watching Jamie Oliver cook on TV is fun,” Lee says. “But that D.C. job showed me how different it is to cook

or so’ of broth, and then trying to reinterpret the result. Lee, though, is not just technically skillful, he is also

professionally. But I loved it. I loved the pressure, the

commercially savvy. He has been in the business long

camaraderie and the noise. I loved the sound of the

enough to realise that the very impetus – nostalgia –

tickets being printed. I worked nine-hour shifts with no

that pushed him to pull apart Peranakan cuisine in the

toilet break. But I loved it,” he repeats.

first place, to produce a new iteration at Candlenut, now

Two years later, Lee graduated and he still hated

requires him to do so again.

the idea of sitting all day in front of a computer. So, he

In other words, evolution is essential, a fact not lost

signed up for a professional cooking course at the local

on industry watchers like Aun Koh, chairman of the Ate

At-Sunrise Global Chef Academy, and in 2010, along

Group, a Singaporean creative and marketing agency

with his now resigned mother, he opened Candlenut in

specializing in food and beverage. “Evolution is vital for

Chinatown. He was barely 26.

a cuisine,” he says. “If not, all we are, all we become, are

“You can’t please everyone,” is one of Lee’s favourite

relics — museum exhibits that are nice for foreigners

refrains. Its origin harks back to those early days. The

to visit and experience - but we lose our relevance

restaurant – a small, unadorned space on the ground

in the global conversations that are driving today’s

floor of a shophouse sandwiched between karaoke bars,

restaurant and culinary scenes. Cuisine, as a major part

a 7-11 and a gay nightclub – was a revelation both for

of Singaporean culture, needs to evolve. But this growth

Lee and the first hesitant wave of diners. From the

must take place in an environment that is led by people

get-go, he experimented. Unrestrained by rules and

who understand our roots, our history, the taste, the

tradition, and guided mostly by taste and memory, he

techniques, and the circumstances that created the

freestyled in a way that offended some traditionalists

dishes that have been rooted in our unconscious.”

who did not care for his buah keluak ice cream. Buah keluak, the titular candlenut, has a chocolatey,

“The foundation of Candlenut has always been my mother,” Lee says. Now, even more so. Over the past

earthy, coffee note, and Lee saw no reason why it

few years, he has continued to mature. Increasingly,

couldn’t be incorporated into an ice cream. In the same

he realizes that the tastes and memories encoded in

vein, he has never liked pineapple, and so when it came

his DNA, what his restaurant represents, is precious

to the classic Peranakan pineapple prawn curry, he

- all the kuehs, kueh pie tee, curries, all the flavours

switched out the fruit for coconut and crabmeat. For

of Peranakan cuisine as interpreted by countless

his beef rendang, which classically uses cheap cuts, his

households in unnumbered kitchens.

replacements were short ribs, briskets and lamb-shank.

This vast reservoir, Lee says, needs to be plumbed

He sous-vided pork cheeks for a feathery light texture

and studied. In a way, Candlenut was always a step

that he then grilled and finished with kecap manis. He

ahead, and not always in a good way. In its precocious

cooked with a wok on one side, and a dehydrator on the

ambitions and heady excitement of the early years, it

other.

missed some fundamentals.

But one thing Lee always disliked was to describe his

026

liquid nitrogen, sous vide machines, smokers, the lot.

“She cried,” Lee says. The restaurant is deserted,

“I feel that I must understand better the traditional

cooking as ‘modern’, though he reluctantly went along

Peranakan style of cooking. There is a reason why dishes

with it, aware, perhaps, of its power as a marketing tool.

were always cooked a certain way, but what is it? Why

This despite the fact that his kitchen was fully stocked

is the chicken for ayam buah keluak cut that way and

with the kind of equipment one normally associates

cooked for that period of time? How much oil should

with the likes of Heston Blumenthal and Ferran Adria:

go into cooking rempah? And if I adjust the ratio of


Candlenut

027


SERVICE

lemongrass, how does that affect the taste? Why does gula Melaka taste

grandmother would recognise and hopefully approve of; each capturing

different in different areas of Malaysia? It’s important to keep asking

the arcana of generations of domestic science in a way that will attract a

‘why?’ I don’t think it’s good enough to say ‘That’s just how it’s done.’”

new generation of devotees to Candlenut. “The menu will contain what

Not surprisingly for a traditional cuisine which is almost always based

most importantly, a story. I’ve realised that I need to cook food that I

on these questions and no definitive answers. It is why in 2018, Lee

love and with what I grew up with, which was essentially rice, curry and

is shifting the focus of Candlenut. No longer will it be associated with

sambal.”

‘modern Peranakan cuisine’. In this new world that he is creating, it will be just ‘Peranakan cuisine’. He and his team are going back to fundamentals with the goal to

Meanwhile, the hokey adage that ‘if you build it, they will come’ applies to Candlenut and its new Como Dempsey digs, to which it moved in late 2016. The high-ceilinged dining room, converted from

distil, if that is even possible, the essence and rationale of flavours. The

a mid-century colonial army barrack and decorated with giant straw

timeframe for the project is eight years, ambitious by any yardstick, but

lamps and light antique touches by the Italian designer Paola Navone, is

then Lee comes from a tradition that holds that anything worth doing

usually packed each night. The crowd tends to be youthful, among them

takes time. “This can’t be done at speed. It must be done with focus.”

Instagramming millennials, dating couples and a smattering of curious

His pastry chef is researching onde-onde, a classic dessert of pillowy rice-flour balls flavoured with pandan and coconut, relentlessly experimenting to find the right ratio, liquid and skin. Incredibly, it’s a

tourists. The older set is still reserving judgment on this upstart, but even that demographic is changing. In the kitchen, Lee mére is no longer a physical presence although, of

six-month project. Another dish in the works is an omelette made with

course, her personality permeates every aspect. “It’s better that there is

chinchalok, an intensely fragrant shrimp paste. Till now, Lee has used a

a separation of personalities,” Lee observes with a wry smile. Besides, it

bottled version, but moving forward, he is fermenting his own batch.

seems she has bigger fish to fry. A few years after Candlenut opened in

In this way, dish by dish, he is reinventing his tasting menu. “It will literally just be a taste of each dish. It doesn’t matter if you like or don’t like something because it will be just a single mouthful. One bite and it’s done. You wash it down with wine and move onto the next one.” This new direction gives Lee a chance to develop a multitude of new recipes, each distilled from a specific dish that any Peranakan

028

I’ve learnt and what I like to eat,” Lee says. “It will have depth and,

on oral tradition, there is, as Lee points out, very little information

its first Chinatown location, she was recruited by Christina Ong to be her personal chef, so it’s all worked out for everyone. Besides, these days, Lee, as he trawls through the wet markets for grey peppercorns, salted coconut and wingbeans for that evening’s menu, is a contented man. He’s young and ambitious. Business is good. He has a Michelin-star and “my mother is no longer crying.”


SERVICE

The Black Sheep of Design Founder of design studio Blacksheep, Tim Mutton talks disrupting, the need for change and why hotels need to catch up.

Words: Harry McKinley

A

s the founder of a studio called Blacksheep, it

“I just do not like the idea of using your surname to

somewhat stands to reason that Tim Mutton

name a practice after yourself. I think it’s really selfish,”

wouldn’t quite fit the old archetype of a designer.

he explains. “I never wanted to call it Mutton Interiors,

He doesn’t speak about his work in hallowed

because that sounds awful. But if it were that, clients are

terms and eschews the more lofty language that can

always going to be asking for me, and it’s not about me. If

sometimes pervade the industry. You might call him

I’m going to have a studio it should be about everyone and a

unfiltered even, dropping, as he does, swearwords liberally

particular way of thinking.”

into conversation and seemingly unafraid to call out the industry on what he believes to be irksome practices. Since establishing Blacksheep in 2002, Mutton has

had little to do with interiors. He was kicked out of school

increasingly been recognised as an authority on F&B, and

early, finding traditional learning difficult and spending

the studio has worked with the likes of Mandarin Oriental

more time “drawing and dreaming” than paying attention.

Hotel Group, Qbic Hotels, and Fairmont Hotels and

At 17, freed from the shackles of academia, his first job was

Resorts on large scale bar and restaurant projects – not to

working in a kitchen loading a dishwasher. When someone

mention high street stalwarts such as Wagamamas, Five

called in sick he got the opportunity to work behind the bar.

Guys and BrewDog. Mutton describes Blacksheep as a multidisciplinary

“I loved it for loads of reasons,” he recalls, drawing a connection, even now, to his design work. “Most creative

studio, and indeed its team don’t just craft a pretty

people are showmen. We like people and we like giving.

picture for diners, but help to develop concepts and realise

I think good designers have that quality. It was my first

them; everything from the menus to the branding, client

taste of hospitality and I thrived in that environment. It

depending. And the team is something that is important for

taught me a lot of simple lessons. One is if you’re having a

Mutton, who is quick to highlight that the studio’s work is

good day, you get good tips, and if you’re having a bad day,

a group effort. It’s a philosophy that partly informed the

you don’t. And I think that’s influenced how I work on the

name Blacksheep – that, and a desire to avoid one of his

culture at Blacksheep.”

foremost pet hates: self-titled companies.

030

Mutton didn’t grow up expecting to enter the world of design. In his late teens and early twenties his ambitions

In his early twenties Mutton travelled, heading to Greece


SERVICE

Mandarin Oriental, Prague

“I just do not like the idea of using your surname to name a practice after yourself. I think it’s really selfish”

from location to location part and parcel of Mutton’s upbringing – and in an effort to spare herself any further dinner party blushes, Mutton’s mother had already researched options that would save her son from a life of drinks pouring. There was a creative foundation course in Southampton, a two year BTEC. Interviews were in a month and she had pulled together some of his drawings. He added to them photos taken in Greece – “mainly while drunk” – and went along on the off chance someone may see potential.

with the goal of emulating Carl Cox, who was earning “loads of money.”

tutor told me that they had queues of people fresh out of school who

didn’t have a very good musical ear. When he did return to the UK, he

wanted to be on the course. They wanted to give me a chance, but on the

quickly found that his rootless lifestyle was a source of deep discomfort

condition that I apply myself. So I started the course and, of course, I

for his parents – staunchly middle class suburbanites who couldn’t bear

didn’t apply myself, I was the comedian.”

the thought of telling friends at dinner parties that their son worked at a bar. Something had to be done. “My father, who was a military guy, made it clear that things

Towards the end of the first year he was pulled aside and sternly told that there was a good chance he would be asked to leave. “However, the tutor said that if I made an effort I could do really well. I’d never

couldn’t continue as they were and that is was causing problems

had that kind of encouragement from somebody in an educational

between he and my mother,” says Mutton, part tongue in cheek. His

establishment before. In my academic experience I was used to people

father’s first suggestion was that Mutton follow in his footsteps, but

telling me I was thick,” he explains. Although it seems, perhaps, like

not enamoured with the notion of a career in uniform, his father quickly

a small gesture, it was anything but for Mutton. It marked a turning

followed it up with the idea of an apprenticeship. “I’d tried roofing and

point in his attitude to study and shaped how he thought about

carpentry, and there wasn’t an apprenticeship out there that I wanted

his future career. He went on to study interior design at Middlesex

to do. The only option left was going to college, but I’d left school with

University, arriving with no idea how to use a scale ruler, and

art as my only qualification.”

graduating with a 1st. “I’d found my rhythm in something and I found

The family had recently moved to Salisbury from Scotland – bouncing

032

“I got the interview,” Mutton says, almost still surprised. “The

He imagined a career as an international DJ, but now acknowledges he

a creative community,” he says.


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TAF-17-031_ANZ_236x275+3_RZ.indd 1

06.12.17 12:51


MOKKI, The Ritz-Carlton, Astana

His first placement in industry was a disaster. He found himself

forge his own path, he would have to start his own business, which

working for “a mad Geordie bloke in an attic in Farringdon. He used

he did – fuelled by “angst and hunger” and with no semblance of a

to shout at everybody and would pick stuff up and throw it at you.

business plan.

I remember going in and there wasn’t a computer in sight. He was

“and I waited for the phone to ring. Of course, nothing happened. So

only guy that turned up in Farringdon wearing a suit, even in the 90s,”

many people operate freelance but people leave school with no idea how

Mutton recalls, with a laugh.

to operate like a mini business. It just so happened that my partner at the

During his last week on the job, so to speak, he went from his nightmare gig to interview for his dream one: at Conran and Partners,

time, Jo [Sampson], knew someone in PR who was aware we’d set up.” Blacksheep’s first project wasn’t a restaurant or bar, but a fashion

suit and all. “They thought I was an auditor,” he jokes. “They couldn’t

store. The client was the notorious Mazzilli family, perhaps still most

believe I was there for a junior design position. Thankfully, I managed to

known for their exceptionally expensive Kings Road store, Voyage,

blag the job. Or they pitied me. I wasn’t there a great amount of time, but

that championed the eclectic aesthetic of the late 90s and from which

the thing I got from working with Terence during that period was that we

Madonna and Naomi Campbell were both turned away. Mutton would

were doing all of the restaurant work. Coming from having worked at a

head up the design of a Conduit Street branch, getting his hands dirty

bar, to now designing them, was bonkers. The 90s were mental.”

onsite peeling wallpaper and using a blowtorch on the furniture. It was a

Eventually Mutton grew weary of working for others and of one-

baptism of fire for the infant studio, but it got them noticed. A nightclub

sided staff reviews to “discuss salaries that had already been decided.”

project from the former owners of Café de Paris followed and Blacksheep

His plan was to cross the Atlantic and work in San Francisco, from

subsequently steamed head long into F&B design, picking up work from

where he’s always gleaned much inspiration. “Creative people can be

international hotel groups and standalone bars and restaurants alike.

reactionary like that.”

But it was during the studio’s formative years that Mutton realised

Then 9/11 happened and the world changed. The US became a less

034

“I sold my car and bought two PCs and a telephone,” Mutton says,

ferociously against technology. He even made me wear a suit. I was the

design alone was insufficient to deliver for his clients. If he wanted to

enticing, less welcoming prospect. Six months off and Mutton had

provide a service that connected with his philosophy of what Blacksheep

had his fill of reading newspapers and trips to the park. Standing at

should be, he wanted to be involved with both the big picture and the

Willesden Green Tube station one day he realised that if he wanted to

smallest detail.


SERVICE

“I had a choice in life where I could either just design, and be really great at that - but it wasn’t what I felt was necessary for me – or I could look at a different dialogue and approach,” he says. “I knew I wouldn’t be satisfied fulfilling just one role, and I feel like designers are pigeon holed. We have to take greater responsibility for what we do. Design affects everything. Everything that goes into a restaurant has been

“A lot of clients ask me what it is that I do, and I’ve come to the conclusion that we are simply translators. We just allow them to communicate in a more powerful way”

chosen and someone has spent money on it, and it should lend itself to the business. “Running restaurants is a really difficult trade. The margins are not brilliant and so there’s a responsibility for designers, because for us to offer support we need teams that work in a multi-disciplinary way.” Today, Mutton prides himself on having assembled a team that traverses backgrounds and skillsets and which works to deliver “the right strategic outcome for a business or owner.” “I’ve been asked by a client what to call a venue and, being the early

is done well, it will add to the room rate and add value to the property.

days, I didn’t have an answer,” Mutton explains. “But the studio grew

Also, when working with hotels it’s worth pushing them away from

to be more involved. We once designed a menu for a client, without a

strict processes and ideas, even if they’ve spent years developing them.

fee. He put it back into the business and it had a much more measurable

Suggest changing the buffet and some operators are aghast, because

impact than all of the work I’d done on the interiors.”

they’ve spent so much time training the staff in a particular way of

Blacksheep’s clients now come to the studio because they

doing things, but it might not be what is best for now. An example is

“desperately want to stand out,” something increasingly difficult in

calling something an, ‘all-day-dining space’. They might as well call it

an age of globalised design and savvy guests. It means that Mutton has

a ‘breakfast room’ and put it in the basement. Luckily, more hotels are

avoided developing anything that may resemble a ‘house style’, and

realising they need F&B specialists.”

instead believes in constant change. “There’s a lot of derivative design.

In the pipeline are four resorts in Costa Smeralda, Sardinia – 10 F&B

You go on the British high street today and most of it is terrible,”

outlets. While details are still under wraps, Mutton explains that the

he says. “There’s a lot of copying. I want to approach projects with

project is with a well-known global group and a “big owner”.

intelligence and insight and if I try to replicate what Blacksheep has done before, where’s my integrity?” When it comes to F&B in hotels, Mutton has witnessed first hand

“I was totally sold when I got off the plane and smelt the rosemary. However, a lot of the F&B only works for two months of the year – July and August. So how do you sweat the asset beyond that period? These

the shift in tack. We’re having lunch at London’s Ace Hotel, which

are the kinds of problems I love to try and find the right solution for,”

is perhaps a good example of how hotels have evolved their offer to

he says. “Thankfully I have quite a commercial team and you just have

accommodate the modern urbanite and global travellers. Lobbies that

to unpick which outlets will work because of the relationship they have

double as cafés, restaurants that are also workspaces and bars that

with their locality. One is a short drive from the hotel but not in the

are neighbourhood destinations in their own right, are increasingly

hotel. So it’s interesting because you’re changing the guest expectations

ubiquitous. But for Mutton, the industry as a whole still has a long way

as they’re not having to go through a resort and they don’t have those

to go to break with old ideas.

associations of over-priced, but not very good, hotel restaurants.”

“Yes there are new kids on the block showing others how to do it,

In juggling projects that have included a cooking library with Hyundai;

but the problem with the hotel industry is that it gets very room driven.

independent restaurants, high street chains and, of course, hotels,

It’s all about RevPAR. Then operators realise they have to feed their

Mutton has learnt a few salient lessons along the way – not to develop

guests, so they give them a naff buffet and send them on their way,”

F&B across multiple levels, because “you’ll get people into the first floor

he says. “The other problem with hotels is they don’t retain their staff,

and that’s it”; not to chase what’s cool, because “by the time a hotel

which is core to a successful business, and that’s where hotels can look

restaurant opens four or five years after the start of the project, it isn’t

to independent restaurants to understand building a culture instead of

cool anymore”; and that market research is often a waste of time. “I get

thinking it’s paint by numbers.”

these massive market research documents, particularly from the hotel

Blacksheep worked on the F&B at the sumptuous Mandarin Oriental

world. There is no magic wand and I’m not the guy behind the curtain.

Prague, bringing to life a fine dining restaurant and bar, as well as a

The best way to come up with a concept is by spending time with the

lounge and terrace, as well as recently developing the restaurant, bakery

team. If the team can’t flip a burger, don’t do a burger restaurant. It’s

and food retail area for The Ritz-Carlton Astana. In appearance, these

not about being authentic - such an overused word - it’s about having

kinds of venues are an exercise in sophisticated restraint, but as well

integrity. Design has to look good, but beyond that it has to work well.”

as garnering the studio praise, the projects reinforced Mutton’s idea of what it takes to successfully navigate working with a global hotel group. “Ultimately the hotel is owned by someone. That owner pays the

But perhaps the greatest lesson Mutton has learnt is about his place in the industry. Setting out to change the dialogue, to interfere and disrupt, he’s come to the conclusion that his role, and the role of his studio, is

bills and has a say on the majority of everything that goes on within it.

ultimately to act as a conduit. “A lot of clients ask me what it is that I

You have to marry the relationship between the brand and the owner

do, and I’ve come to the conclusion that we are simply translators. We

successfully,” he explains. “You have to communicate that if the F&B

just allow them to communicate in a more powerful way.”

035


Tomorrow’s Restaurant World Next-gen tech means virtual tabletops, menus in the cloud and creative social media strategies. The cyber battle is on as smart hoteliers and restaurateurs compete to engage with digitally savvy audiences.

Words: Renate Ruge

Staying ahead of the curve in today’s digital world while running

a massive 80% of what we see. In comparison, it’s estimated we

your business is demanding. So what’s the best recipe to future-

retain just 20 per cent of what we read, making the visual platform

proof yours?

Instagram, with its 700 million monthly users, a powerful tool

Following the seismic surge in social media use, devising a

for marketers.

strategy to garner bookings by creating a buzz around a brand

According to Laura Nolte, Brand Manager of Sir Hotels, the

is key. Yet for many consumer-facing operations, this crucial

Instagram secret lies in its simplicity. Customising Instagram’s

ability still remains an unconquered frontier, as a tangible return

signature nine-square grid layout with graphics and colour

on investment is difficult to measure.

coding, Sir Hotels introduce city travel guides with ‘insider’

In a fast-moving landscape the plethora of platforms continues

recommendations.

to transform how people interact with brands and new ideas criss-

“We’re adding another layer of interest to the guest experience,

cross cultural and geographical divides in seconds. Harnessed in

creating something that makes incredible memories not just on

the right way, business operators converse directly with savvy

property but by taking guests out and about in the city,” Nolte

consumers whose smart phones are permanently in the palm of

explains. “Instagram has a geo-function whereby you can zoom-

their hands. This level of continual connectedness, supported by

in to find locally recommended hot spots instantly. It’s the most

pioneering technologies, presents amazing opportunities, where

used channel with our audience and has become ubiquitous with

digital technology can tap in to all aspects of a customer journey.

everyday life.

It also makes the voice of the consumer a force to be reckoned

“The stats are staggering as to how much time people spend on

with like never before.

Instagram and it’s not something that might become obsolete like Tumbler or dated like Facebook. Its wonderful simplicity

A picture paints a thousand words Our brains process images 60,000 times faster than text and store

036

forces restraint. “As there’s no direct way to measure the response, it’s


SERVICE

037


SERVICE

from PWC agrees. On hotels delivering in a

Empowering punters to take control while

digital age, he says, “The customer experience

improving turnaround times on tables is Daniel

becomes an opportunity to grow revenue. Those

Potter, an industry leader in projection-based

who really understand who the customers are,

restaurant ordering, and founder of inamo, an

what they want and what drives their buying

interactive London restaurant chain serving

decision, have a huge advantage.”

pan-Asian cuisine. Projections appear on tables

If the hospitality industry is slow to adopt

where diners set the mood, play retro games

new technologies, Potter says this is often with

or take a peek in the kitchen with live chef-

good reason, “If you’re a restaurant manager

cam feed. Assigned a table and a tablet, guests

with 1001 things to deal with the last thing you

explore the onscreen menu and tap on a dish that

need is technology not functioning properly,

appeals. Simply push a button to place an order,

so it’s our job as a supplier is to offer robust

before pressing ‘get bill’ to save flagging down

solutions that take minimum effort to install.

important that people are talking about us. It’s

a waiter. Increased speed of service means food

Technology should help not add to problems.”

about a collective awareness – people might

gets out quicker. Typically 3-4% of his guests

If the future relies on staying connected,

share if they came to the hotel and enjoyed a great

leave a review on-site using the tablets, with

dead spots in hotels are a no-no, only serving

meal or a book reading. Whether it’s a service or

positive notes about the food or raving about

to raise guests’ blood pressure according to

aesthetic element that pleases and feels familiar,

the technology.

tech company Ruckus - which delivers smart

it translates from one hotel to the next.”

“I think the whole industry will go this way

solutions to a staggering 86% of the luxury hotel

Sir Hotels saw a bump of interest on its main

[paperless] but it is just a question of timeframe.

segment and 70% of the hospitality industry

Instagram account and 1000 followers quickly

It might take 20 or 30 years but I find it hard to

globally. Wi-Fi woes result in 83% of guests

grew to 6000, though Nolte says that chasing

imagine anything otherwise. Firstly, there’s the

lodging complaints. So with its promise of a

followers is not the main game.

data capture and incredibly valuable feedback.

seamless Wi-Fi service, Steve Johnson, Regional

“Our feedback tells us guests love the guides

Beyond that, tablets and phones get cheaper

Director, Northern Europe, from Ruckus believes

and we plan to connect people to interesting

every year while paper gets more expensive,

the industry will lose out if the digital experience

local characters. We target a certain group of

and of course is less environmentally friendly.

it delivers is not improved.

curious and creative people. For upcoming

There’s also efficiency savings to be made

“You can invest all you want in snazzy bars

generations, many young people want to

and the entertainment value to the customer.

and fancy restaurants,.but if your guests can’t

find new or cool places and then show their

Tracking the customer journey from website

get a strong, consistent wireless connection –

experiences off on social media, so it’s also

visit to ordering, eating the meal and following

for all their devices and multimedia applications,

about social currency. Stay with us and we’ll

up with an offer is where the industry is going”

everywhere on your property – they won’t be

In his experience 15-20% of people will

coming back. We believe a solid foundation is

Tapping in to a similarly social mood is

download an app in-venue, whereas if a tablet

critical to the future success of your hotel’s

Shangri-La’s Hotel Jen, whose latest innovation

with the app installed is provided, almost all

technology strategy. Having your network ready

is ‘living’ interactive online maps, called New

guests will make use of it. Potter blames app

for 5GHz and 802.11ac, and understanding the

Light, that continuously aggregate data from

fatigue. “If you always downloaded the latest

value of access points (APs) are some examples

social check-ins and selected hashtags, and

loyalty programme, you’d end up with 100

of Wi-Fi readiness. Your network should be

encourage guests to go exploring. Marisa

restaurant apps on your phone. People have a

able to handle today’s demands and scale up

Aranha, Vice President of Sales and Marketing

limit as to how much they store locally opposed

to support future requirement, particularly in

says, “Hotel Jen caters to urban adventurers who

to accessing it at will.”

social F&B spaces.”

help you to find those things”.

are passionate about discovering new places,

Tailoring the restaurant experience around the

Stay tuned, for as T.S. Eliot famously said,

cultures and experiences. Through this new

individual - based on data capture - means you

“Only those who will risk going too far can

program, we want to provide a new perspective

know about guests’ allergies and birthdays, but

possibly know how far one can go.”

for busy business travellers, unabashed night

getting the fundamentals right is still your bread

owls and curious families through curated

and butter, Potter maintains “If you’re scoring

insider insights.”

highly on service, food and ambiance, you can

Social Stats

While you may have a team able to ace

achieve great things. Ultimately customers want

• Facebook: 1.94 billion monthly active users,

social media in-house, other companies are

to feel like kings and queens and technology can

1.28 billion daily users

investing and outsourcing to make the most of

facilitate that. A waiter might say to a guest, ‘It’s

• Instagram: over 700 million monthly users,

cutting-edge technologies. Like leading luxury

fantastic to see you again. Would you like to try

400 million daily users

hospitality group, Corbin & King, which recently

another bottle of the lovely wine you sampled

• Twitter: 317 million monthly active users, 500

appointed the digital agency Verb to rebuild its

last time?’ Overall there’s less to think about and

million tweets sent daily

online properties and deliver immersive digital

more time to enjoy the dining experience with

• Youtube: over 1 billion users, second largest

experiences alongside concise, ROI-driven

one’s friends.”

search engine

digital marketing.

038

Ordering for the future

Carlo Gagliardi, Strategy Consulting Partner

• Pinterest: 150 million active users


Specials

“It has been so enlightening and, like any journey, we’ve learnt a great deal on the way. In terms of square footage optimisation it is a demonstration of how to purpose a space, without compromising.” The Pilgrm’s Jason Catifeoglou on the journey to create a hotel.


Elegant textiles for hospitality

www.ingridlesagecreations.com


STARTERS xxx

Photography: Read McKendree

The Halyard Sound View, Greenport

Less than 100 miles from New York City, the waterfront Sound View hotel

Heading up the F&B programme is James Beard Award-winning chef,

lies on a quarter mile of private beach in Greenport – an historic town that

Galen Zamarra, chef and owner of the acclaimed Mas (farmhouse) in New

has become the epicentre of a renaissance along the North Fork of Long

York City. Zamarra’s first project outside of the city, The Halyard features

Island’s 30 miles of farmland, vineyards and beaches.

his signature fusing of French and American classicism and a commitment

The newly renovated property from Eagle Point Hotel Partners was designed by Brooklyn-based Studio Tack and intended to hark back to the golden age of motels, with flourishes of New England modernism and nautical undertones.

to supporting the local community – from farmers and foragers to growers and fishermen. In its design, The Halyard channels a maritime attitude, with classic captain’s chairs, family-style wooden tables and an exposed ceiling truss

The hotel features an expansive seafood restaurant, The Halyard,

that welcomes an abundance of light. A sprawling outdoor deck that looks

that focuses on fresh produce, seafood and wine from the North Fork

over the Long Island Sound completes the space and capitalises upon the

and Atlantic seaboard, informing a menu intended to evoke childhood

property’s shore side location.

nostalgia. Items include: buckets of fried chicken, whole steamed lobster, moules au pistou and bouillabaisse.

www.thehalyardgreenport.com

IN A BITE Covers: 150 (118 inside, 8 bar, 24 outside deck) • Owner: Eagle Point Hotel Partners • Operator: Filament Hospitality • Interior Design: Studio Tack Executive Chef: Galen Zamarra

041


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The Perception W London

The 192-room W London has recently undergone an extensive

dynamic background is set to inject fresh energy into central London’s

refurbishment, with the W Lounge, Library and Room 913 seeing

already diverse food offering, challenging the conventional codes of

interiors entirely redesigned to encompass an urban edge and glamour

luxury hotel dining with remixes of Mediterranean, Australian and

in-keeping with the Soho locale.

modern-European flavours

Rob Wagemans’ Concrete spearheaded the refurbishment, addressing

Focusing on inventive, clean cocktails with fresh ingredients, Head

guestrooms, public areas and one of the hotel’s bars, The Perception.

Barman Ulises Guerreo Galvez has also created an innovative menu of

Known for pushing the boundaries and an unconventional approach,

modern mélanges including the Lady Marmalade Mojito and Ginger

Wagemans used the W brand and London’s shared love for fashion and

Spice, a fiery mixture of Patron Silver Tequila, Cointreau, framboise

music as his main inspiration and narrative for the bold interiors.

liqueur, chilli and ginger.

Elsewhere the bar has launched a unique culinary programme, which

Offering the option of detox or retox, the Sunday brunch serving caters

invites some of the capital’s most playful and renowned talents to create

to the diversity of the staying guest – bouncing from healthy mixes with

a dinner menu combining their gastronomic identity with the attitude

the likes of smashed avocado and eggs benedict to an indulgent dessert

of W Hotels.

stage starring matcha and toffee panna cotta and Desert Rose gateau.

Kicking off the programme is East London chef Magnus Reid, owner of Shoreditch haunt, C.R.E.A.M and Hackney favourite, Legs. Reid’s

www.thehalyardgreenport.com

IN A BITE Covers: 144 • Owner: Marriott International • Operator: Marriott International, W Hotels Worldwide • Interior Design: Concrete • Head Bartender: Ulises Guerrero Galvez • Executive Chef: Patricio Tapia Cuevas • Tableware: RAK • Glassware: Luigi Bormioli

042


FieldStoneTM Finish by WALCO StarTM 18/10

FLATWARE • STEAK KNIVES • HOLLOWARE • CHAFERS • BUFFETWARE

www.walcostainless.com


STARTERS xxx

Morimoto Mondrian Doha

Embodying Arabian culture through a modern lens, Morimoto at Mondrian

and meetings. Evocative details continue throughout the hotel, reflecting

Doha is billed as a bridge between culinary traditions. Inspired by ancient

local patterns through Arabian writing, historic souks and falcons, with

Japan and a key landmark in the city of Nara, the space is adorned with

ornate stained glass and intricate mosaic tiling inspiring visitors with a

energetic and graceful artworks by Japanese painter Hiroshi Senju.

sense of nostalgia.

“Many themes are layered in the hotel,” says Marcel Wanders, who

Located in Doha’s West Bay Lagoon, Morimoto the first restaurant

headed-up the interiors of the project. His signature design language

by Chef Masaharu Morimoto to open in the Middle East, who oversees a

creates a multi-layered sensory experience, allowing guests to form a

menu combining western and Japanese ingredients. While Middle Eastern

collection of woven stories. “With each individual space telling its own

cuisine is at the heart of the hotel’s offering, Mondrian Doha is a culinary

tale, guests have many different experiences, and therefore, weave for

emporium, with Wolfgang Puck bringing his concept Cut by Wolfgang

themselves a volume of stories to share.”

Puck, as well as other offerings including rustic burger joint Hudson Tavern

Bespoke designs span the restaurant, from a 16-seat sushi bar to rose-

and New York’s renowned Magnolia Bakery.

gold studded columns that exude luxury, while sophisticated mirror doors hide two private interlinking dining rooms for exclusive dinners

www.mondriandoha.com

IN A BITE Covers: 186 • Operator: sbe • Interior Design: Yasumichi Morita • Architecture: Glamorous Inc. • Tableware: Korin • Glassware: Bauscher, Spiegelau, Riedel • Cutlery: Oneida

044


Creating Hospitality

Anmut Samarah Enchanting design with a touch of ornament

Villeroy & Boch S.à .r.l. Hotel & Restaurant 330, rue de Rollingergrund 2441 Luxembourg Tel.: + (352) 46 82 11 ¡ Fax: + (352) 46 90 22 E-mail: info.hr@villeroy-boch.com www.villeroy-boch.com/hospitality

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05.12.17 13:38


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Photography: Eric Laignel

Seafood Bar The Breakers, Palm Beach

Adam D. Tihany returned to The Breakers in Palm Beach for the redesign

18 bar stools, three horseshoe banquette seating arrangements and high

of the hotel’s Seafood Bar, acting as a design consultant to Peacock +

top communal table seating. The aquarium-topped bar now stands

Lewis Architects. With a nautical theme, the space features sconce and

at standard bar height and features wood and rattan materials on the

pendant lighting reminiscent of buoys, lively white terrazzo flooring inlaid

counter front. The ocean view windows behind the bar draw attention

with bronze bubble detailing and a new marble topped exhibition kitchen,

to the flanking nautical statues poised on either side of the impressive

which provides the focal point of the restaurant. A neutral colour palette

bottle display.

is brought to life with deep blue and yellow accents, while throughout

Beyond the aesthetic, Seafood Bar continues its commitment to fresh

the main dining room, structural columns curve up to the barrel-vaulted

produce and Executive Chef Anthony Sicignano presides over a menu

ceiling, providing ideal placements for the large industrial caged light

that traverses the seafood staples, from lobster tails and fish tacos to

fixtures. The cherry and maple striped wood flooring and a bespoke

crab cakes and scallops.

aquarium high top communal table continue the luxury yacht reference. The restaurant’s bar area, now distinguished by ceiling height, features

www.thebreakers.com

IN A BITE Covers: 110 • Operator: The Breakers Palm Beach • Interior Design: Tihany Design • Architecture: Peacock + Lewis Architects • Tableware: Fortessa, Oneida • Glassware: Anchor Hocking • Cutlery: Oneida • Menu Design: Mirko Ilic Design

046


“Eddy“ & “VISION”

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STARTERS xxx

Photography: Colin Faulkner

Drake Commissary Drake Hotel, Toronto

The combined vision of corporate Executive Chef Ted Corrado, Commissary

Commissary, focused on fresh, seasonal and local ingredients – the now

Chef Jonas Grupiljonas, hotelier Jeff Stober and the team behind Toronto’s

expected offer for the current generation of food culture followers – and

The Drake Hotel, the Drake Commissary concept breaks the mould of

with a health-conscious bent, whilst also allowing room for indulgence.

traditional hotel F&B by transforming the brand’s food production facility

Innovative flavour combinations meet time-honoured techniques such as

into an early morning to late night eatery, bakery, bar and larder.

fermentation, pickling, smoking and slow roasting.

Designed by John Tong and his team at +tongtong, Drake Commissary

“This project was so much fun to conceive, because it allowed us to

cultivates an atmosphere that blends history and modernity. The visual

push the ‘to be expected’ restaurant model,” says Stober. “It’s the baking

narrative is inspired by a transitional period in modern design and

kitchen you’ve always wanted to see, the cafeteria you remember as a kid,

architecture when innovations in production brought efficiencies and

a cultural hub you’ll love to hang out at and the TV room you were never

new possibilities – such as the rare mid-century prefab houses by French

allowed to eat in. And we get to play host.”

designer, Jean Prouvé and the work of Charles and Ray Eames. Together Corrado and Grupiljonas created a fast-casual menu for Drake

www.drakecommissary.ca

IN A BITE Covers: 140 (seated dining area), 40 (patio) • Owner: Jeff Stober, Drake Hotel Properties • Operator: Drake Hotel Properties • Interior Design: +tongtong • Executive Chef: Ted Corrado • Commissary Chef: Jonas Grupiljonas • Art Curator: Mia Nielsen • Branding: Megan Oldfield, Field Design Office Kitchen Consultant: Paula Hicks Food Service Design • Tableware: Degrenne • Cutlery: Albert Matisse

048


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‘Caged’ Cinder Toffee

The Science of Plants Our collaboration with porcelain experts Hering Berlin, vegan restaurant The Allotment and photographer Sven Eselgroth is a forensic examination of the delicate relationship between science, food and the environment, with key natural ingredients referenced by the scientific Latin name of their plant species

SPREAD

Silent Iron Hering Berlin

‘Cocos nucifera’ Coconut chocolate ganache with honeycomb and cinnamon shortbread over tofu cream


‘Cucurbita maxima’ Kabocha Squash

Granat Hering Berlin

‘Beta vulgaris’ Pickled beetroot and chilli chutney

Silent Iron Hering Berlin

Soda Hering Berlin

Hand-made in Germany, Hering Berlin’s ethos is one of precision and artistry, providing a canvas for culinary creations designed to captivate. Vegan dishes by ‘PlantFood PowerChef’ Matthew Nutter come under the microscope against a clinical white backdrop.


‘Cydonia oblonga’ Quince, apple and beetroot Juice

‘Solanum melongena’ Pink peppercorn confit aubergine, oyster mushrooms and pomme puree with cavolo nero

‘Brassica oleracea Lacinato’ Burnt vegetable jus

Granat Hering Berlin

‘Curcuma longa’ Turmeric


‘Anacardium occidentale’ 12 month, fermented blue cashew nut cheese

Blue Silent Hering Berlin

‘Vitis vinifera’ Sweet Bordeaux


‘Brassica oleracea var. capitata F. alba’ White cabbage

Granat Hering Berlin

Blue Silent Hering Berlin

‘Allium cepa’ Smoked onion parfait, pistachio crumb and red cabbage powder


‘Ficus Carica’ Common Fig

‘Beta vulgaris Chioggia’ Candy stripe chioggia and golden Victorian beetroots

‘Pistacia vera’ Pistachio Nuts


‘Agaricus bisporus, Lentinula edodes, Pleurotus ostreatus’ Portabella, shiitake and oyster mushrooms Soda Hering Berlin

Blue Silent Hering Berlin


Soda Hering Berlin

Soda Hering Berlin

Tableware: Hering Berlin www.heringberlin.com Chef: Matthew Nutter, The Allotment, Stockport Glassware: Vera Wang, Wedgwood Table linen: Ingrid Lesage Accessories: Agapanthus Interiors Photography: Sven Eselgroth

‘Camellia sinensis var.sinensis’ Kanuka Indian Darjeeling Black Tea


COUP FINE DINING

FASHION

MADE IN GERMANY


City Mouse Ace Hotel, Chicago

Words: Emma Love

R

andolph Street in Chicago’s West Loop is nicknamed

Creative Director Roman Alonso. “The building is industrial

‘Restaurant Row’ and, with several blocks full of

in feel but rooted in modernism.”

buzzing eateries and bars, it’s immediately obvious

Within the ground floor F&B spaces - the 160-seat

why. Less than five minutes walk away is the Fulton

City Mouse restaurant and bar, plus the lobby lounge -

Market neighbourhood - slightly quieter but with a fast

this is evidenced in the black terrazzo floors and forest

growing foodie reputation. It’s here, opposite the Google

green-stained plywood panelling (informed by van der

offices, that Ace Hotel Group has chosen to open its tenth

Rohe’s buildings at the Illinois Institute of Technology);

outpost and the first in the Midwest. In another first for the

custom-designed furniture by LA-based Michael Boyd; and

group, which usually renovates old buildings, this is a newly

the woven wall hangings by artists Tanya Aquiniga and

constructed glass and concrete space from GREC Architects

Christy Madsen - inspired by Anni and Joseph Albers - that

that references the neighbourhood’s industrial past. The

hang behind the host stand and the reception. Seating in

facade of the former cheese factory that once stood on the

the restaurant is a combination of upholstered plywood

south side of the site still remains.

banquettes and chrome tubing dining chairs; the table tops

LA-based Commune Design (which had already worked on three other Ace hotel properties) was tasked with the

glassware and cutlery are sourced from Steelite USA.

interiors and began by asking the question: if Mies van der

Other F&B outlets consist of the front patio, which has

Rohe were to create a hotel today, what would it look like?

an additional 60-seats and a fire pit, plus the seventh floor

“We decided to tap into Chicago’s history of Mid-century

060

and bar are green Forbo linoleum and brass. The plates,

Waydown bar. “The most important thing for the restaurant

Modern architecture and design, specifically Mies van

was to bring in natural light and make the spaces, which

der Rohe and the Bauhaus,” confirms Commune Design’s

were vast in plan, feel intimate,” continues Alonso. “We


MAIN COURSE

Milk Toast: chocolate, cashew, coconut, stonefruit jam

061


Photography: Spencer Lowell

062


MAIN COURSE

wanted it to be timeless, a place where you can dress up or dress down.” It’s a relaxed design ethos that is reflected in the menu itself, which has been devised by chef Jason Vincent, a Chicago native whose Logan Square restaurant, Giant, has garnered numerous accolades. “Ace has a philosophy of partnering with a chef or group that is up-

chicken with cashew rice. The dessert list is mostly American classics from apple pie to whipped cheesecake with blueberries. “There are similarities to Giant in the seasonality of the ingredients, the preparation and finesse behind the food, and the quality,” says Chapman, citing Mick Klug Farms in Michigan as one of the key

and-coming or perhaps only has one or two restaurants, rather than a

suppliers of produce for the kitchen. Just as the Midwest’s influence can

big established brand,” says City Mouse’s Director of Food and Beverage

be tasted in the food, so it is also found on the drinks menu. Many of the

Lucas Chapman. “Both Jason and our Executive Chef Patrick Sheerin,

beers - such as Great Lakes Porter by the Great Lakes Brewing Company

who was previously at Trencherman restaurant in Wicker Park, are on

in Cleveland, Ohio - are from the region.

the cutting edge of the Chicago food scene and very well known. I think

Music is important too, both in the rooms (many come with guitars

that lends itself to a successful restaurant much more than if they were

or a record player and a selection of vinyl sourced from second hand

not from the city.”

shops) and the F&B areas. In the Waydown bar, DJs play seven nights

The menu concept at City Mouse - named after Aesop’s fable The

a week, while downstairs City Mouse has two music playlists curated

Town Mouse and the Country Mouse - is clearly designed to be fun and

by DJ Michael Antonia, and a record player behind the host station

to draw in diners not just from the hotel, but local workers and residents

with a stack of around 1,500 vinyls. “We have a cultural engineer who

too. “Over the past few years brunching has become a real thing in

makes sure the brand is represented well when it comes to music,”

Chicago so we decided to offer brunch seven days a week, to appeal not

says Chapman. “There is everything from The Supremes to offbeat

only to our guests but to the neighbourhood that we’re in. If you want

instrumental stuff. This weekend we had a guest bring down a record

to come in and get pancakes at 2pm in the afternoon, you can,” explains

from his room that he hadn’t had time to play, so we put it on in the

Chapman. “We could price everything a few bucks higher but that’s not

restaurant.”

going to bring our guests back three or four times a week.” Alongside brunch specials such as a smoked salmon and cream cheese

Ace Chicago might be barely six months old - the final F&B offering, an outpost of Stumptown Coffee Roasters only opened in December

pretzel bagel, and a ‘Gas Station Sandwich’ (hash brown, egg, cheese,

- but already it seems to have found its place in this in-flux, foodie

grape jelly, sausage, Michigan grown fruit), there are a handful of salads

neighbourhood. “We want to make the north part of the West Loop a

and a lunch section on the all-day menu: think burger and fries, corn

more attractive area and do good by the city,” concludes Chapman.

and coconut soup with grilled corn relish and a burrata chopped salad

“That comes from approachable pricing, authentic, humble service and

with arugula, cherry tomatoes and crispy prosciutto. The dinner menu

really good food.”

features crowd-pleasing dishes such as handmade tagliatelle with shrimps and chilli butter, skirt steak with sweet corn elotes and smoked

www.acehotel.com/chicago

IN A BITE C220 (dining room, lounge and seasonal patio) • Operator: Ace Hotel • Developer: Sterling Bay • Architecture: GREC Architects • Interior Design: Commune Design • Executive Chef: Pat Sheerin • Beverage Manager: Caitlin Laman • Director of F&B: Lucas Chapman • Tableware and Glassware: Steelite USA • Menu and Uniform Design: Atelier Ace

063


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The Dining Room The Tamburlaine, Cambridge

Words: Caroline Morrish

S

et in the historical city of Cambridge and

spaces. “The hotel had to sit within the city which is

named after the play by Cambridge University

full of history whilst remaining contemporary and

alumnus, Christopher Marlowe, you would be

cutting edge,” explains Bryan O’Sullivan. “The client

forgiven for expecting The Tamburlaine hotel

came to us having already chosen the name, based

to be a period renovation with dark winding halls,

on Christopher Marlowe’s work. Having read various

vaulted ceilings and lots of antique charm. Maybe

passages from the play we were inspired by the

something like Hogwarts with room service. And

Persian references in the story, and wanted to bring

while it does have the vaulted ceilings, and plenty of

together a fusion of old and new Cambridge with lots

charm and character, the latest operation from Irish

of luxurious Middle Eastern elements, whilst giving

hotel operators O’Callaghan Hotel Group is about as

each area its own distinct personality.”

contemporary as they come. The impressive, £50 million, purpose-built hotel

This has been achieved with a liberal use of pattern, colour and different style references that are all

is all steel and glass from the outside and rises

hung together with a unifying palette of quality

up amongst the other new structures in the CB1

materials, rich textures and graphic ceramic details.

development at Cambridge railway station. This

Modern architectural elements are matched with

massive regeneration project has seen £434 million

more traditional English interior stylings such as

invested in the area, updating the station itself, as

paneled walls and rich, chocolate-brown parquet

well as creating a whole new quarter with spaces for

flooring which flows throughout much of the venue,

food retailers, residential apartments and state of the

all ensuring that there is a real sense of character and

art office buildings which are already occupied by the

belonging to the place, despite the age of the building.

likes of Amazon, Microsoft and Deloitte. This makes

After entering the hotel through the dramatic,

it one of the most exciting areas of the city, fast

double height lobby and reception area, guests are

developing its own modern community, as well as

met by an impressively proportioned 150-cover

having a constant stream of commuters and visitors

restaurant which stretches out like the vast dining

passing through, and the perfect choice of location

room of a luxury cruise liner, with an open kitchen

for O’Callaghan Group’s first UK hotel opening.

and two atrium ceilings offering views down onto

With 155 bedrooms, The Tamburlaine is a large-

the space from the guest room floors above. The

scale operation with four dedicated food and beverage

scheme is masculine yet warm, with sumptuous

areas. London-based Bryan O’Sullivan Studio was

leather banquettes and chairs in various rich tones

brought in to work on the look and feel of these

of brown encircling marble tables. As with the look,

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Ham hock terrine, piccalilli, sour dough

the menu for The Dining Room is classic with

mixologist has evolved the cocktail menu from

things a step further, with a tea sommelier

a modern twist. Deputy General Manager Paul

something fairly classic to a more inventive

and Japanese tea ceremony offering both to be

Rhodes says the thread running through the

list. Sustainability is a key theme, he tells us,

introduced soon.

menu is one of “premium items cooked really

and nowhere is this more evident than in the

well,” with ingredients locally sourced where

after dinner tipple, From The Ground Up,

and drink jigsaw is Steam, the café-cum-deli,

possible, and treated simply but with a creative

which uses recycled coffee grounds, mixed

that also acts as a grab and go breakfast stop

use of flavour. The current menu includes the

with vodka, cacao, peppermint tea, espresso

for guests that are checking out but don’t

likes of loin of venison with roast parsnip,

and vanilla as the perfect, yet potent, evening

have time to dine in the restaurant. There’s

chestnut pithivier and garden vegetables and

pick me up.

a slightly more industrial feel here, but with

pork cheek with ham hock bon bon, leeks and crushed swede.

Moving into The Garden Room, adjacent to

The final piece of The Tamburlaine’s food

the same commitment to quality of finish and

the bar and restaurant, the feel is altogether

pattern, with Moorish tiling across the floor

more feminine and delicate with what

and more Deco-style tiles and brass-work

to this space, with its arching marble bar top

O’Sullivan describes as “a tropical, Eastern

running behind the counter - plus a little

and stunning back bar that disappears off

inspired scheme with a colonial feel.” Floral

injection of neon in the signage.

towards the void above. O’Sullivan explains:

and botanical furnishings sit against garden

“We wanted to give this area a real sense of

scenes painted on the walls, while there is lots

the design throughout the communal areas,

drama, so we positioned the bar under the

of fresh foliage, and white rattan furniture

O’Sullivan and the hotel operators have created

vaulted ceiling to create a double height back

mixed with pastel velvet sofas and armchairs.

something rather special – a mismatching

bar.” This has been carefully stocked by Bar

Unsurprisingly Instagrammers have gone mad,

scheme that surprises and delights, whilst

Manager Ash Briggs with the most interesting

not only for the interior, but also the afternoon

remaining refined and in the best of taste. And

spirits from around the world, and some

tea, which delivers architecturally designed

all wrapped up in an atmosphere of relaxed

from closer to home such as award-winning

patisserie, with seasonally changing speciality

luxury and great service.

Cambridge Distillery Gin. A more recent

cakes, served along with Newby Teas. There’s

appointment to the hotel team, the passionate

a tea tasting menu, for those that want to take

The semi-circular bar provides a focal point

With such a fun and eclectic approach to

www.thetamburlaine.co.uk

IN A BITE Covers: 150 • Operator: O’Callaghan Hotel Group • Interior Design: Bryan O’Sullivan Studio • Tableware: Heritage

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Contact: Bernie Drewell +44 (0) 7703311746 www.blenheimpalace.com


The Pilgrm The Pilgrm, London

Words: Harry McKinley

F

or those unfamiliar with London, Paddington must surely conjure images of Isambard

The Pilgrm is the invention of Jason Catifeoglou,

Kingdom Brunel’s grand railway station – all

former partner and general manager of The Zetter

wrought iron and Victorian brick – and evoke

Hotel in Clerkenwell; Andreas Thrasyvoulou, founder

quaint associations with Michael Bond’s famous

of myhotels; and Steph Thrasyvoulou. Working with

plodding bear. A vision of romantic Englishness

design studio 93, together they set out to reconsider

through and through. For Londonders, it’s rather

what a typical hotel looks and feels like, and also

different. Often thought of as the shabbier neighbour

how it functions. The inessential has been stripped

to the likes of affluent Marylebone, Paddington has

away and in its stead is an ethos of efficiency and

a reputation as a warren of dreary bedsits, fast food

the adoption of a lifestyle-centric attitude, for which

joints and sagging townhouses that have gone years

F&B is key. In terms of guest experience, it starts at

without the loving caress of a paintbrush.

the door. At The Pilgm check-in as an entirely online

It’s an increasingly unfair perception, of course, as the area is undoubtedly on the up. The on-going regeneration of Paddington Basin has brought

process and overnighters searching for a reception desk will find only the counter of the café. “We asked ourselves what it would feel like to arrive

a slew of new eateries, a fortnightly street food

at a hotel, but instead of a reception desk you would

market and transformed the canal into a pleasant

step straight into a coffee shop,” says Catifeoglou.

walkway bordered by steely stretches of modern

“The Pilgrm idea was first born in a coffee shop and

office architecture.

whether it’s inspiration, stillness or time spent with

Then there’s The Pilgrm, intended to shake up not just Paddington’s uninspired hotel scene, but that of the capital at large. One only needs to glance from the

068

floor café, there’s a sense of design and intent.

friends and family, great coffee shops are the hub of any community or neighbourhood.” As neighbourhood cafés go, The Pilgrm delivers

two-star guesthouse across the street with its peeling

for staying guests and locals alike. A hefty Faema

sills and strip-lit signage to the slick, stylish façade of

machine dribbles high quality espressos and fresh

The Pilgrm to see that it is a new proposition for the

doughnuts are queued up waiting to catch the eye of

neighbourhood. Even from street level, where broad

peckish punters. The hotel collaborated with CRU Kafe

windows afford passers-by a glimpse into the ground

on unique blends, available nowhere else and with


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Photography: Jason Bailey

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bespoke packaging carrying The Pilgrm logo. It’s all

relationship,” says Catifeoglou, when asked about

about brand building, of course, and the same moniker

the nature of providing a fleshed-out food and drinks

graces water bottles available for purchase, which can

offer from such small confines and within such close

be filled and refilled free of charge from the café’s

quarters to visitors. “This was a critical dimension

water fountain. Free water is important to Catifeoglou

and creating a fluid service delivery was paramount to

and something that will remain a permanent fixture.

any decisions. The solution was an open kitchen and

In looks, the café is sturdy and handsome, making

dispense bar that serves as the focal point of the room.

use of original features and complementing them

For us it was a process of thinking about operations

with fixtures sourced from old buildings – among

and how they’re best suited for a specific space. It

them lights that once graced the walls of a hospital.

has been so enlightening and, like any journey, we’ve

The magnificent staircase was brought back to life

learnt a great deal on the way. In terms of square

thanks to hours of painstaking paint stripping and the

footage optimisation it is a demonstration of how to

pleasing, tactile scars of age have been brought to the

purpose a space, without compromising.”

fore with a spit and a polish.

For a lounge that wears multiple hats and functions

A floor up and a more expansive lounge unfolds.

as a dining space, bar, work area and general chill

The heart of The Pilgrm’s F&B operations, it is here

out zone, it is fitting that this ‘multifunctionalism’

that guests can order from a fully-fledged food menu

has filtered down into the details of the design. The

and fade into a vintage leather sofa.

kitchen pass, clad in Verde Guatemalan marble, also

With room for just 40 to 45 covers (depending on a willingness to squeeze up or the general girth of

serves as the dispense station for cocktails. The drinks menu features creations from multiple

guests), the lounge is compact by the standard of

leading bartenders – from Singapore to Dallas and

modern restaurants, but not claustrophobic. Lengthy

Athens – who have loaned their mixes for The

windows look down onto the street and across to the

Pilgrm team to make on the other side of London,

bedrooms of that two-star mentioned previously

in Hackney, and sell by the glass at the bar. It’s an

- teasing them with glimpses of pork belly, wild

inventive model of delivering a drinks offer that feels

mushroom cheese toastie and lentil dhal with grilled

vibrant and imaginative, without the complexity of

mackerel. Considering the accessible price points of

making a cocktail bar work alongside a kitchen, and all

The Pilgrm, it is a lesson, if ever there was one, to

within a veritable shoebox.

research before booking. But at least the F&B spaces are open to all. “We’ve simplified everything about our food

In terms of aesthetics, the lounge, like the rest of the hotel, feels of the moment and discreet - elements such as the hanging greenery and Millenial pink

and drink offering but elevated the quality of what

furnishings being particularly de rigueur. Catifeoglou

we offer,” says Catifeoglou. “The Pilgrm is based

and Steph Thrasyvoulou collaborated with Sheffield-

on journeys and learning. We feel that cooking is a

based studio 93, on the design, and an assortment of

reflection of culture - the differences through cultures

objects, from glove moulds to retro toy cars, adorn

being only ingredients and techniques. With Head

spare surfaces and give a sense of personality - that

Chef Sara Lewis, we’ve brought some of our favourite

of a familair friend. It all makes for a pleasant picture.

ingredients and techniques to Paddington. Our food

But then The Pilgrm is ultimately about more than

menus are made up of a number of small plates with

how agreeable it looks in isolation. That simply this

unique pairings and tasty fusions that challenge

brand of hotel, with an eye to design and a nod to how

convention and expectation.”

the modern guest behaves, is available at a reasonable

Elements that may be considered obstacles at

rate is – for London - a revelation. Likewise, that The

other hotels have, at The Pilgrm, been used to their

Pilgrm’s brand of easy, presentable, Insta-worthy

advantage. The tiny open kitchen, no larger than a

F&B is finding its footing in Paddington is a sign of

typical bathroom, feeds the atmosphere of the lounge,

the tide shift in the district and an indication that, for

as chef, bartender and servers shuffle around each

those in other neighbourhoods, it may just be worth

other – pots spluttering, glasses chinking and the

the journey.

smell of multiple dishes wafting over expectant diners. “The kitchen and lounge required a symbiotic

www.thepilgrm.com

IN A BITE Covers: 40 – 45 • Founder and CEO: Jason Catifeoglou • Co-founder and Developer: Steph Thrasyvoulou Owner: Andreas Thrasyvoulou • Interior Design: 93, Jason Catifeoglou, Steph Thrasyvoulou

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Fiskebar The Ritz-Carlton Hotel de la Paix, Geneva

Words: Noga Tarnopolsky

D

espite decades as a global hub, Geneva recoils from any frolicsome, international glitter. By and large, its high-end hotels have not changed in the past half-century and the menus offered at Geneva’s top restaurants have remained predictable and sedate. But now, five

hundred years after the Reformation, in which a young French theologian, John Calvin, transformed Christendom out of Geneva, a group of young European reformers is taking on Geneva’s gastronomic establishment. They are launching their new vision from the very heart of stately, old school Geneva, at the lakeside Hôtel de la Paix, which has been managed by the Ritz-Carlton group since 2015. Fiskebar, at the hotel’s entry-level, can be accessed both from the lobby and, for passers-by, by a pale blue door on the Quai du Mont-Blanc. Opened late 2017, Fiskebar is Geneva’s first Nordic restaurant, dreamed up by Alessio Corda, a young Italian-born graduate of El Bulli, who is refreshingly nonchalant about gastronomic trends and Geneva’s weighty food culture. The jet-setting, markedly not locavore Scandinavian menu (Canadian lobster, fjord trout, North Sea abalone) is served at distinctly different salons. A roomy bright space offers long, high table seating connecting patrons on tall stools, with the kitchen in view. The next room is high-end hygge, with metallic and ceramic elements adorning black tables and rough walls, leather placemats, and enticing duck-egg green accoutrements bringing a luxe countryside quality to the dining experience.

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Mark Bithrey, Director of B3 Designers, led the search

in fir oil and tiny crab beignets in a langoustine

party of designers and foodies who conjured up

béchamel, beguile.

the restaurant’s concept. “This is the first Nordic-

In the formal dining room, vivid green, mossy textures

inspired food concept of its kind in Geneva,” he says,

“reflect the lushness of the Nordic environment,”

“we wanted to entice a wider market, and make the

Bithrey says. Behind a translucent door Fiskebar

restaurant a destination in its own right.”

conceals a space available for private events.

Bithrey and his team wanted the design to

The idea was to make it “as warm as possible and

showcase the restaurant’s concept. “The food is all

as appealing, because we are proposing something

about local, seasonal and organic produce alongside

that has never existed in Geneva, for people who are

the fresh seafood. We wanted to create different

stepping out of the usual track,” says Pierre Lelièvre,

spaces to reflect this alongside contemporary Nordic

another Frenchman and the restaurant’s brisk and

sensibilities,” he says. “By splitting the space into

skilled manager.

two dining experiences - a fine-dining offer for

When entering Fiskebar’s formal dining hall from

the more traditional Genevans, alongside a more

the lake, leaving behind banks and sedans and, all

casual setting – we have provided an approachable

too often, a chill wind, one enters a slate door into

restaurant, opening up the offering to a wider and

a small, boxy foyer, “a glass box wind lobby or a

perhaps younger market.”

lantern,” in Lelièvre’s words, whose “function is to

The public’s exposure to Fiskebar starts at the hotel’s traditional bar/lounge, which posed challenges for the design team: the cylindrical space

hinder the depth of winter. Once guests step through, they can forget they’re in a hotel.” B3 introduced ceiling beams to add a convivial

is protected by architectural conservation laws and

component to the room, and Scandinavian white

its traditional moulding, floorboards and shape could

plank flooring. It creates another world, a bubble

not be touched. B3’s solution was to play with the

of something different off Lake Geneva, that, still,

existing elements, working with Parisian painting

winks at the best of local tradition.

specialist Pierre Clement, to create a soft metallic bronze effect. “We wanted to break the codes of a hotel

In yet another adjoining space, painted bright burnt orange, another young Frenchman has installed his lair. Brittany-born master chocolatier

restaurant,” Candie Clapier, Fiskebar’s energetic,

Philippe Pascoët, a star in Switzerland, has taken up a

French-born PR chief explains. “We wanted to shake

small residence in the lobby, and before succumbing

up the conventions.” The management’s average

and buying lavender or coriander pralines or a crisp,

age is 34.

incomprehensibly crunchy cacao bean delight,

A medley of elaborately spiced Mediterranean

Fiskebar diners are offered end-of-meal treats such

olives are served with original cocktails, some

as champagne truffles and absinthe, pulled out of an

featuring the Swiss elixir absinthe, which is

enormous green glass gourd by a smiling Lelièvre,

produced on-site. Oysters are served with cacao and

who is equipped with a pipette two feet long.

blue cheese. Somehow, it works, exuberantly. The alluring amuse-bouches, like a trout tartar bathed

www.ritzcarlton.com

IN A BITE Covers: 40 • Owner: The Manz Family • Operator: Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company • Interior Design: B3 Designers Executive Chef: Alessio Corda • Tableware: Playground, Wurtz, Serax • Glassware: Riedel, Zweisel, John Jenkins, Spiegelau, LSA • Cutlery: Cutipol, Thiers, Laguiole • Menu Design: Markette

075


Ferris Made Hotel, New York

Words: Alia Akkam

N

ew York’s centrally located NoMad

Zen design, marrying white oak, weathered spruce

neighborhood is in the midst of a stylish,

beams, and hand-painted Japanese tiles, punctuated

modern hotel boom, with design-forward

by candles and vegetation sprouting from flower

pioneers like Ace and NoMad paving the

pots, also courtesy of Studio MAI. “We felt that

way for recent additions, including Life Hotel in

Ferris could provide a more personal, intimate, and

the old Life Magazine headquarters and an outpost

friendly approach to dining than much of what we’ve

of Soho stalwart The James. One such newcomer

experienced around the neighbourhood,” Seich

to the area is Made, the inaugural hotel project

explains. “We wanted to create an environment that

from entrepreneur Sam Gelin of Craft Hospitality,

felt like home, where our guests could feel relaxed

and designed by Los Angeles-based Studio MAI.

and relieved to be back. It’s almost like a secret

Enticingly set back from a street of unremarkable

place to escape to. The menus and the space are both

storefronts, the airy, community-minded retreat

familiar and comfortable, while remaining new and

has 108 guestrooms accentuated with bronze, steel,

exciting at the same time.”

and floor-to-ceiling windows. Those who aren’t

maple exemplifies Made’s social ethos, but the

through the warm, walnut-clad lobby and linger

limestone chef’s counter, offering a mesmerizing

with a cocktail from husband-and-wife bartenders

view into the energetic kitchen helmed by Greg

Jeremy Oertel and Natasha David, or take the stairs to

Proechel, is the most desirable perch. “I hope to

a vibrant meal at seasonal, New American restaurant

bring people enjoyment in many ways. They get to

Ferris below.

see us putting dishes together, seasoning everything

Charles Seich, formerly of Major Food Group - the

076

A communal butcher’s block table fashioned from

sleeping in one of them are just as delighted to walk

before it walks out of the kitchen, then they eat

company behind New York powerhouse restaurants

creative food,” he says. Prior to Ferris, Proechel was

like Carbone and the controversial reboot of the late

the executive chef of Le Turtle, and he also worked

Four Seasons - oversees Made’s food and drink offer,

at Blanca and Eleven Madison Park. Here, the menu

from the all-day coffee shop, Paper, to the Tiki-

channels his devotion to fresh produce through

inspired rooftop bar, Good Behavior. Ferris, however,

dishes that imaginatively pair textures and flavours.

is the star, a destination sought out by Made guests

After ordering an orb of crackling bread, patrons may

and locals alike for both the food and its fashionably

spring for meant-to-be-shared plates of beets with


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Photography: Noah Fecks

black sesame tahini and shaved coconut or

the L’Amie, a mélange of vodka, the French

explore flavours that I like; I’m not confined to

Okinawa sweet potato dressed with pumpkin

apéritif Suze, fennel, ginger, and lime, it

a specific cuisine or style of serving. It has been

mustard and buttermilk, before moving on

amplifies Proechel’s penchant for tinkering

freeing in many respects, and it’s nice being

to charred aubergine jam and rutabaga duck

with straight-from-the-garden ingredients

involved with owners and operators who trust

breast, or roasted artichoke accompanied by

and gets palates revved for what will soon

me and trust my vision. I’m able to express

smoked cabbage and scallion miso.

emerge from the kitchen.

myself here more than I’ve ever been able to in

Particularly popular is the surprising blood

Throughout the evening, diners also revel

any job I’ve ever had.”

sausage strewn with dates and seeds that Seich

in an uplifting ambience fueled by engaging

points out is, “that dish one person at the table

hospitality. It starts with that initial interaction

similar views on guest experience and are both

is interested in and everyone else tags along

with the good-natured hostess, and ends, say,

committed to two important ideals: we are

with the idea. In the end they all comment that

with the small talk-savvy waiter suggesting

open and direct communicators and we treat

it is their favourite. It is one of ours too, so we

an Amaro nightcap, which is ultimately a

every day as an opportunity to get better at

are happy with the response.” Light, charred

reflection of the synergy and conviviality

what we do. Aside from that, he’s incredibly

broccolini, brightened by cashew, Moon Drop

between front and back of the house. “Charles

talented and has a great sense of humour.

grapes, and an unexpected burst of Timur

and I are playful and immature when it comes

It’s important to enjoy being at work. That all

yogurt, also yields frequent orders.

to day to day interactions and how we see a lot

trickles down to our team and to our guests.”

of things, but both extremely mature when it

In tandem with Proechel’s food, this geniality

and David, are an integral complement to

comes to business. I feel that fun side shows

forges an aura of quiet luxury that mirrors

Proechel’s cooking. Consider the vegetal Eau

way more here in the vibe of the space and

Made’s guestrooms.

de Spa, combining mezcal with jalapeno,

food,” says Proechel. “This experience has

carrot, coriander, pineapple, and lime. Like

allowed me to be myself in the kitchen, and

Cocktails, again the handiwork of Oertel

Adds Seich, “Chef and I share a lot of

www.ferrisnyc.com

IN A BITE Covers: 40 • Owner: Sam Gellin • Interior Design: Studio Mai • Executive Chef: Greg Proechel • Tableware: Kinto, Korin, Sambonet, CB2, Rene Ozorio Glassware: Kinto, Urban Bar • Cutlery: Sambonet, Opinel

078


SIPPING

“In an age when we can put people on the moon and create cars that don’t need drivers, the fact that bars, restaurants and retailers don’t offer their customers exciting options is why Seedlip was devised.” Seedlip founder Ben Branson on the lack of innovative non-alcoholic beverages.


MEA 2017 Supper ad.qxp_Layout 1 01/09/2017 16:10 Page 2

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COCKTAILS

Black Beauty Blind Spot, St Martins Lane, London

I

nfluenced by the British Empire and its ancient tea trade, late-night speakeasy Blind Spot at St Martins Lane serves cocktails behind the façade of a boutique tea counter.

Black Beauty, a peachy classic served on ice in a highball glass, features bourbon and cranberry juice, and is garnished with a maraschino cherry. The cocktail is presented alongside

Blind Spot’s ‘Spin The Globe’ signatures including Dublin, a velvety mix of Jameson whiskey, Guinness reduction, apple compote, orange juice and Drambuie liqueur; and Kyoto, a rich silky serve that marries Nikka whisky from the barrel, almond syrup, rose water, yuzu juice, blackcurrant liqueur and wasabi. Also appearing on the menu alongside savoury delights are a selection of speakeasy cocktail teas including Prelude, a ginbased mixture of Bombay Sapphire, English summer tea, rosé champagne and peach syrup; and Smile For a Y, a chamomileinfused serve comprising grey goose vodka, lemon sherbet and white vermouth syrup. Blind Spot, situated close to London’s Covent Garden, travels harbour to harbour to gather world flavours from 25 destinations including New York, Sydney and Venice, pairing carefully crafted drinks with culinary treats from a variety of regions. www.morganshotelgroup.com


COCKTAILS

Classic Jasmine Hotel Montefiore Tel Aviv

S

erved amidst the luxurious surroundings of the restaurant at Hotel Montefiore, the Classic Jasmine is a boozy grapefruit cocktail that marries a

bittersweet mix of Campari and Cointreau with curacao syrup and lemon juice. Similar to other time-honoured drinks featured on the menu, this house speciality seeks to reflect the romanticism of its surroundings. Featured alongside signature drinks including bar favourite Moscow Mule, an infusion of vodka, lime and ginger beer which refreshes and warms in equal measure; the Singapore Sling, a gin-based serve blending Bénédictine, pineapple and Amarena cherry syrup; and Sidecar, an interpretation of the older brandy crusta using cognac, curacao and Pineau des Charentes, Hotel Montefiore’s menu aims to honour classic and artisanal cocktails to satiate every desire. Built in 1922 on Montefiore Street, at the heart of Tel Aviv’s White City, the hotel embodies the essence of luxury, intimacy and exquisite style in a meticulously restored eclectic edifice – just steps from the iconic Rothschild Boulevard. Echoing an Art Deco style reflective of the historic building, the interior of Hotel Montefiore’s restaurant invites guests to luxuriate, with plush leather cushioned seats amidst mythically sized palms that dot the circumference of the space. www.hotelmontefiore.co.il

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absolutel ifestyle

BESPOKE HIGH TEA STAND

INFO@ALHKG.COM HONG KONG | AMSTERDAM | DUBAI HEAD OFFICE 7/F UNIT C, TUNG KIN FACTORY BUILDING 196-198 TSAT TSZ MUI ROAD QUARRY BAY HONG KONG


House Bar Kimpton De Witt, Amsterdam

Words: Alia Akkam

I

n 1981, Bill Kimpton launched the American boutique

pork, poached eggs, and biscuits; and House Bar, the

hotel industry with the Clarion Bedford Hotel in

sexy, pulsating hub of the hotel set in a 17th-century

San Francisco. Immediately, the Kimpton Hotels &

family home. Swathed in velvet, timber paneling, and

Restaurants brand, the pioneering hotelier’s antidote

glimmering, dark teal, its centerpiece is the bar, with

to big, soulless chains, was associated with down-to-

bottles illuminated in a patchwork of boxes forming the

earth hospitality as much as lively, gratis wine hours

inviting backdrop. Bespoke wallpaper adorned with birds

in the lobby and independent restaurants that locals

brightens original ceiling beams as an ode to hand-

flocked to with as much gusto as guests. Originally

painted Dutch murals of yore.

inspired by the intimate hotels its financier founder

Kimpton hotels, explains that launching House Bar was

now part of the InterContinental Hotels Group portfolio,

both fun and demanding, although “balancing the local

returns to its roots with an inaugural European

attraction with the tourism draw was, and is, tricky.

location. Like its sister properties, the Kimpton De

We spent a lot of time in Amsterdam leading up to the

Witt Amsterdam embraces a local ethos and attracts an

opening, immersing ourselves in Dutch culture. In the

audience of captive imbibers at the humming House Bar.

US we, of course, face challenges market to market, but

Just a short stroll from frenetic Centraal Station

those minor differences pale in comparison to trying to

in the City Centre, the 274-room Kimpton DeWitt

translate our vision and company culture to a different

was transformed from a trio of Dutch Golden Age-

country. We tried hard to be as respectful as possible.

era buildings by London-based architecture practice

Although I’m sure we managed to embarrass ourselves

Michaelis Boyd and Ave Bradley, Kimpton’s creative

occasionally, I like to think we left a mark.”

director and senior VP of design. The airy lobby,

084

Mike Ryan, the Chicago-based director of bars for all

frequented while traveling through Europe, Kimpton,

Patrons surely agree. Since House Bar’s inception, the

with its Delft tiles and dusty pink seating greeting

menu has featured such go-to libations as the Tallyman

visitors, is home to several alluring destinations, like

(Plantation Pineapple Stiggins’ Fancy Rum, banana-

the hushed garden conservatory; Wyers Restaurant

infused Maker’s Mark bourbon, Cynar, Pierre Ferrand

& Bar for comfort food à la jalapeno tinged pulled

Dry Orange Curacao, Bittermen’s chocolate bitters)


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and the Stranger (Del Maguey vida mezcal, Koko Kanu Jamaican rum,

Reserve bourbon, chestnut syrup, fino sherry, and orange liqueur. The

Ramazzotti, vanilla, chile), which customers relish sipping alongside

East, an enclave popular with immigrant communities, nods to the

Reuben sandwiches and crispy walnut shrimp in the low-lit space. Ryan

city’s trading history through creations like the Cuppa Plantation, a

points out that some of his favourite bars in the world are found in

caffeinated tribute to the ethnographic museum, Tropenmuseum, with

Amsterdam, so with House, the aim was to create a bar that is “an asset,

William George rum, honey syrup, roasted coconut, and a liquid Nitro

a complementary programme that would help raise the profile of the

garnish. To represent the swank boutique and restaurant-filled South,

city as a quality drinking destination. The design team poured so much

the Yuzu pearl garnished Diamonds are Forever marries Nginious

love into every detail of House Bar - celebrating its history and wrapping

Smoked & Salted Swiss Gin with seaweed-infused Dolin Blanc vermouth,

it in cozy luxury - and we wanted to revel in that.”

Ketel One vodka, and maraschino liqueur. West, home to the harbour,

Now under the stewardship of head bartender Thomas Datema,

evokes quiet, bucolic lands with the Farmer’s Retreat, a mélange of

who has slung drinks at such venerable Amsterdam lairs as Rosalia’s

carrot-beetroot shrub, Rutte Old Simon genever, Bénédictine, and

Menagerie, Porem, and Hiding in Plain Sight, House Bar continues to

orange bitters.

morph and thrive organically, emerging as “a fancy cocktail bar that

Incorporating Dutch-made spirits into the new menu was a priority

still has a homey vibe,” says Datema, eager to instill a warm, welcoming

for Datema, who is eager to “lure in locals and give tourists something

aura that is also on display at more petite drinking institutions in the

they’ve never had before. I absolutely love Genever. At the moment my

city, like Door 74 and Vesper.

favorites are Rutte Old Simon and Bols Corenwyn De Wassende Maen,

One powerful way of initiating a hospitable dialogue with guests is

a limited-edition Corenwyn named for a trading ship that carried

through Datema’s clever new menu. A departure from the first iteration

cardamom and nutmeg, which are the added spices.” Another local

that referenced Dutch artistry, this one is an homage to Amsterdam, laid

spirit Datema loves is the Stillery, “a full-bodied, heavy vodka ideal for

out like a map of the city’s four quadrants: North, East, South, and West.

making cocktails. We also have a tonne of cool rums. William George, a

“I think it’s important to have a good connection with the city. It offers

Jamaican-style one, and Union 55, a spiced version with salted caramel,

locals something familiar, but with a unique take on the Amsterdam

are both made by local bartenders with a lot of experience on the

they know, and it gives tourists an interesting way to get to know a

cocktail scene,” he adds.

place,” he says. To reflect the burgeoning, arty North, for example, there are offbeat concoctions including the (Not So) Yellow Submarine, mingling Del

Soon-to-arrive “house gin” and “house genever” selections, along with a variety of unfussy draft cocktails, are poised to further cement House Bar’s penchant for upscale conviviality.

Maguey Vida mezcal and Ferdinand’s Saar verjus with ginger juice, as well as a wintery spin on the theatrical, flaming Blazer with Woodford

www.kimptondewitthotel.com

IN A BITE Covers: 70 • Owner: YC Amsterdam BV • Operator: Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants • Interior Design: Ave Bradley (Kimpton), Michaelis Boyd • Head Bartender: Thomas Datema • Executive Chef: Sam DeMarco • Tableware: Villeroy & Boch, Steelite • Glassware: Rona, Nachtmann, Libbey • Cutlery: Broggi

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Set Your Spirit Free Words: Angus Winchester

With the mixology community embracing alcohol-free cocktails, creativity behind the bar is no longer reserved for spirits.

L

ast year the Oxford English Dictionary asked people around the world for their least favourite word and above the words ‘no’ and ‘Brexit’ was a clear winner: moist. Yet they obviously didn’t ask many people in the hospitality world, as my research for this article clearly showed

that while owners despise the word ‘Yelp’ and chefs hate ‘intolerant’, for bartenders their least favorite word is ‘mocktail’. Yet is it the word itself or the concept behind it that rankles, and with many studies suggesting that alcohol consumption is declining whilst guest expectations are increasing, what can we expect on our menus and in our glasses in the future? According to the OED the word mocktail was first used in 1936 in America and was defined as ‘a blended non-alcoholic drink consisting of a mixture of fruit juices.’ and researching books older than that, the term that is most often used is ‘temperance drinks’, reflecting the bar world’s Americacentric history. Yet modern bartenders revile the word, not because they work primarily with alcohol, but because it seems to denigrate the drinker as well as the drinks themselves. Chicago bartender Julia Momose explains it best: “The very term mocktail evokes negative feelings. The word is merely the combination of mock and cocktail. So then, is it a mockery


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Recipe Orange Dragon Hong, The Ritz-Carlton, Riyadh 75ml fresh mandarin puree (strained) 30ml coconut water 5ml Neroli (organic orange blossom hydrosol) 20ml spiced honey Top 40ml with Cold Brew Japanese Sencha Soda Spiced honey – honey sous vide cooked with Kefir lime leaf and lemongrass. Fresh ginger juice added after. Cold Brew Sencha Soda – cold brew sencha tea overnight with cold water in a refrigerator.

of a cocktail and

2000s term ‘pregatinis’ is long forgotten) or even alcoholism

a disappointment

(a number of high profile bartenders have openly admitted

since it isn’t a ‘real’

problems with alcohol); or are responsible designated drivers,

cocktail? I do not want

and one can see that the rise of the low alcohol (aka Shims’)

to serve, nor do I want

and the no alcohol are growing sectors.

to be served, a mockup of

It’s a growth area that has been recognised by the big

a beverage or an attempt at

alcoholic brand companies. One of the most innovative

a cocktail. I want a proper drink

launches of the last year was Seedlip – backed by Distill

and something made with care and

Ventures, an incubator for Diageo. A distilled non alcoholic

thoughtfulness, that takes into account

liquid (some called it non alcoholic gin), it retails for the

the ingredients, balance, technique,

same price as a high end white spirit and is lauded by many

and most of all, the person for whom the

bartenders as the first true spirit-free product they stock and

beverage is made.”

are experimenting with. The high price point is off putting

Even traditional alternative names such as

to many operators, but as Aaron Polsky of cool Los Angeles

virgin, soft, non-alcoholic, zero proof or alcohol-

bar Harvard & Stone says,“It brings to market a quality

free, all have an implication of something weak or

ingredient for a demographic that, prior, had to contend with

lacking, and to that end bartenders are leaning towards

gut-busting juice blends, sodas, or caffeinated drinks. The

the terms spiritfree or placebos, if required to for menu

extraction, distillation, and blending of botanicals is beyond

design. On a side note, several bartenders are now actually

the reach of most bars and more importantly, the people who

adding cocktails without alcohol into their regular menus that

aren’t drinking - for whatever reason - often know Seedlip,

are divided by flavour or serving style, much in the same

see its value, and are happy that it’s on offer and that they’ve

way a chef will place vegetarian dishes alongside those with

been catered to.”

meat or fish.

Time will tell if other alcohol companies jump on this

Once I had negotiated the proper nomenclature, almost

bandwagon, but for those who revel in the creativity of the

all the people I interviewed said that the category was both

mixologist, the non-alcoholic world offers the chance to play,

necessary and increasing in popularity, and if you look at

without the payoff of hangovers and the like. When asked

greater social trends that’s not surprising. A recent survey of

about their non-alcoholic offers, many bars and bartenders

Millenials found that the number of 16-24 year olds that did

merely stated that with the range of fresh fruits and herbs that

not drink alcohol had increased from 19% to 27% in a decade.

most craft bars stock these days they can ‘whip something

Added to that is the number of people that worried about the

up on the fly’ for their non drinking guests. But others have

health effect of alcohol; could not drink alcohol due to health

embraced them in the same way they cater for boozers. As

reasons such as pregnancy (thankfully the short-lived early

Momose says, “When people order a spiritfree they should


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never feel like they are missing out on any part of the

ire of the modern mixologist. In the USA they have the

experience. From the way we talk about the drinks, to

Shirley Temple or Roy Rogers which are seen more as

what we call them, how we make them, and how we

children’s drinks, while in the UK the St Clements was

present them, each step matters. From a behind-the-

the only drink to be mentioned, and even Hong Kong’s

scenes viewpoint, I believe in incorporating as many

Gunner is not known much outside Asia. So bartenders

layers of distinct and complex flavours as possible so

are in fact reimagining alcoholic cocktails such as the

that in the case that the base is served over ice, it will

Negroni (or Nogroni as it seems to be known), the gin

open up, slowly, like a fine whisky or gin, rather than

and tonic and even the Ramos Gin Fizz using modernist

simply getting watered down.”

techniques to infuse water and vermouths – much in

The Ritz Carlton Macau Bar Manager Maxim Schulte

the same way that Seedlip does commercially. Whether

“They have to be interesting and not just a quick fix to get a non-alcoholic drink on the menu.”

agrees and states, authoritatively, “For us they have

these drinks need their own categorisation (Placebos

to be interesting and not just a quick fix to get a non-

makes perfect sense here) is still to be decided, but it’s

alcoholic drink on the menu. As with our signature

certainly the first real attempt at a product similar to

cocktails, we are using homemade ingredients to create

non-alcoholic beer, which has been steadily growing in

a multi-layered flavour experience. They have to be

popularity since I was a young bartender.

balanced with a certain body, even without the alcohol.

Society is certainly advocating the improvement

Also, I like to focus on a health aspect in these drinks

in alcohol-free drinks for a variety of reasons and no

and try not to use sugar. I like to use honey, which can

one should have an issue with this, but instead should

be flavoured with spices or other ingredients.” And as

embrace the challenge and the opportunity to show

someone who deals with non drinking Asian gamblers,

hospitality to all of their guests. Chefs have done this

and whose last job was bar manager of the Ritz Carlton

for years with vegetarian and vegan foods, and as the

in Riyadh, which only serves alcohol-free cocktails, he

cocktail becomes more culinary, so the options for

should know.

drinkers are growing as is the chance to make all our

As for the classics, there are alas very few to choose from, and thus few to twist, which is very much the

guests, and not just the drinkers, feel comfortable, welcome, important and understood.


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Sobering Thoughts Leaders, pioneers and opinion formers in the field of low and no alcohol beverages offer their views on why the drinks industry is changing.

Words: Holly Motion

T

wo years ago Professor David Nutt rather sensationally claimed ‘hangover-free alcohol’ could replace all regular alcohol by 2050. The clock is ticking, and with each passing stroke another big name is dipping its toe into the no-abv pool, and the professor’s

assertions aren’t looking quite so far-fetched now. Where once the sober spender was something of a minority, one in

five people now declare themselves teetotal in the UK and their spending power silenced critics when double-digit growth was reported last year. Such growth has not gone unnoticed and the biggest drinks companies are scrambling over themselves to launch an adult offering to cater for this demand. So much so, brewing goliath AB InBev pledged that 20% of its beer volumes will fall into the low/no alcohol category by 2025. So, where has this temperance movement come from? The answer is complex and cross-generational. “Younger people are drinking less,” founder of mindful drinking movement Club Soda, Laura Willoughby MBE, says. “Even if they do have some wilder nights out, those are less frequent. They are far more conscious of their health and diet, the quality of their socialising - vertical drinking in any old pub is just not good value for money - and are more likely to spend cash on fewer

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“The demand for adult alternatives to alcohol has driven the category. Those who want or need to avoid alcohol don’t want to be restricted to orange juice or lemonade”

Willoughby’s three quick and easy wins for hotels:

1. Make sure you have a range of no alcohol drinks that are as good as the alcoholic drinks you have on offer, and make sure you have tasted them all yourself. 2. Train your staff to serve these drinks with confidence and pride. This includes zero tolerance for humiliating customers for not choosing alcohol. 3. Can someone find a name for this range of drinks that doesn’t sound like they are ‘less than’? Alcohol-free, non-alcoholic, mocktail, soft - these are all negative names that suggest something is missing, when in fact the new wave of drinks are amazing products in their own right.

‘really good’ drinks.” Then there’s the social media

orange juice or lemonade,” Christine Humphreys, co-

sceptre. “Millennials don’t want a digital footprint

founder of The Alcohol-Free Shop, says. And brands

of drunken photos to follow them as they enter the

have delivered, according to the founder of newly

world of work.”

launched botanical-driven, no alcohol, Borrago. “As

It’s not just the younger generation changing

ever, entrepreneurs have spotted this gap in the

the drinking landscape. “People are far more

market and are moving fast to fill it,” Tom Tuke-

conscious about how their health is impacted by their

Hastings says. “There are always the early adopters

environment, their activity levels and what they put

who find out about these things and get involved.

into their bodies,” Jason Sennitt, head of premium

This is a mass market and the market is catching up

spirit enhancer Merchant’s Heart, adds. “There is

fast. Stores are listing, and bars and restaurants are

also more information available than ever before

stocking.”

within the world of food and beverage, and people are seeking to arm themselves with the facts.” The sugar-free, gluten-free and low carb conscious

Unlike other products on the market, Borrago contains no sugar or calories, and comes in at 0.0% abv (hence the enormous digit on the label). A large

have also played their part in this sober shift. “Don’t

number of the early adopters have been start-ups

underestimate the other dietary levers that shape this

but the big companies are coming in with their own

trend,” Willoughby says. “It’s about what we drink as

offerings, partnerships or buy-outs. “The shelves are

well as what we eat. And people often make decisions

getting fuller,” Tuke-Hastings adds.

about when and what to drink based on how the rest of their diet is shaping up.” All of this doesn’t mean people are going to stop

Humphreys has been operating in this sphere for more than 11 years and has seen first-hand the tides change. “When we first launched The Alcohol-

drinking altogether, according to Willoughby, “but

Free Shop in Manchester, we were dismissed by

the numbers choosing to drink less or going for an

those working in the alcohol industry as ‘harmless

alcohol-free lifestyle are increasing, and they are

cranks’”, she says. “At the beginning, we found a

more likely to talk about it in positive terms.”

very limited choice in the UK. The choices of alcoholfree alternatives to wine and beer had remained

Drinking options

stagnant since the 70s.” The same wasn’t true on the

Where once consumers who couldn’t, or didn’t,

continent where there were ‘dozens’ of alcohol-free

want abv would find options incredibly limited, the

beers to choose from and a ‘good selection’ of wines.

number of alternative tipples is increasing - more

“We approached some brewers inviting them to

so everyday. “The demand for adult alternatives to

create some good alcohol-free British beers and

alcohol has driven the category. Those who want or

they literally laughed in our faces,” she says. “Now,

need to avoid alcohol don’t want to be restricted to

a few leaders in the field have started producing

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some excellent alcohol-free beers and.interest in spirit

lists up and down the country.” So much so, Willoughby’s

alternatives has soared.” The shop already stocks alcohol-

Club Soda Guide is expanding to hotels this year. “Hotels

free gin substitute GinSin and Whissin, an alternative to

are great at creating an ‘experience’ when it comes to a

whiskey. This, for Humphreys is the real growth area.

night out, especially around the theatre of mixology and

“Demand for alternatives to spirits is great, and lots of producers are trying to tap into this market with new drinks.”

quality ingredients. They also tend to be open later, so their customers want something more ‘sessionable’ - drinks that are not too strong so you can have more of them in an

Hotels and bars

evening,” she says.

After a period of resistance, the on-trade has started to embrace the low/no abv options, and the profit margins

Future

that these offerings provide.

With the on-trade on board and big and small companies

“On-trade to me is one of the most important places

movement can go. “We are still in early days for this trend

guests both in bars and restaurants are a key entry point.

and are globally leading with lots of great British brands

They converse with trusted professionals who advise and

exporting around the world,” Tuke-Hastings says.

suggest. It is their recommendations that drive trial and

Biased perhaps, the Borrago founder says: “I think this

this moves the whole trend on. You can’t be successful

is the most exciting trend in food and drink at the moment.

in a supermarket until you have an educated public who

People are really interested in it and consumption is

want your product, and to me this happens in the bars and

growing rapidly. This will transcend being just about low

restaurants.”

and no alcohol. It is about creating more delicious options

Sennitt agrees: “The on-trade has risen to the challenge of creating brilliant options for the non/moderate drinker. It’s now commonplace to see an impressive list of sophisticated packaged softs and mocktails on drinks

098

getting involved, it’s only natural to wonder how far this

for any new trend or brand,” Tuke-Hastings says. “Hotel

that people will want. The low or no alcohol will be just another advantage. The future could not be brighter.” Jason Sennitt says simply: “Embrace it, because it’s here to stay.” A sobering thought.


LADY AND BUTLER BESPOKE UNIFORMS ladyandbutler.com


Sober Grapes For those who don’t drink alcohol, wine is typically off the menu. But with hotels bringing de-alcoholized varieties onto their lists, that could be set to change. Words: Nina Caplan

H

otels are, traditionally, ideal places to forget

actually 100% alcohol-free - for that, there are

one’s responsibilities and party late, safe in

grape juices blended with fizzy water. For many, the

the knowledge that bed is a lift-ride away

difference in quality – aromas and tastes redolent

and it is someone else’s job to make coffee

of wine, without the effects on brain and liver – is

in the morning. But there are increasing numbers

worth the 0.5-1.2% alcohol that remains in the drink.

of people with no interest in a boozy evening. In

For those who are entirely pure, there will always be

addition to the traditional non-drinkers – the

ordinary grape juice, or more sophisticated blends

pregnant, the unwell, the recovering alcoholic

from unfermented grapes. But there are good reasons

and the confirmed teetotaller – there is a growing

why our ancestors started letting yeasts feed on the

movement away from alcohol and towards more

sugar in grapes; the fermentation process creates a

healthful social interaction. And, at last, there is

different drink, and a far more remarkable one. And

something palatable to wash down all that virtue. It

technology – a better handmaiden, even, than the

has always been pointed out that you don’t have to

hotel waiter who serves that hangover coffee – now

drink to have a good time, to which the wine-lover

means that barflies can have their cake and eat it. Or

could reasonably raise a sound objection. Today,

rather, can drink their wine and keep their senses

however, to add to the juice, the soda, the mocktail

intact.

and the spiritless spirit, there is wine that contains barely a trace of alcohol. Why even a trace? Because the best-tasting alcohol-free wine is made by creating a wine then removing the alcohol, which means it is never

There are several different ways to make dealcoholized wine, from adding grape must and


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other flavourings to reverse osmosis. This latter is the method used by Ariel Vineyards in California, which has actually won awards for its wines, and is stocked in various US hotels, including Carneros Resort & Spa in Napa and Fort William Henry Hotel in New York state. The normal process for winemaking is used, with ageing in oak barrels, fining and filtering. Then reverse osmosis extracts the water and alcohol, and fresh water is added to the resulting concentrate. Another process is steam vacuuming, a gentler method of heating the alcohol to vaporisation point than simple boiling would be; the latter would be too brutal to keep any of the wine’s flavours. The last method is spinning cone technology. Helen McGinn, author of Teetotal Tipples (Robinson), calls this process a ‘game-changer’ for its ability to extract the

Technology – a better handmaiden, even, than the hotel waiter who serves that hangover coffee – now means that barflies can have their cake and eat it. Or rather, can drink their wine and keep their senses intact. alcohol without as much evaporation as other techniques, so retaining those all-important flavours and aromas, as well as body: a lot of teetotal wines taste thin and somehow unsatisfying without the alcohol that gives wine its presence. This method also has the advantage of avoiding the cloying sweetness that can come with many ways of creating these wines, particularly adding ingredients to grape juice. After all, alcohol is made by using yeasts to convert the sugars present in a liquid; avoid or reverse this, and you are likely to end up with more sugar than any sophisticated – or health-conscious – drinker wants to ingest. Spinning cone technology involves using centrifugal force to convert the wine into a thin film, then extracting the flavours and aromas and enfolding them in a protective coating of nitrogen gas while the remaining wine has its alcohol extracted; the two parts of the drink are then recombined. To what extent it is actually possible to separate flavours or aromas from their surroundings is a matter of individual opinion, but it certainly seems to be the case that the dealcoholized wines of Miguel Torres, which use this method, are better than most. Torres is a major, family-owned Spanish company that makes wines ranging from fairly light – the ubiquitous MoscatelGewürztraminer blend Viña Esmeralda, which is around 11% ABV – to the serious, rich reds of Priorat such as

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Salmos, which come in at 14.5%. But Miguel Torres wants

like France and Italy, which traditionally have robust

people who don’t wish to drink alcohol to enjoy his wines

drinking cultures that largely avoid the binge-drinking

as well, and has had the sense to pick full-flavoured, highly

mentality of the UK, Australia or Scandinavia, rates of

aromatic grapes for his non-alcoholic equivalents. So the

alcohol consumption are falling. Yet when Corporate Wine

white Torres Natureo is made with Muscat of Alexandria,

Directors and other F&B professionals were asked about the

and retains some of the flowery exoticism so associated

topic, there was little interest. It is not an expanding area

with that grape, while the red is Syrah, famous for being

for them, at present. But perhaps it should be.

both perfumed and peppery. There’s also a rosé, from Syrah

a bottle of The Bee’s Knees, a new alcohol-free fizz made

others, are successful enough to have made it onto hotel

from grape juice and green tea. It comes in white or rosé,

wine lists: several Shangri-La hotels in China, plus China

in a proper Champagne-style bottle complete with cork.

Tang at The Dorchester in London, stock one or more of

These children of enthusiastic drinkers have already gained

these wines, as does The Oaks Hotel in Somerset. This last

an understanding of the festive nature of that popping cork

is an interesting irony, given that the hotel is just down

and the occasional, exciting rush of liquid that follows it;

the road from Porlock: a village whose main claim to fame

they have tried little sips of our Champagne. Now we had

is that one of its residents is supposed to have interrupted

the novel experience of actually sharing a festive bottle,

Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s opium-induced reverie, while he

and it was a salutary reminder that a lot of what people

was writing Kubla Khan. The poem, Coleridge claimed, was

love about sparkling wine is less to do with alcohol than

never finished.

with fun. I picture a hotel restaurant, a child’s birthday

Is that a good reason to avoid intoxicants or a better one

and, instead of one drink for the adults and another for

not to open the door when you’re busy? What is certain

the infants, non-alcoholic fizz circling the table. If current

is that mind-altering substances have their uses: Kubla

trends are anything to go by, a larger proportion of those

Khan, truncated or not, would be an entirely different poem

children will grow up to avoid alcohol most if not all of

if its author had avoided them. And if Coleridge had been

the time; plus it is surely good to avoid, every now and

ensconced in a modern hotel room, with a Do Not Disturb

then, the association of festivity with strong drink. The

sign on the door, he could have dreamed at will, free from

mark-ups are, of course, far smaller on teetotal beverages

interruption, with or without the help of opium or alcohol.

than on their alcoholic equivalent. And some places, such

So perhaps, it is a reason to spend more time staying away

as hotel bars, are all the better for being child-free places

from home.

where a good stiff drink is easy to come by, particularly for

It is not just writers who may want to rethink their

the overnight guest. Still, for hotel eateries keen to appeal

modus operandi; when it comes to alcohol-free wines

to a family clientele, non-alcoholic wine, particularly the

hotels probably should, too. In the UK, over 20% of the

sparkling kind, may be an idea whose time has come.

adult population claim not to drink at all. Even in countries

104

At home, with my stepchildren and their father, I opened

and Cabernet Sauvignon, and these wines, unlike many


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Seedlip What to drink when you’re not drinking.

Words: Harry McKinley

I

t all started with the seed of an idea – to answer the question of

options beyond juices,” Branson says, “Instead we use brines, teas,

what to drink when you’re not drinking and to provide a ‘grown up’

vinegars and salts to bring complexity and which lend themselves to a

alternative to sweet non-alcoholic drinks.

new breed of sophisticated non-alcoholic cocktails.”

Created by Ben Branson, Seedlip is billed as the world’s first distilled

As well as being a groundbreaking product, Seedlip benefits from a

non-alcoholic spirits range and plugs a gap in the market that – until

strong, beautifully intentioned brand identity that tallies with its target

its invention -was increasingly widening, as growing numbers cut their

audience. From illustrations that blend Seedlip’s ingredients with

alcohol intake or shirk the strong stuff altogether.

animals typically found on Branson’s farm “through to reusing our

“Seedlip is a nature company on a mission to solve a modern

bottles as terrariums, or the precision and clarity of our photography,”

dilemma,” explains Branson. “If you’re not drinking alcohol, for

Branson is painstakingly obsessive about the simplicity and truth of

whatever reason, the options are typically fruity. They are a compromise

Seedlip’s aesthetic.

and, in an age when we can put people on the moon and create cars that

In 2016 Seedlip hit the headlines when – through Distill Ventures

don’t need drivers, the fact that bars, restaurants and retailers don’t

– Diageo threw its money into the pot. It was the group’s first non-

offer their customers exciting options is why Seedlip was devised.”

alcoholic investment in 257 years and a definitive sign that Branson

For Branson, the project is personal, and he looked to his own family

had hit upon something that was anything but niche. It is now served

heritage to inform both the product and the brand. “My family began

in over 100 Michelin-starred restaurants, sold in 15 food and drink

farming in Lincolnshire, using baskets to hand-sow seeds, called

‘capitals’ and special Seedlip menus have been developed by the likes

seedlips,” he says. “So bringing Seedlip to life was an opportunity to

of Erik Lorincz – at The Savoy, London – and Ryan Chetiyawardana,

delve into that history and a chance to champion my adoration for flora

Branson has also recently announced a partnership with World’s 50 Best

and fauna.”

Restaurants that will further cement the brand’s status as a global force.

In 2013, while researching herbs to grow at home, Branson happened

“From hand-making in my kitchen two years ago, as a one-man

upon a copy of The Art of Distillation, published in 1651. It documented

company with my mobile phone number on the website, it’s been

apothecaries’ alcoholic and non-alcoholic distilled herbal remedies.

genuinely nothing short of surreal,” Branson says. “I don’t believe

Fascinated, he bought a small copper still and started experimenting in

anything is original, everything is simply a combination of other

his kitchen using herbs from the garden.

things and the past really can inform the future. But with Seedlip we

Today, there are two varieties of Seedlip, one a bright, fresh blend of pea

have reimagined an ancient craft to solve a modern-day need, whilst

and hay distillates, with the likes of spearmint and rosemary; the other

continuing my family’s 300 year commitment to celebrating what

a heady, aromatic option with cardamom, Jamaican all-spice berry and

nature has to offer.”

bark distillates. As well as being non-alcoholic, both are sugar free. “Our approach is to seek out or create more interesting ingredient

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www.seedlipdrinks.com


DRINKS

Branson on Seedlip: Seedlip Garden 108 A herbal blend of pea and hay distillates from my farm, combined with rosemary, thyme, spearmint and hops. With its bright green character, Garden 108 mixes perfectly with Fever Tree tonic and makes great Sours or Collins style drinks.

Branson on Seedlip: Seedlip Spice 94 An aromatic blend of Jamaican all-spice berry, cardamom, citrus peel and two bark [oak and cascarilla] distillates. Warm, woody and best mixed with tonic, Spice 94 makes great Martini style serves, using shrubs and verjuice.

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DRINKS

Edrington

Naked Grouse Relaunching as a blended malt, Edrington’s Naked Grouse whisky takes its name and distinctive flavour from the first fill Oloroso sherry oak casks in which it is matured. The ageing process, along with a blend of single malts, results in a rich and fruity whisky with a soft spice finish and offers a more robust flavour than its predecessor. Designed for a younger consumer not tied to conventional whisky rules, the new 40% ABV Naked Grouse has been created using malts such as The Macallan, Highland Park, Glenturret and Glenrothes, and reflects a naked personality through simple yet distinctive packaging. Offering a buttery toffee scent, its fragrance is reminiscent of orchard fruits, while on the palate it provides flavours of sultana, cooked apples and rich fudge, followed by finish of toasted oak. The malt’s versatility allows it to be served individually or in mixed drinks, with its signature serve combining 50ml Naked Grouse with cherry soda on ice, and garnished with fresh lime and a cherry – delivering freshness through warm sherry richness. “The transition from a blended scotch to a malt is being made in response to increasing popularity of single malts and demand from bartenders for an accessible whisky with distinctive flavour,” explains Elaine Miller, Global Marketing Manager at Edrington. “Malt whisky continues to rise in popularity with consumers and, by changing our liquid, we can use the individuality and character of single malts and create a whisky that stands out from the crowd.” www.nakedgrouse.com

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2 Venues.

1 Mega Show. 24 - 27 April 2018 Singapore Expo

Asia’s most comprehensive international food and hospitality trade event

Since 1978

Suntec Singapore

119,500 sqm of exhibition area 6 specialised exhibitions 4,000 exhibitors from over 70 countries / regions

68 international group pavilions 78,000 trade attendees from 100 countries / regions

Tens of thousands of products and solutions from across the globe

20

Over related competitions, activities and workshops that provide an all-encompassing show experience

1 power-packed FHA2018 International Conference

For free admission, pre-register your visit before 12 April 2018!

foodnhotelasia.com hotel-asia.com Co-located with

Organiser

foodnhotelasia.com/preregister Endorsed by

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The leading magazine for hotel design, development and architecture. Subscribe online and save 20% www.sleepermagazine.com/showoffer/

Subscribers benefit from: • Previews of the most exciting projects breaking ground • Reviews of new hotels opening worldwide • In-depth interviews with leading hoteliers, interior designers and architects • Coverage of exhibitions and conferences for the hotel industry • Exclusive updates of Sleeper’s events including AHEAD – the global awards for hospitality experience and design – and Sleepover – the inventive event for hotel innovators For more information please contact subscriptions@mondiale.co.uk


DRINKS

Italian Dry Gin Seven Hills

Created by Italian mixologists Filippo Previero and Danilo Tersigni, Seven Hills Italian Dry Gin is a juniper spirit blended with seven botanicals. Inspired by ancient Roman culinary and cultural traditions, the botanicals used grow naturally on the seven hills that surround the Italian capital, and are mixed to produce a delicately balanced, versatile liquid. Made using a combination of pomegranate, celery, artichoke, blood orange, rosehip and roman chamomile, the naturally flavoured concoction is infused with a sugar beet neutral spirit and distilled using a vacuum to maintain the delicate flavours stored within its botanicals, resulting in an intense and rounded taste and aroma for a modern gin. Working particularly well with tonic water over ice and garnished with celery to enhance its aromatic flavours, the fruity juniper spirit leaves light citrus notes on the nose. On the palate, sweet pomegranate with hints of roman chamomile comes through, perfectly balanced by the earthy freshness of the celery. As a cocktail ingredient it can be used in a bitter apĂŠritif such as the Negroni, marrying effortlessly with Campari, vermouth rosso and a slice of orange. Danilo Tersigni and Filippo Previero, founders of Seven Hills Italian Dry Gin, comment: “Our aim is to communicate the uniqueness of Seven Hills Italian Dry Gin. Its earthy, citrus flavour is not only inspired by Italian cooking traditions, but by Roman culture itself. The result is an unusual taste, where ancient and modern flavours merge into an unforgettable drinking experience.â€? www.viihills.co.uk

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DRINKS

Winter Forestry

The London Essence Co. British non-alcoholic drinks brand, The London Essence Co., launched an initiative that brought together bartenders in a collaborative forum to explore and build creative potential. ‘The Essence of the Season’ programme featured an inaugural theme of Winter Forestry, which was created by Brand Ambassador Hamish Bremner. The initial collection of skillfully distilled tonics and mixers included Alpine Forest and Bonfire, combining The London Essence Company’s grapefruit mixer and ginger ale with mountainous serves of gin and winter warmers, featuring sherry cask-aged whisky. The series also featured Nothing Succeeds Like Luxury, an extravagant serve of barrel-aged gin, VSOP cognac, The London Essence Co. Bitter Orange and Elderflower with exotic pineapple, bitter pomegranate and sweet cherry. Yuletide Punch, a modern twist on a Charles Dickens’ favourite, was the final concoction on the menu, and

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featured crisp white port, fresh citrus, honey syrup, Islay whiskey soaked apricots and The London Essence Company Classic Tonic, served with a grating of nutmeg for up to four people. The London Essence Co. supported seven bartenders from London during the forum’s first season to create their own unique expression of the season, alongside industry mentors Nick Strangeway, Stu Bale, photographer Addie Chinn, as well as forager and alchemist Jemma Foster. Hamish Bremner comments: “As a bartender myself, I know how important it can be to express creativity, whether it is creating drinks for people off the cuff or designing drinks with a team. With our seasonal project we created a support structure that will grow change and be rewarding for years to come. I look forward to exploring new ideas with my peers.” www.londonessenceco.com


SIDES

“Twenty years ago hotels could have a very general collection of whiteware, or pick a collection to run with, but now it’s far more bespoke.” Dick Delaney, Design Director of Wedgwood, on the evolution of hotel table tops.


SIDES

To The Table MEA 14th – 16th November 2017 Muscat

Words: Heleri Rande, Photography: Richard Pereira

T

O THE TABLE, the leading global F&B decision makers forum, hosted

trends should be in central focus. The concept development panellists had

its Middle Eastern edition in Muscat, Oman in mid-November,

some disagreement whether trends should actually be followed, but a theme

marking the 10th event in the company’s portfolio. The picturesque

that resonated from all was that lobby and F&B spaces need to become

Shangri-la Barr Al Jissah resort provided the perfect playground for

more transitional to cater for the ‘isolated togetherness’ that most of the

top suppliers and key buyers from the industry to spend three days talking shop, networking over Omani delicacies and tackling pressing issues in the seminar programme.

demographic is after. The three days culminated in a lavish spread of local and international flavours, carefully assembled by Shane O’Neill, Executive Chef of the resort.

The one-on-one meetings were scheduled conveniently in between the

With beautiful Omani sunsets in the background and great tunes on the

panel discussions leaving enough time to talk and listen. Senior buyers came

dance floor, the social aspect of the conference was a re-enforcement of

from the likes of AccorHotels, Alila Hotels and Resorts, Emaar Properties,

the business relationships developed during the day as explained by Lloyd

Jumeirah Group, Marriott International, Shaza Hotels and the First Group.

Lamprecht, International Key Account Manager at Villeroy & Boch: “Besides

The supplier side was made up of a select group of industry leaders keen to

the exceptional organization, high level of attendees and valuable meetings,

expand their product lines in the region and introduce new and innovative

the most important part of the event is the time to network. Hospitality

solutions to the market. From cutlery and tableware to textiles and

remains a business of people and it is between the meetings and the usual

sustainable hygiene solutions, the companies attending included the likes of

formality of business where the real work happens. TO THE TABLE takes

Dudson, Fonderia Finco, Masa Industrie Tessili and Wood Stone Corporation.

care of both these aspects with great balance and for this reason we will

The seminar programme, co-hosted by Supper’s Consulting Editor Heleri

continue to support the event.”

Rande, addressed issues such as designing restaurants for Millennials, with W Amman as a case study, looking at technology and social media, with a

To The Table Europe 2018:

specific focus on the complex local market and discussing the challenges of

16th–18th April, Corinthia Grand Hotel, Budapest

developing F&B concepts for the Middle East. “In ten years 54% of spend

To The Table Asia 2018:

will come from Millennials, so we have to pay attention to that demographic

9th – 11th October, Grand Hyatt, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

when designing our spaces,” said Patrick Waring, of Silverfox Studios. This

To The Table MEA 2019:

was further strengthened in the technology session, where Georgie Woollams

29th April -1st May 2019, Rosewood Abu Dhabi, UAE.

from Katch International re-iterated that “2/3 of the GCC audience make their restaurant choices through social media,” showcasing that Millennial

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www.tothetableeurope.com


41Mad Supper Magazine R5_Layout 1 11/28/17 12:01 PM Page 1

IT’S ALL IN THE P R E S E N TAT I O N THE NEW YORK TABLETOP SHOW APRIL 10 – 13, 2018

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Photography: Constantin Falk

Photography: Gili Shani

Global Drinks Forum

Bar Convent Berlin

9th October 2017 Berlin

10th – 11th October 2017 Berlin

Returning for its second year, the Global Drinks Forum at Berlin’s

Having established itself as a leading trade show for the bar and beverage

Ellington Hotel welcomed key brand owners, business development

industry, Bar Convent Berlin returned to Station Berlin in October 2017

experts and wholesalers to discuss industry topics, exchange ideas

with a special focus on France – this year’s BCB Country of Honour.

and network. Kicking off Bar Convent Berlin, Europe’s bar and beverage trade show, the one-day conference was centred on global brand

Welcoming 370 global exhibitors from 32 countries, the exhibition showcased more than 1,100 brands and hosted countless tastings in the Brew Berlin area and new Coffee Convent Berlin.

development. Mark Meek, CEO of ISWR, the International Wine &

In attendance were bartenders, managers and owners, alongside leading

Spirits Report, opened the forum programme with latest insights from

industry figures including Ian Burrell, Phil Duff, Alex Kratena, Salvatore

the world’s largest database on the alcohol and beverage industry.

Calabrese and Steve Schneider. Through a comprehensive programme of

Meanwhile, Global Marketing Director of Havana Club Rum, Nick Blacknell, discussed successful marketing strategies. Previously of

lectures, seminars, master classes and tastings, speakers shared insights into their concoctions and mixology know-how.

Jameson, Beefeater, Plymouth and Absolut, Blacknell delved into

“The mix of business and content is the DNA of BCB. Both together are

effective techniques that major chains could inherit from smaller

the foundation of our success,” comments Petra Lassahn, Director at Bar

industry brands.

Convent Berlin.

Tackling the psychology of brands and packaging, a prominent

Further, the Global Drinks Forum formed a core part of the industry

talking point at the Global Drinks Forum this year, was packaging

mega-event. Held the day before Bar Convent Berlin, the conference

designer Stranger & Stranger. Trash Tiki – a company who use by-

brought together over 100 international speakers and experts from the

products and waste for ingredients and cocktails – further examined

spirits industry to discuss trends shaping the future of F&B.

the creative ways for the beverage industry to deal with the challenge of sustainability. Elsewhere, the line-up of keynote speakers comprised major industry players such as Adrian D. Parker, vice-president of the

The next Bar Convent Berlin will take place at Station Berlin as a three-day event from 8th - 10th October 2018, while the event is set for international expansion with the first Bar Convent Brooklyn scheduled for next June.

Patrón Spirits Company, and Jacob Briars, global advocacy director of Bacardi and president of the Global Drinks Forums 2017. www.globaldrinksforum.com

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www.barconvent.com


SIDES

FortyOne Madison 10th – 13th April 2018 New York

T

he New York Tabletop Show, taking place at FortyOne Madison, is set to bring the world’s leading tableware brands together in April 2018. Welcoming buyers, designers and chefs from the

hospitality industry, the trade show will feature 23 floors of showrooms from over 80 leading manufacturers including Alessi, LSA International and Villeroy & Boch. Returning international brands from the worlds of giftware, dinnerware, and flatware will be in abundant supply, with Christofle, Luigi Burmioli and Wedgwood also set to exhibit their latest collections to potential buyers. Exhibitors can be located and contacted using the event’s mobile application, which allows attendees to view brand products and organise their appointments using its intuitive To Do feature. The Buyer’s Lounge, where purchasers can relax between appointments, further offers a space for networking. Taking place in Forty One Madison’s elegant showroom spaces, with views of Madison Square Park, the event is set to continue success of the Rudin Family Project, which has attracted architects, designers and F&B professionals for over forty years. www.41madison.com

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SIDES

Sleep 21st – 22nd November 2017 London

S

leep – Europe’s leading hotel design and development

dining concepts, sourcing local, and the rise of the slow

event – continued its F&B element for a second

food movement.

successive year at the Business Design Centre in

Continuing the overarching theme of loyalty, the Moscow-

November 2017. Attended primarily by hotel designers

based Sundukovy Sisters created this year’s Sleeper Bar,

and architects, the UBM organised trade show played host to

which was developed around the idea that loyalty is born out

an overarching theme centred on Loyalty: Lessons in Love,

of our inner and outer worlds converging. Their concept used

and explored the concept through the two-day conference.

reflection and light to suggest the infinity of humankind,

Seeking to offer visitors food for thought, the talks

while simultaneously capturing the complex inner world of

programme brought together some of the leading minds in

each guest.

hospitality design and development to debate issues shaping

Attracting a record number of visitors from the worlds of

the industry’s future. Three tastemakers from the F&B world

hotels, restaurants and bars, this year’s edition marked the

sat down with Sleeper Editor Catherine Martin for the Fast

final Sleep at London’s Business Design Centre, with the

Food session to deliver vignettes on the ever-changing world

event moving to London Olympia in 2018, and taking place

of F&B. Bob Puccini, founder of Puccini Group, designer and

on 20-21 November 2018.

chef Ido Garini from Studio Appétit, and Simon Rawlings, Creative Director at David Collins Studio discussed new

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www.thesleepevent.com


GRIF 2018

12-14 March 2018 Palazzo Versace, Dubai, UAE

POWERED BY

FACILITATING INVESTMENT DECISION-MAKING WITHIN THE RESTAURANT SPACE

OFFCIAL PARTNER

HOST SPONSOR

A WELL ORGANISED OPPORTUNITY TO CONNECT WITH THE GLOBAL F&B INDUSTRY. EXCELLENT BREAK FROM DAY TO DAY CONCERNS AND HELPS PUT THE BIG PICTURE INTO PERSPECTIVE. GREAT ONE-STOP NETWORKING AND BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT EVENT FOR THE FOODSERVICE INDUSTRY.

The Global Restaurant Investment Forum (GRIF) facilitates investment decision-making within the restaurant space. The forum showcases the hottest restaurant concepts from around the globe and gives attendees a place of focus where they can connect with investors, owners, franchisors and senior hospitality professionals; assess the state of the hospitality industry and secure deals for the coming year. GRIF 2018 is proud to once again be powered by Michelin, enriching the event with its extensive network and world class chefs.

REGISTER NOW! www.restaurant-invest.com/register www.restaurant-invest.com #GRIF, @GRIF_news | GRIFsocial

DRIVING GROWTH • SHOWCASING INNOVATION • CELEBRATING EXCELLENCE


Host 20th – 24th October 2017 Milan

H

aving established itself as a leading trade show in the Horeca, food

are further away, eager not to miss the event.”

service, retail, large-scale distribution and hotel industry, Host

Divided into three macro-areas, the tradeshow showcased exhibitors

returned for a milestone 40th edition at Fiera Milano in October

from distinct production categories, and for the first time this year, The

2017.

Experience Gallery gave visitors a first-hand view – and taste – of the

Immersing visitors in five days of intense networking to discuss the latest

trends and business in the world of hospitality catering, Host welcomed

many facets of the increasingly widespread hybridisation of gelato, pastry and coffee.

more than 180,000 professionals, made up of international visitors from

Offering the opportunity for attendees to discover the most innovative

177 countries. The record crowd comprised purchasing managers and

machinery, as well as view practical demonstrations and discuss upcoming

decision-makers, notably including over 1,500 hosted global buyers with

trends, Host also featured a series of over 500 events including workshops,

specifically chosen profiles.

seminars, tasting sessions, show-cooking, round tables, exhibitions and

“Host is a success story that is almost unique in the international world

competitions.

of exhibitions and events,” comments Fabrizio Curci, CEO and Director

Further, key professionals from every sector, including Michelin-

General of Fiera Milano Spa.“With an increment of 24.3% in the number

starred chefs, mixology and coffee champions, master pastry chefs and

of professional visitors, Host confirms its status as a true world hub of the

gelato maestros appeared as part of the events programme to present

hospitality macro-sector, the place where its chains meet to mould the

their thoughts on innovation, technology and lifestyle trends in the

trends of tomorrow and to do business and network. In particular, the flows

F&B industry.

of foreign visitors are growing in double figures, reaching an increment of 20.4%. Decision-makers and buyers are also arriving from countries that

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www.host.fieramilano.it


SIDES

GRIF 2018 12th – 14th March 2018 Dubai

A

forum for the international restaurant investment community

opportunities, such as those related to mixed-use concepts, the rise of

and a platform to discover restaurant concepts looking to launch

boutique restaurant collections, authentic dining experiences, technology,

or expand, The Global Restaurant Investment Forum will return

innovation. At GRIF 2018, we will debate these topics and many more,

at Palazzo Versace Dubai for its 5th edition in March 2018.

helping attendees gain valuable insights from industry leaders, build

Welcoming more than 300 investors, owners, franchisors and senior

hospitality professionals to facilitate investment decision-making within the global restaurant space, GRIF is organised by Bench Events and powered by Michelin.

contacts, share best practices and gain confidence in the market.” The three-day event will also feature practical workshops and master classes, roundtable debates and culinary restaurant tours. “One of the key topics that emerged at our GRIF Advisory Board in London

GRIF aims to deliver inspiration, insight and opportunities to the

revolved around the current tensions between demands from investors for

leaders of the restaurant investment community via a thought-provoking

a scalable brand and the push from consumers for independent concepts,

conference programme assessing investment trends, restaurant

as highlighted by Nick Schapira, International Strategy and Development

innovations and consumer demand.

Director, Jamie Oliver Restaurant Group,” adds Pettinger-Haines. “Leading

“The global restaurant industry presents investors with some

brands are seeking to meet the needs of their customers by being more

challenging dynamics currently, with start-up finance, rent demands, the

flexible, but this presents a challenging scenario for investors keen to

social conscience, consumer brand loyalty, declining retail footfall and

minimise risk and maximise return. At GRIF, we’ll explore how to strike

the growth of food delivery models all posing potential impediments to

the right balance and ensure investor, brand and customer are satisfied.”

investment,” comments Jennifer Pettinger-Haines, Managing Director, Middle East, Bench Events. “At the same time, the industry is full of

www.restaurant-invest.com

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SIDES

Ambiente 9th – 13th February 2018 Frankfurt

A

mbiente will return in February 2018, bringing manufacturers,

design. The international product range extends across worldwide interior

planners, investors and consultants from across the F&B industry

designs, avant-garde furnishings, home accessories and items in all styles,

together at Festhalle Frankfurt.

including decorations for both indoor and outdoor spaces.

Showcasing a range of Horeca product lines – set to fuel a

Thomas Kastl, Dining Manager at Ambiente, emphasises the need to

sustainable increase in guests from the world of gastronomy, hotels and

keep pushing forward: “Ensuring that continuous change becomes part of

catering – the event is set to welcome 136,000 trade visitors and 4,400

one’s own DNA,” he says. “All you need to know is how to network with

international exhibitors.

the right market players, who will help impress your guests at a totally

With hospitality professionals highlighting their core and supplementary

new level.”

product assortments for the coming year, the fair features banquet utensils

Running parallel with the thematic areas will be a talks programme,

and small furnishings, with the product range covering all price points and

featuring experts from a variety of disciplines to discuss four trend worlds.

sectors – from lifestyle to premium.

Comprising Modest Regenerations, Colourful Intentions, Technological

Ambiente welcomes back the Dining, Giving, and Living areas, showcasing a compelling diversity of ideas, designs and inspiring

Emotions and Opulent Narrations, the talks will be held by the design studio and accompanied by exclusive guided tours.

highlights. The Dining area will comprise innovative products for the

Numerous events focusing on diverse industry themes make Ambiente

modern kitchen, alongside household appliances and equipment. The area

a central platform for contract business and the Horeca segment, bringing

is also a major meeting place for the Horeca sector, where specialist buyers

sourcing, business partners and concepts together at one location.

discuss innovative catering concepts. Further, the Living area highlights the ultimate in forward-looking

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www.ambiente.messefrankfurt.com


EVENT CALENDAR Table

ProWein

Imbibe Live

14th - 16th January 2018

18th - 20th March 2018

2nd - 3rd July 2018

London

Dusseldorf

London

Ambiente

FHA

Tales of the Cocktail

9th - 13th February 2018

25th - 27th April 2018

17th - 22nd July 2018

Frankfurt

Singapore

New Orleans

Hotelympia

NRA

The Hotel Show

5th - 8th March 2018

22nd - 24th May 2018

16th - 18th September 2018

London

Chicago

Dubai

GRIF

Bar Convent Brooklyn

Annual Hotel Conference

12th - 14th March 2018

12th - 13th June 2018

10th - 11th October 2018

Dubai

Brooklyn

Manchester

123


PETITS FOURS

The House Josiah Built Founded in the heyday in Britain’s Industrial Revolution, Wedgwood continues to be a pioneering force in ceramics, blending rich heritage with forward-thinking design.

Words: Kristofer Thomas

F

or over 250 years now, Wedgwood has created fine china and porcelain for clients including British

Dating back to 1759 and the heyday of Britain’s

royalty, Jane Austen and Catherine, Empress of

industrial revolution, Wedgwood’s longevity is equalled

Russia, to name but a few. Operating from the

only by the consistency of its quality, in the context

outskirts of Stoke-on-Trent, amidst the rolling hills and

of both design and manufacturing. With pioneering

fields of Barlaston, the historic brand has long orbited a

new methods of temperature measurement, industry-

philosophy that emphasises discovery, experimentation,

changing material blends and prescient marketing

reliability and aesthetic excellence, and lays claim

techniques, Wedgwood stakes a claim to be at the

to innovations such as the introduction of the rose

very heart of British pottery culture. Often drawing

engine turning lathe into pottery, an early technical

inspiration from ancient Roman, Japanese and Egyptian

machination of founder Josiah Wedgwood that remains

cultures for aesthetic guidance as well as channelling

widely used today.

a quintessentially British character, Wedgwood’s

“When we talk about hospitality there are two key ingredients, the shape and the decoration,” explains Dick Delaney, Design Director of Wedgwood and sister

124

We’ve got wonderful DNA in these aspects.”

widespread popularity echoed the expansive scope of its visual influences. During this time, Wedgwood worked with leading

brands Waterford and Royal Doulton, all of which fall

designers and artists including John Flaxman, Lady

under the WWRD umbrella. “We’ve got a portfolio of

Diana Beauclerk and Elizabeth Templetown, resulting

shapes that are classic and easy to use, and we’re really

in a consistently strong visual character. This continues

known for the quality of print we bring to the table.

today, with the brand collaborating with contemporary


Mythical Creatures, Kit Kemp


PETITS FOURS

“Twenty years ago hotels could have a very general collection of whiteware, or pick a collection to run with, but now it’s far more bespoke”

designers such as Jasper Conran, Kit Kemp and Lee Broom across a

tableware share equal billing with the venue, a testament to its integral

number of collections.

contribution to the experience.

Though the modern incarnation of the brand may differ in terms of

Likewise, Kit Kemp’s Mythical Creatures collection – featuring

size, scope and manufacturing volume, these sensibilities remain firmly

intricate gold rims and a design centred around delicate mysticism

in place, as does an intricate link to its storied past, exemplified through

– aids in enhancing the overall scheme within Firmdale Hotels’ Ham

a detailed on-site museum, visitor’s centre and extensive design archive.

Yard Hotel, creating a consistent yet subtle visual relationship between

Now offering a core collection of tableware and dedicated hospitality division alongside a bespoke service outfitting dining rooms within The

restaurant and offer. Though based on the core domestic collections, these ranges still bear

Langham, Brown’s Hotel and The Savoy, the Wedgwood of today has

the durability and premium quality of Wedgwood’s fine bone china, but

expanded the offer and scope of Josiah’s vision without sacrificing its

have been adapted with unique features of shape and surface relief to

quality or historic prestige.

add individual bespoke details and create tableware truly a hotel’s own.

“Twenty years ago hotels could have a very general collection of

“It’s about how the detail within the design frames the F&B without

whiteware, or pick a collection to run with, but now it’s far more

interfering,” says Catherine Brian, Airline Sales and New Product

bespoke,” Delaney continues. “You may have the core range you use,

Development Manager, Hospitality EMEA. “Both can be Hero.”

but these are now complemented and enhanced by accent pieces or an entirely unique collection.” The core offer includes bestseller Connaught, an elegant and simple

Afternoon tea as a market is one that Wedgwood has courted as of recent years with increasing focus, the aforementioned hotel-centred offers being just the tip of the teabag. An initiative with the Royal

classic bone china range with over 150 pieces; Vogue, with its graceful

Horticulture Society (founded by Josiah’s son in 1800) and John Lewis

table presence and high alumina construction; and the luxurious

will see the launch of The Wedgwood tea conservatory at the Peter Jones

Ethereal, perhaps the most contemporarily styled with its intricate

department store from 24 May – 16 June 2018, encouraging guests to try

fusion embossing and nature-inspired grain design.

exotic tea pairings within the intricate Wonderlust range, all overseen by

“In terms of approach to hospitality however, there is a dedicated

Wedgwood’s own tea sommelier Bernadine Tay. Inspired by the tropical

team,” notes Marcus Stadelmann, President, EMEA Living. “We have

plants and exotic influences discovered and brought back to the UK

our main collection, available through traditional means, but this new

during the Grand Tour of the 19th century, the project again expands the

proposition is another access point.”

Wedgwood offer whilst remaining inherently linked to its past.

This dedicated team oversees the creation and distribution of

“Aesthetically we’re seeing the return of nature,” Delaney notes.

Wedgwood products throughout the hospitality sphere, not just to hotels,

“Nature has been a big part of what we’ve designed and developed

but airline and cruise ships also. A different approach is taken here, one

over 260 years, and new lines like Wonderlust and Folio really

characterised by flexible customisation and property-specific details.

embody this.”

“There is a slightly different approach because these collections are

Whilst the hospitality offer appears in a collection of premium

unique to the hotel or restaurant we work with. We take the time to send

hotels worldwide, it is the bespoke service that adds the layer of

designers to the environment, meet the people, meet the chefs, look at

personalisation so desirable to today’s operators, allowing properties to

the food being served, and really pay attention to every detail,” Delaney

create unique tableware that embodies both their wider design aesthetic

continues. “They truly are collaborations between us and the hotel.”

and hints of character and identity.

The Langham Rose set, created especially for The Langham, London,

“When we talk about hospitality there’s a lot of practicality that

takes inspiration from the brand’s own archives, and the abundance of

comes into it,” Brian concludes. “I think hotels especially are still

nature-inspired visuals that appears throughout it, though incorporates

looking for that element of safeness and reliability, but, even within

subtle aesthetic hints drawn from the hotel’s dining space, its colour

these parameters there’s space for adventure.”

palette, the menu composition, and prominent ingredients. As such, Afternoon Tea With Wedgwood at the Langham sees the brand’s

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Gio


PETITS FOURS

Deco LSA

Inspired by refined shapes, linear metallic details, graphic motifs and fabric finishes, LSA’s Deco series epitomises its original approach to form, colour and decoration. Comprising assorted sets of eight porcelain tableware products, including champagne flutes and saucers, espresso cups, tumblers, wine goblets, dinner plates, teapots and soup bowls, the collection embellishes an eclectic mix of dÊcors, providing a modern twist on the classic metallic finishes of Art Deco. www.lsa-international.com

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PETITS FOURS

Ruche

Karbon

Designed for the French tradition of art de la table, Ruche is a luxurious and decorative interpretation of a signature silverware motif that blends classicism and modernity. Born from an encounter between a silver cloche dome and straw beehive, the collection features a cover that lifts to reveal classic silverware arrayed in a black lacquered wood base. A tasteful addition to the traditional dining room, the series introduces elegance to sideboards, buffet tables and consoles in refined culinary environments.

Focusing on a combination of a matt black and crusty texture, RAK Porcelain’s Karbon series enables a playful contrast between lightness and darkness at the table. The range exists in round flat plates, deep plates, oval plates, as well as square and rectangular items including cups, saucers and bowls that can be added to complement. Karbon’s variety of colourways also sees the range coordinate with RAK Porcelain’s Neofusion and Metalfusion collections.

www.christofle.com

www.rakporcelain.com

Christofle

T-Collection

RAK Porcelain

Tea Pot

Heritage Collection

Tiger

Designed by Giuliano Malimpensa to reflect Italian craftsmanship, Tiger’s new T-collection offers vessels for chefs to enhance the imaginative aesthetic of petits fours. Available in two shapes, the tableware combines design experience with diligent manufacturing to create a practical product with a touch of elegance. The range can also be accompanied by Tiger’s modular buffet system Domino, and their selection of 18/10 stainless steel hollowware products for tasteful buffet presentation.

One of many new designs being specially produced for a new project to open in early 2018, Heritage Collection’s teapot joins a formidable range of traditional bar and restaurant equipment manufactured using a combination of handcrafted techniques and advanced software. The series will be introduced amongst the brand’s bespoke Afternoon Tea items, which comprises silver-plated and stainless steel tableware, and is currently featured at luxury properties including The Ritz, The Dorchester and The Lanesborough in London.

www.tigerhotel.co.kr

www.heritagesilverware.com

129


Neolit Pulpo

Designed by London-based Studio Furthermore, made up of craftfocused creative duo Marina Dragomirova and Iain Howlett, Pulpo has produced a series of colourful serving vessels formed from a new technique whereby foam is dipped in liquefied ceramic and baked in order to solidify. Using a design method informed by technological research, science and culture, the collection can be combined with Sebastian Herkner’s high and low containers to create a vibrant culinary display. www.pulpoproducts.com

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PETITS FOURS

131


Mixology

Timeless

Constructed from eco-friendly crystal glass, Luigi Bormioli’s venture into mixology glassware comprises a range of elegant bar vessels, including luxury takes on serving bottles, dash bottles and mixing glasses. Crafted to optimise drinks service and add a touch of opulence to the process, the Mixology collection is as much for guests as it is for bartenders. Inspired by early 20th century aesthetics, the range’s three Elixir dashes each have a capacity of 10cl.

An ever-modern take on the return of the classical trend, Pasabahce’s Timeless is a complete and versatile line with a design that echoes the elegance of crystal glasses from past eras. Adding a familiar sense of quality to the art of drinking, the eloquent glassware patterns are available in whiskey, liqueur and cocktail styles. On display at Host, the international hospitality exhibition, the series ranges in capacity from 6-45cl.

www.luigibormioli.com

www.pasabahce.com

Vero

Dante Onyx

Designed by Michael Boehm, Rosenthal’s Vero glassware collection ranges from appetiser, to long drink, to vodka glass and hand-blown beakers, and is designed as a functional statement evoking modern simplicity. Boasting a sphere-like ice container, Vero features a four-set of Double Old Fashioned glasses, providing mixologists with the perfect beaker for serving classic cocktails. The range can also be combined with the diVino, Estelle and Fuga collections to create a layered barware aesthetic.

Utopia’s Dante Collection has expanded to include a black colourway and statement jug, embodying a 1930s prohibition chic with a distinctive speakeasy style. The Dante Oynx glass, a heavily embossed black cocktail tumbler available in a 12oz and 13.5oz capacity, evokes the preserve of an early 90’s dinner party, where black tableware and textured metallics took precedence. Creating a unique shape and texture, the glass-cut design adds value to F&B offerings, enabling operators to present a premium serving.

Luigi Bormioli

Rosenthal

www.rosenthal.co.uk

Pasabahce

Utopia Tableware

www.utopia-tableware.com

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PETITS FOURS

Ore

Bonna Bonna’s Ore collection features a reactive glaze tableware set displayed in a plethora of colours including tierra, dark blue and mar. Ranging from flat and deep serving plates to oval dishes and vanta bowls, Ore varies in depth to create a visually-rich layering aesthetic for restaurant tables. The range can also be accompanied with Bonna’s Bloom collection, an elegant coupe bowl series with three sizes in underglaze paint colours. www.bonna.com

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Catering Table La Tavola

La Tovola’s Catering Table is designed with interchangable modules to allow the creation of set-ups with different purposes including show-cooking, warm and cold display, mixology and beverage service. Leaning towards functionality, the series is fitted with durable casters for easy mobility, and can be assembled and deployed by two people in two minutes. The range is also accompanied by a series of bags for the table and durable cases for the functional modules. www.la-tavola.it

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PETITS FOURS

Aquila

Atlantic Light

Timeless in its bold simplicity, Elia’s Aquila tableware collection defines contemporary cutlery with clean fluid lines and a handsome profile, while a generous handle emanates luxury and quality in the hand. Designed with both aesthetics and usability in mind, the series is forged in 18/10 stainless steel and tapers effortlessly from a robust triangular base to a defined curve, adding character and style as a dynamic statement.

The latest addition to John Jenkins’ Atlantic family, Atlantic Light features a series of five finely blown cocktail tumblers, bringing classic glassware designs into the modern cocktail environment. Ranging in capacity from 9-19oz, Atlantic Light is visually delicate and simplistic yet durable in service, and can be combined with John Jenkins’ range of barware from spiral champagne glasses and numbered bitters bottles, providing mixology professionals variety in their serve offerings.

Elia

John Jenkins

www.elia.co.uk www.johnjenkins.co.uk

Arctic

Stella Vogue

Inspired by a snow-coated landscape, Pordamsa’s Arctic tableware collection, moulded in pure white porcelain, defines subtlety and resistance using one material. Hand polished and distinguished by a soft texture, the serving plates degrade toward their centres in order to achieve a minimalist aesthetic and facilitate the dressing of the dish. The series is also perfectly stackable, dishwasher and oven safe, and easy to handle in both kitchen and restaurant spaces.

Designed to create a graceful and elegant atmosphere at grand dining tables, Stella Vogue features a white-on-white design finished with subtle highlights in sophisticated matt gold. Made from fine premium bone porcelain, its white relief décor in a round shape makes it ideal for largescale banquets, and gives attitude to fine dining and high-class buffets. Inspired by holiday occasions, the collection can be combined with other pieces from Villeroy & Boch’s hospitality division for a sophisticated layering aesthetic.

Pordamsa

Villeroy & Boch

www.pordamsa.com www.villeroy-boch.co.uk

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Temptaste Tafelstern

Designed using brush-stroked structures, Tafelstern’s Temptaste collection features a handmade rustic aesthetic that evokes artistic accents. The decorations are reminiscent of artistic techniques such as craquelé, and comprise swathes of colour including swirl, cove and carrara décor. Temptaste’s Ink décor pattern gives the impression of a fallen drop of blue ink in the centre of the coupe plate, contrasted by an untouched white porcelain rim that creates a counterpoint to the darker shades of foods. www.tafelstern.com

136


PETITS FOURS

Fantastic

Seltmann Weiden Designed to match Frilich’s Raiser collection as a new buffet concept, Seltmann Weiden’s Fantastic series is inspired by a serve-yourself philosophy of freestyle catering. Manufactured in porcelain and made up of four colourways, the versatile design can be used singularly or as a combination to create functionality, diversity and aesthetics that showcase culinary offerings, while an integrated cooling system keeps dishes fresh and attractively presented. www.seltmann.com

137


Uniform Speak Lady and Butler

Bespoke uniform firm, Lady and Butler, translates the architecture and interior designs of properties into modern, sophisticated ‘vestments’ for hospitality staffers. From her home base in New York City, Barcelona-born Designer and Creative Director Eli Caner applies her runway-level designs to uniforms that complement the direction of popular restaurants and hotels around the globe. Caner has combined her design background and her love of travel into a vehicle to navigate the lag in available wearable and stylish uniforms for luxury boutique establishments. “I think of uniform design as a dialogue between the space, the staff and the customer,” says Caner. “We want to communicate fun and great style and we want to ensure durability, comfort and confidence for those who wear our product.” To date that conversation has captured the attention of the likes of The Standard Hotel (Miami), The Roosevelt Hotel (Los Angeles), Via Corota (New York) and Pierre Hermes (Paris). www.ladyandbutler.com

138


PETITS FOURS

Hepburn Nude

Designed by industrial designer Brad Ascalon to inspire professional mixologists, the Hepburn series draws on the characteristics of Audrey Hepburn, creating a series that is fragile yet strong, elegant yet playful, simple and complex. Ranging from crafted decorative objects to statement glassware to softly shaped lighting, the collection consists of highball and lowball glasses, coupes, a pitcher with stirrer and a shaker, providing all the tools for mixologists to serve. www.nudeglass.com

139


LaCimbali

S30 Perfect Touch The LaCimbali S30 Perfect Touch is the new superautomatic by LaCimbali, a Gruppo Cimbali brand. The Gruppo Cimbali is world leader in the design and production of professional machines for making coffee, cold milk-based beverages, soluble beverages and cafe equipment. The LaCimbali S30 features a revolutionary 10.4� touchscreen display, providing an innovative barista/ machine interface and an integrated bi-directional WiFi system that enables consumption data analysis, software updates, recipe control and personalisation of the onscreen images. The LaCimbali S30 dispenses an exciting assortment of drinks and can prepare both hot and cold frothed milk, so users are offered a wide, varied menu of recipes based on coffee, chocolate and hot or cold frothed milk. And there’s yet another innovative feature - the PGS Perfect Grinding System, which constantly monitors the dispensing parameters and automatically carries out any corrections made to dosage and grind, ensuring consistent dispensing times and outstanding extraction quality. www.cimbali.com

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PETITS FOURS

Limbrey

Ajax

Inspired by original designs from the 1960s, Robert Welch’s salt & pepper shaker set is the latest addition to the Limbrey collection and acts as a space-saving addition to busy dining tables. Echoing a classic mid-century style, the curved hourglass shapes of the shakers diffuse and reflect light throughout their surroundings, whilst the contrasting warmth of walnut against a smooth bright stainless steel creates classic styling that fits with both traditional and contemporary settings.

With a design that dates back to the 1930s, the Ajax chef’s knife is the latest from Dick’s Red Spirit series. Balancing tradition and modernity with a new interpretation of a well-established style of blade, Ajax takes on an unusual shape reminiscent of a cleaver, and features a wide side and curved cutting edge to make it an indispensable tool for the processing of meat. With functionality at its core, the knife can also be hung easily thanks to a practical hole in the blade.

www.robertwelch.com

www.dick.de

Sky Bar

Flex

Bringing classic Georg Jensen styles to a modern bar set, the Sky Bar collection has been designed by Aurélien Barbry. The Nordic-inspired design is a unique and functional take on the classic serving dish, reimagining the double serving bowl to feature round, sensuous shapes with an asymmetrical and ergonomic style. Focusing on touch, feel and looks, Sky Bar is casual yet sophisticated, with each item a tactile delight in the hand.

Zieher’s Flex serving series boasts tubes of borosilicate glass, shaped into unique pieces by way of heat exposure. Designed with quality in mind, the artfully curved inside of the tubes offers creative space for cutlery or napkins, decorative herbs and edible blossoms. A rest for knives or chop sticks respectively, the Flex collection features fitting chopsticks made of borosilicate glass, which harmonically blends into this series with a satin surface that creates an appealing contrast to the clear glass of the rest.

www.georgjensen.com

www.zieher.com

Robert Welch

Georg Jensen

Dick

Zieher

141


Modern Tableware Tina Frey

Following Tina Frey’s entrance into the hospitality industry with the Modern Tableware collection in resin, the design studio has translated its original shapes into a new material and introduced high polish stainless steel pieces including cups, bowls, plates, trays, vases and a champagne cooler. Hand sculpted by Tina Frey in San Francisco, the pieces are designed to be combined with the resin collection, and add luxury and elegance to tableware aesthetics whilst retaining functionality in outdoor, poolside and bathrooms spaces. www.tinafreydesigns.com

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PETITS FOURS

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ADVERTISING INDEX

41 Madison

Robert Welch

004 & 005

absolute lifestyle

083

Seltmann Weiden

059

Blenheim Palace

067

Sleeper Magazine

110

Bonna 093

Stรถlzle 148

Brintons 091

Supper Magazine

145

011

Tafelstern 033

FHA 109

Tiger 049

Goodfellow & Goodfellow

Tina Frey

015

GRIF 119

To The Table - Asia 2018

080

HEPP 023

To The Table - Europe 2018

050

Hotelympia 105

Villeroy & Boch

045

Corby Hall

012

Ingrid Lesage

040

Walco 043

John Jenkins

029

Waterford 103

Kalisher 002

Wedgwood 147

099

Zieher 047

Lady & Butler LSA

144

115

006 & 007


CONTACT TO ADVERTISE OR SUBSCRIBE: SUPPER@MONDIALE.CO.UK TEL: +44(0)161 476 5580 WWW.SUPPERMAGAZINE.CO.UK

Image: Rüya, Grosvenor House Dubai Photography: Hyku D Photography


THE WASHING UP

Delivering the Experience David Edwards, Managing Director, JPA Design Singapore

A

s designers in Asia, we’ve always faced a moving

more than just the taste and packaging of what’s delivered to

target in terms of satisfying the ever-evolving tastes

your door. Genuine customer engagement in the Asian context

and expectations of consumers across this diverse

necessitates an image that goes beyond the quality of the food

region. The projects we choose to take on typically

- a visual identity that conveys an experience, and a physical

dictate the ease or difficulty in hitting that target. In opting

premises that delivers on that promise, reinforcing the brand

to work with independent owners and visionary hoteliers on

with seductive interiors that define an ambience that can’t be

unique, locally-developed restaurant and bar concepts, we

delivered on a bike or conveyed through an Instagram photo.

choose to forego the relative safety of repetitive design for

It’s understandable then, that when a restaurant has

global franchises, and instead embrace the creative challenge

succeeded in drawing a customer across its threshold, today’s

of a more bespoke and prescient approach. While the rewards

patron expects ever-increasing levels of theatre. Beyond

for successful, independent concepts are potentially high, so

great-tasting food, the restaurant must deliver on another

are the risks, with the Asian consumer’s love of the ‘next

level, and as designers we play a key role in orchestrating a

big thing’ leading to high attrition rates. Consequently, the

unique experience, that justifies the customer getting up off

quality of our creative input has always been vital in giving

the sofa and through their front door. Our role is to facilitate

each venture the best chance of success. Recent consumer

the delivery of that theatrical experience, by crafting the

trends in Asia could be viewed as diminishing the significance

physical space to provide a fitting and compelling backdrop

of design’s role in that process, but for independent concept

to the culinary process. In Asia, as elsewhere, ‘craft’ is

restaurants the contrary looks to be the case.

the buzzword of today, as customers invest more of their

Until relatively recently, it was a given that a visit to a

attention - and money - on the expertise and craftsmanship

restaurant was necessary to sample its menu. In a continent

in well-made food and drink, and we must continuously

so passionate about cuisine, great food (or its branding) had

reinforce that with our creative investment in their tangible

the potential to drive footfall, even when the aesthetics and

surroundings.

ambience of the physical space may have been unremarkable.

As new trends in restaurants and food service emerge

That landscape has changed, and yesterday’s table-

across this diverse region, the quality of the designer’s vision,

of-four are likely today to be among the many discerning

creativity and delivery is what will justify their sustained role

customers fuelling the huge growth in third-party food

in the dialogue. We must continue to relish every opportunity

delivery providers - happy to order their ‘meals on wheels’

to work with owners and operators who see the potential in

from restaurants of a calibre that previously would not have

locally developed concepts targeting genuine opportunities,

been associated with anything other than formal table service.

and who recognise the strong, competitive advantage a well-

While it might be expected that this trend would diminish the

designed and well thought-out interior can offer.

designer’s role in the success of a restaurant, the reverse is true, with the performance of these ventures depending on far

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T h e H O S P I T A L I T Y C oll e ctio n

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Supper is a quarterly publication from the people behind leading international hotel design magazine Sleeper, covering the global hotel F&B...