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Welcome to de Bijenkorf, Amsterdamâ€™s finest department store De Bijenkorf promises a truly memorable shopping experience. Home to exclusive brands such as Louis Vuitton, HermĂ¨s, Dior, Gucci, Cartier and Tiffany & Co., the department store offers an unrivalled assortment of fashion, jewellery, leather goods and more. Dam 1, Amsterdam city centre Open 7 days a week including evenings. For more information and other store locations: deBijenkorf.nl/international Amsterdam | Den Haag | Rotterdam | Amstelveen | Eindhoven | Maastricht | Utrecht
World class services 1. Unrivalled selection of high end designer fashion, shoes, accessories and luxury shop-in-shops. 2. Our watch and jewellery department offers an extended assortment of the finest brands for both men and women. 3. Six floors and 20.000 mÂ˛ of fashion, accessories, beauty products, homeware, toys and culinary delights. 4. Our Global Blue tax free lounge is the first and only instant tax refund point in The Netherlands. Non-EU residents are eligible for tax refund for purchases over 50 euros. Our multilingual hosts will be happy to assist you.
Chefs DIETER KOSCHINA Vila Joya, Algarve, Portugal
50 GREGORY CZARNECKI Waterkloof, South Africa
38 SEAN KELLY The Lovat, Loch Ness
62 DANIEL HUMM Make It Nice, New York
Lifestyle SPECIALS Diary dates and goings on around the globe.
22 ART Photographer Pol Kurucz challenges social and racial norms symbolized by the carceral universe.
34 COCKTAILS FOUR catches up with Aviary’s head mixologist Micah Melton, to find out more about the iconic bar.
100 TRAVEL FOUR heads to the rugged mountains of Oman to see why it’s becoming a popular travel destination.
114 DESIGNER STAYS The latest luxury offerings from Bulgari, Armani, as well as a trip to La Résidence de la Pinède in Saint-Tropez.
124 HOT PROPERTY A look at some of Italy’s most desirable properties around Lake Como, Lake Maggiore and Venice.
17 LIFESTYLE FOUR finds out more about Armenian contemporary perfumer, Francis Kurkdjian in A Perfumed Life.
28 CHEF SAFARI Andre Chiang takes us on a epicurean safari of his favourite Taipei haunts.
93 CHECK IN Healthy mind, healthy body as we indulge in some of Africa’s best wellness safari lodges.
106 INTERIOR DESIGN Guy Oliver talks about the larger benefits of the design industry in his latest column.
116 ENGEL & VÖLKERS Constantin von Dalwigk shares his insider knowledge on prime real estate opportunities.
126 BEAUTIFUL DESTINATIONS Jeremy Jauncey gives us his list of top destinations to spot some of the world’s most magnificent wildlife.
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elcome to our latest, all-new glossy edition of FOUR, filled with some of the world’s best chefs, their restaurants and a brilliant showcase of their dishes. There’s also a colourful selection of lifestyle, art, drink, travel and property features for you to indulge in along the way. This spring issue will see four chefs who have each amassed many awards for their creative and innovative cuisine. Kicking off with Michelin threestarred chef Daniel Humm, who has been making more waves with his culinary wizardry - not just in his renowned New York eateries, but now also on the US West Coast. He talks to FOUR about his recent title of ‘World’s Best Restaurant’, along with details of the new Los Angeles outpost of NoMad. Dieter Koschina represents Portugal in this edition. With two stars under his belt, this Austrian-born chef has his heels set firmly in the picturesque Algarve on the Atlantic Coast, combining local produce with northern European cooking techniques at the gourmet restaurant at Vila Joya. Gregory Czarnecki, the young Frenchman based in South Africa, is bringing classical cuisine with a modern French twist to the Cape’s infamous winelands. Located in the award-winning Waterkloof Wine Estate, the restaurant places an emphasis on using only the freshest seasonal ingredients and a variety of common and rare herbs and vegetables – many of which are grown and sourced on the vicinity. We also have a look inside Sean Kelly’s kitchen at Station Road restaurant in The Lovat Hotel, Loch Ness. Showcasing some of Scotland’s finest fare, we find out what this chef has planned for the rest of 2018. Also inside, we talk to Francis Kurkdijian about his contemporary vision of luxury scents and creating olfactive magic; find out more about FrancoBrazilian photographer, Pol Kurucz and his Glam Jail series in our Art feature; sample innovative and delicious cocktails from The Aviary’s beverage director, Micah Melton; while FOUR’s travel section jets you off to Oman for a presummer getaway to remember, Cheval Blanc’s Mediterranean hideaway of La Residence de la Pinede in St. Tropez, and offers a selection of luxury African Spa-fari’s in our Check-In feature. Elsewhere, we explore the finer things in life at the Armani Hotel Dubai, as well as the new Bulgari Hotels & Residences, Shanghai. If all that isn’t enough to whet your appetite, then you can find out the latest from our regular interior design, property and photography columnists. There’s lots more inside, and don’t forget to visit four-magazine.com for daily recipes, interviews and features.
SLOANE INTERNATIONAL DMCC CO-FOUNDERS Antioco Piras Jakob Siegeris EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Kate Jackson SUB EDITOR Jason Riley CHIEF DESIGNER Pieter Stander CONTRIBUTORS Maxime Jacovella Constantin von Dalwyck Jeremy Jauncey Guy Oliver OPERATIONS MANAGER Barbora Kojtalova COMMERCIAL DIRECTORS Harry Rao Emidio Sessa COMMERCIAL EXECUTIVE Gautam Kapoor Jumeirah Lake Towers, Cluster D, Indigo Tower, Dubai, UAE Tel. +971 (0)4 2766935 (Dubai) © SLOANE INTERNATIONAL DMCC All rights reserved. All material in FOUR magazine is wholly copyright and reproduction without written permission from the publisher is strictly forbidden. Neither this publication nor its contents constitute an explicit endorsement by FOUR magazine of the products or services mentioned in advertising or editorial content. While every effort has been made to ensure accuracy, FOUR magazine shall not have liability for errors or omissions. www.four-magazine.com
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COVER ‘Flower Series II - No.8’ 2017 Oil on canvas. 120cm x 90cm By Ted Pim for The Cool Hunter.
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Monaco Grand Prix, Monte Carlo Held each year on the circuit de Monaco, the Grand Prix epitomises everything that’s great about Formula One racing: speed, glamour, passion, noise and a hint of danger. The circuit leaves no margin for error, as the cars are within very close proximity to the Armco barriers. With it being next to impossible to overtake, and with cars running at maximum downforce, the track demands a huge about of concentration. Therefore qualifying is critical during the Grand Prix and is the one race of the year that every driver dreams of winning. A combination of precision driving, technical excellence and sheer bravery is required to win in Monte Carlo, facets which highlight the differences between the great and the good in Formula One. Some great names have ended their races in the barriers here, most notably Ayrton Senna and Michael Schumacher. To win in Monaco places a driver’s name on a list that includes many of history’s all-time greats. www.formula1.com JUNE
LA Wine Fest, California Now in its 13th successful year, The LAWineFest is proud to be the trailblazer event that brought wine and people together in LA. This popular event has become a local institution in delivering an accessible event that that balances fun, exploration and education. Located at the cool ROW DTLA, is in the heart of artsy and urban LA. When you add award-winning wines, artisan beers and ciders, shopping, and tasty food curated by Smorgasburg LA, you’ve got an excellent way to enjoy a weekend in Los Angeles. LA’s “Signature Celebration of all Things Wine” attracts thousands of attendees annually. Guest savour and discover flavours from around the world, whether a buttery chardonnay, fruity Zinfandel, or an ice cold innovative craft beer made in DTLA. For wine aficionados who want to experience small-batch pours from boutique wineries, there will be a limited number of daily tickets for these unique tastings. For those who love beer, they’ve got you covered too! www.lawinefest.com 17
Copenhagen Cooking and Food Festival, Denmark Take a bite of culinary Copenhagen and the Nordic region, when food festival Copenhagen Cooking hits the city. Copenhagen Cooking is one of the biggest food festivals in Northern Europe and is an open-source festival that profiles Danish gastronomy by paying homage to the food culture, Nordic cuisine, and the players on the gastronomic stage. Organised by Food Organisation of Denmark, the Copenhagen Cooking & Food Festival is for everyone who loves food, with more than 100 unique events over 10 days at the end of August. The official theme of 2018 is ‘Breaking the New’; offering unique and different dining experiences, and showcases the latest food trends. Housed on Israels Plads in Copenhagen, the Copenhagen Cooking & Food Festival offers plenty of events held in English, or with no language requirements, targeting international visitors. www.copenhagencooking.com AU G U S T
As Singapore’s largest outdoor performing arts festival, the Night Festival is integral in bolstering the arts, culture and heritage scene in Singapore. Having celebrated its 10th anniversary in 2017, this year promised to deliver even more innovation and creativity, especially from local talents, and international collaborations. The Festival kicks off on 18 August with the annual Night Lights, its enthralling showcase of light art installations. It culminates in three evenings of revelry on 24, 25 and 26 August, featuring world-class artists, roving acts and exciting performances, all adding their own magic to the celebration. www.festival-cannes.com 18
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A perfumed life With an ability to take you back in time and reflect current trends, Maison Francis Kurkdjian perfumes are not just beauty products. Francis Kurkdjian tells us more about creating scents that transcend the technique and evolve into sources of powerful memories and feelings.
DID YOU ALWAYS SEE YOURSELF BECOMING A PERFUMER?
I was lucky enough to have parents and grandparents that got me into the world of arts and craftsmanship at an early age, from ballet class to piano lessons, visits to museums and even immersing myself in the world of couture, with two grandfathers working for the craft. I grew up in a very creative environment with lots of fantasy and fun, and developed a love of handicrafts. However, I had my true revelation at the age of 14 by reading an article about perfumery in the glossy pages of a French magazine. I discovered that the couturier/fashion designer was not the one who was creating the perfumes. There were people behind the scenes, and those people had a very special craft and gift. At the same moment, I saw the movie Le Sauvage that features Catherine Deneuve and Yves Montand, in which he plays the role of a perfumer on a remote Venezuelan island. I loved it! And even now I watch it again once in a while. After that, I totally fell in love with the craft and told my parents that I wanted to become a perfumer. I knew deep inside that it was my vocation.
OPPOSITE Francis Kurkdjian at his eponymous perfumery. BELOW Stylish and sophisticated, Oud Maison is the perfect accompaniment to an evening soiree.
ideas, she told me she would ask Jean Paul Gaultier himself for his opinion. He liked one of the routes, which became Le Male after eight months of hard work and commitment. Le Male became very famous in all the markets in Europe, and was – and still is – a real blockbuster fragrance. In France, it surpassed Eau Sauvage, which was the best-seller for more than three decades. It was so unreal, and moreover so unpredictable! WHAT DO YOU THINK HAS BEEN THE BIGGEST LEARNING CURVE FOR YOU?
I have been in the business for more than 20 years, and I have realised that each creation remains a sort of professional training for me. Truth does not exist in fragrance. The creative process is never-ending; that’s the beauty of it. Each fragrance I have created is unique, linked to a special story »
WE HAVE TO MENTION LE MALE FOR JEAN PAUL GAULTIER AS IT WAS YOUR PIONEERING FRAGRANCE. HOW DID IT COME TO BE?
I was briefed in 1994, so I was 25 years old and fresh out of the perfumery school. During that period I was taking a marketing course after work. I met Chantal Roos, the CEO of Gaultier’s fragrance business, during my scholarship. She asked me if I wanted to work on a project as a training case and apprenticeship. I said yes and she gave me the brief. After our first meeting, during which I had to present my 23
PERFUME « and with its own emotional world. To me the most exciting is always the next one! What has been created belongs to the past, to a certain extent, so I am in a kind of continuous training – whether for my house or for other fashion brands such as Burberry, Elie Saab, Nina Ricci, Dior and such. WHAT LED TO YOU CO-FOUNDING MAISON FRANCIS KURKDJIAN?
By co-founding Maison Francis Kurkdjian in 2009, my desire was to share my contemporary vision on scents and luxury with the public. Today this desire hasn’t changed. I will continue to follow my instinct and create perfumes according to our motto: ‘perfumed life 24/7’. My contemporary approach to the world of scents pushes me to explore and bring new contemporary fragrance sensations. The product doesn’t always have to be captured in a bottle and it could lead to new creative and olfactive paths. This is why we will continue to come up with great products – such as the scented bubbles, scented leather and the new body line – to bring emotions to people in a different way and surround their life with scents. CAN YOU TELL ME A BIT MORE ABOUT THE PERFUMES IN GENERAL?
‘Perfumed life 24/7’ is the motto of Maison Francis Kurkdjian. It means that we are surrounded by scents from day to night. So I have decided to have a new look to the world of perfumes.
ABOVE Francis undertakes a rigorous testing process before a perfume is born. BELOW Each of the fragrances has its own olfactive signature, evoking different memories, sensations and feelings.
Each scent of our collection is also designed to fit a certain mood and to match your aura and sensuality at a specific occasion. Men and women today are multiple as we are not the same at work, with friends and family, when we travel or at other particular occasions. If I open a sophisticated person’s wardrobe I am sure to find casual wear, dressed-up and formal attire as well as evening standards, and why not couture? Our collection of fragrance has been created in the same spirit – as a real fragrance wardrobe. Our Aqua collection stands for an essential piece in one’s wardrobe, a bit like a white shirt that you can wear at any occasion. It is fresh, versatile and genderless. Then there is the ‘easy to wear’ segment with very elegant yet easy-to-wear scents such as Amyris, Pluriel and À la rose. Our evening standards include more dressed-up scents such as APOM, Lumière Noire, our Oud collection and Baccarat Rouge 540. Each fragrance has its own olfactive signature. Finally, we have our bespoke offering that mirrors the haute couture in fashion. So you can be an Aqua Universalis person on a lovely sunny day, an Amyris person on a date and an Oud person at a black-tie event. WHAT INSPIRES YOU?
Inspiration is the invisible part of creation. Many things can inspire me: art, fashion, people and places – especially Paris! »
AN URBAN OASIS A member of Leading Hotels of The World, the ultra-luxury boutique hotel Nobu Hotel Riyadh is billed as one of the Middle East’s most anticipated hotel openings of 2018.
ultivated from the glorious Saudi heritage and inspired by its crafted and iconic brand, Nobu Hotel Riyadh is set to introduce an entirely new breed of hotel to the market delivering exceptional guest experiences, driven by imagination, knowledge and generosity. Designed by the internationally acclaimed Rockwell Group, the 23-storey glass panelled hotel houses 134 stunningly appointed guest rooms and suites. Each is custom furnished with subtle Japanese and regional influences, offering spacious and functional spaces that are thoughtfully equipped. Fundamental to the brand is its deep roots in creating inspirational moments around exceptional food. The award-winning Nobu Restaurant will tempt even the most discerning food enthusiasts with Chef Nobu’s array of signature Japanese-Peruvian fusion dishes, beautifully prepared using the finest and freshest of ingredients. The hotel’s design is based on the use of lush and natural materials, fused with contemporary style focusing on touches inspired by Japan. The art of fusion is a core thread of the brand and is a distinct driver of the operational creativity and design influence. From the exquisite Abariz Spa with a 24/7 state-of-the-art fitness centre, to the Executive Lounge offering spectacular views over Riyadh, and the well-appointed Ballrooms and Meeting Rooms – guests can take advantage of the hotel’s array of facilities. The hotel will also feature
a Cigar Lounge offering the perfect ambiance to unwind and enjoy the world’s premium cigars, The Market Place Restaurant featuring an interactive buffet experience, and Zan Tea House bringing the traditional Japanese tea pavilion to Riyadh. A place to relax and savour an experience, a charged atmosphere, Nobu Hotel Riyadh invites guests to be part of something rather extraordinary.
King Fahd Road, Al Anoud Tower 2, Riyadh, KSA T. +966 11 2978300 | www.nobuhotelriyadh.com
« I find that Paris offers endless inspiration and nourishes me aesthetically and emotionally. My inspirations are not driven by raw materials – I focus on a general feeling. I then try to envision the final image for the fragrance. I dream it. If you don’t know what you want to say, you don’t know what raw materials to blend. Painters use colours, musicians use notes; as perfumer I use scents. Each of my creations has its own inspiration and story behind it. When I think I have a very clear idea on what to do and where to go with my emotions, then I begin the time of the composition and go to the lab to create the formula. To create a scent, up to 18 months divided in two steps are required.
ABOVE Part of the ‘evening standards’ collection, Baccarat Rouge 540 is a more dressed-up scent. BELOW Created in the same spirit as a real fragrance wardrobe, Pluriel is an ‘easy to wear’ scent that can accompany you through your day. RIGHT Living the perfumed life, Francis surrounds his own with scents.
CAN YOU TELL US MORE ABOUT WHAT YOU HAVE BEEN WORKING ON RECENTLY?
For Aqua Celestia I wanted a new interpretation of freshness. Aqua Celestia is the third perfume in my Aqua collection, after Aqua Universalis and Aqua Vitae. The trio is an interpretation of the diverse facets of the freshness and a modern-day tribute to the ancient Eau de Cologne. Invented in the 18th century, Eau de Cologne was sold and promoted for its scents but also as drinkable medicine. I wanted to reinterpret this idea of feeling good, being good and smelling good. Aqua Celestia is the heavenly, fresh scent
of the collection. The inspiration comes from the blues of the sky and the sea. It brings an inner feeling of joy. Its scent uplifts the mood and brings happiness. I like to embrace subjects that are shaking and changing the society at the moment, like with gender fluidity. The interesting thing is I created one fragrance dedicated to men and one for women, but they are not labelled as such – basically, you decide on your own sensibility. They are built with the exact same ingredients, but the idea is to show that it’s all about cultural perception. For example, if you go to Africa or the Middle East men wear dresses, so the idea of masculinity is very cultural. It’s a seed that is planted culturally from an early age, but is ultimately meaningless. WHAT’S NEXT FOR YOUR AND THE MAISON?
Bringing the world of scent to a new level of consciousness, to new ways to wear or experiment with fragrances, is really something I am looking at in the future. I believe it is part of my mission in the world of fragrances to open new paths and question my era about the importance, meaning and place of fragrances. I do believe it is also the modernity of it: breaking ground – not the rules, but the boundaries. You have to play the game; if not, you are left outside. No one has ever forbidden someone from not pushing the boundaries. 26
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GLAM JAIL Franco-Hungarian photographer Pol Kurucz documents and tells the tale of 11 eccentric inmates, transforming a prison visitor’s booth into a colourful fashion haven.
ol Kurucz was born with two different names to a French mother in a Hungarian hospital. Growing up between Paris and Budapest, his early years were filled with endless creative stimulation. He experienced childhood hyperactivity, which was treated with theatre, and theatre was later treated with finance. His whirlwind lifestyle saw him working as a CEO by day and a stage director by night, all at the age of 27. Subsequent journeys to Bahrain and Brazil, to corporate islands and favelas, helped him reinvent himself and get to where he is today. Having experienced a first-hand taste of the adult industry and militant feminism, and having also launched a restaurant, Pol has used this material to fuel his photographic creations. “I don’t see myself and artist and never thought of becoming one, gradually or suddenly. I have thoughts, emotions, and images in me that I need to get out. I was born like that, and every time I had a chance to express myself in any form I did – in the past three years via photography.” »
“I don’t see myself and artist and never thought of becoming one, gradually or suddenly. I have thoughts, emotions, and images in me that I need to get out”
« These days, he works on eccentric fashion and fine art projects from his São Paulo studio. His photos have been featured in more than 100 publications including Vogue, ELLE, Glamour, The Guardian, Adobe Create Magazine, Hunger TV, Sleek and Nylon. When asked about the inspiration for his work, Pol states, “The background is always the same: I fall in love with a theme – usually with some social background linked to actual issues – find the partners to fund, produce the project, a month later we dive into a studio, and then a week later we come out with 10 to 20 images. “I am influenced by everything I see around, and everything that I don’t, in my dreams. I get inspired by composers such as Erik Satie, theatre stage directors such as Bob Wilson, surrealist painters Magritte and Breton, and movie directors such as Alejandro Jodorowsky.”
His latest work, Glam Jail, is about 11 eccentric inmates transforming a prison visiting booth into a colourful fashion haven. By playing with pop aesthetics and the use of visual allegories, Pol challenges some of the social and racial norms symbolised by prison life. “For the Glam Jail series, I fell in love with the cold intimacy of the prison visitor booth and all the stories that a place inherently full of fear, love and anger tells us. “I hope that viewers will not take any message with them from the Glam Jail series – just emotions that will make them feel something.”
The Glam Jail series was shot at Offen Studio, São Paulo in August 2017 and features local models, celebrities and dresses exclusively from Brazilian fashion brands.
PHOTOGRAPHY AND ART DIRECTION: POL KURUCZ; STYLING: CAROLYNA MELLO; SET DESIGN: NINA SIMAO; LIGHTING AND TECH: GUILHERME GRIEBLER; ASSISTANTS: LARA FERRO, MARY CRUZ, CLAUS PINHEIROS, MONICA RODRIGUES
CHEF SAFARI Former head chef of three-Michelin-star restaurant Le Jardin des Sens in France and twostar Restaurant André in Singapore, André Chiang takes us on a tour of Taipei. From hidden bars and cool hotels to Michelin-starred noodles, not to mention the latest project from the chef himself, this is a go-to guide to the Taiwanese capital. LEFT André Chiang. BELOW KOR Bar Taipei. RIGHT The East End bar at Hotel Proverbs.
KOR Located on the bustling Zhongxiao East Road, KOR boasts having Asia’s first ‘expandable’ bar area. The place features specialist cocktails and rare liquors, all prepared by slick and sophisticated staff while you listen to the best hip hop, funk, soul, and R&B played through a leading, world-class sound system. “Go there to see and be seen is all I need to say about KOR. It’s a beautiful, lively crowd with top DJs and great sound system. They also offer great cocktails – I recommend the HardKOR Boba Tea.” kor-asia.com
EAST END In Taipei’s eastern district, Hotel Proverbs is a new boutique hotel with stunning contemporary architecture and awardwinning cocktails from mixology master Hidetsugu Ueno. The joint venture is currently the hottest bar in the eastern district, and throughout the year he can be found here creating one-of-a-kind cocktails. “Located at Hotel Proverbs, East End is a small, mellow bar that I love. It serves a lot of interesting cocktails and has a great patio to enjoy them on. Order the Spice and Sea.” hotel-proverbs.com ALCHEMY In true speakeasy style, Alchemy can only be found after passing through popular lounge bar Marquee, going up the stairs and then through a solid-metal vaulted door. It’s everything you want from a craft cocktail bar: charming, vintage and with a great selection of delicious cocktails. “Alchemy is the first bar to bring the craft cocktail revolution to Taipei. This hidden bar is a classic speakeasy watering hole, with jazz and a big band sound. You must try their Old Fashioned.” facebook.com/BarAlchemy MOZI Continuing with the hidden bar theme, Mozi is a spacious and sophisticated place found at the back of a popular hair salon off the Zhongxiao East Road. Once inside, this newbie to the drinking scene offers an elegant lounge area, a young crowd, contemporary cocktails and highly recommend bar food. “A new speakeasy hidden behind a stylish barbershop, Mozi is the perfect place for easy drinks and good vibes. Try their Grandpa’s Tea.” facebook.com/mozisalon
AHA SALOON This welcome addition to the Taipei cocktail scene, AHA Saloon offers outstanding cocktails from an award-winning trio of mixologists. With growing fame and ceaseless popularity, this bar is usually packed, so make sure you get there early. “Aha is another quite new bar that is making a lot of noise on the Taipei mixology scene with very innovative cocktails. Try ordering one of the LSD’s – a kombucha-based cocktail that packs a punch.” facebook.com/AHASaloon LIN DONG FANG Open from 11am to 4am, thisw authentic and award-winning eatery can be found on Andong Street, Zhongshan District. Famed for its signature 20-hour beef stock, aromatic butters and spicy pastes, Lin Dong Fang is somewhat of an institution in Taipai. “Beef noodles are Taiwan’s national dish, and this one is my personal favourites, out of thousands of restaurants, to go and enjoy them. The homemade ‘spicy beef butter’ is the magic that changes the flavour of the subtle beef broth from great to sublime.” +886 2 2752 2556
SHI-YANG In an effort to extend the creative spirit of Taiwanese from a bygone era, Lin Pin-Hui, the owner of Shi-Yang Cultural Restaurant, has dedicated himself to Shi-Yang for more than 10 years. The slow-food approach of the restaurant provides guests with elegant cuisine in a rustic mountain environment – the perfect counterbalance for busy city life. “If you step outside of Taipei city, you quickly find yourself in the mountains and surrounded by forests of bamboo. Shi-Yang is a hideaway from the busy Taipei lifestyle and is an experience to be enjoyed. Leave it to the chef; don’t rush in and out, but soak up the landscape and enjoy the tea ceremony after lunch or dinner.” shi-yang.com GOLDEN FORMOSA This Michelin-starred restaurant is a must-visit when in the city. Serving classic Taiwanese food since the 1960s, the third generation of family owners now continues its legacy, even using some of its original recipes. “Golden Formosa offers authentic Taiwanese cuisine and the best introduction of Taiwan’s culture in terms of produce and unique cooking techniques. You must try the crispy pork rib – not the crispy pork rib you think you know: it’s far beyond your imagination.” goldenformosa.com.tw
RAW The latest offering from Chef Chiang himself, RAW is an exciting new project that is on a mission to create experimental haute cuisine at a reasonable price. The 60seat restaurant serves vibrant cuisine that brings together bistro-style food and seasonal Taiwanese flavours. “Taiwan is not only local street food – there’s also international-Taiwanese cuisine that you must try. RAW is Taipei’s one and only Taiwanese interpretation restaurant that has curated the 24 ‘micro-seasons’ of Taiwanese produce. Every season offers completely different dishes, so let the chef surprise you!” raw.com.tw
ABOVE, LEFT RAW, André Chiang’s latest gastronomic venture. ABOVE, RIGHT AHA Saloon.
SUSHI RYU With traditional Japanese decor and fresh fish shipped three times a week, Sushi Ryu is the closest thing to Japan without actually being there. Having had almost 30 years of experience working in renowned sushi restaurants in Taipei, the owner-chef opened here in 2017 and has been unstoppable ever since, earning himself a coveted Michelin star. “The moment I land in Taiwan, all I can think about is the sushi from Sushi Ryu. I simply want to say that this is the best sushi in Taiwan, period. Leave it to the chef, sit back and enjoy!” sushi-ryu.business.site 35
DIETER KOSCHINA Vila Joya, Algarve, Portugal
SEAN KELLY The Lovat, Loch Ness
GREGORY CZARNECKI Waterkloof, South Africa
DANIEL HUMM Make It Nice, New York
THE JOY OF PORTUGAL Dieter Koschina, one of the leading figures on the Portuguese culinary scene, opens up his ‘home’ at the Vila Joya to show FOUR what he has be creating there for the last 27 years. P H OTO G R A P H Y CO U RT E S Y O F V I L A J OYA
ABOVE-LEFT The gardens of Vila Joya extend to the sea. ABOVE At Tribute to Claudia, Vila Joya’s International Gourmet Festival. LEFT Sea view from one the venue’s suites.
orn in Dornbirn, Austria in 1962, Dieter Koschina has moved a long way from his native country to create a home by the sea at Vila Joya in Portugal’s Algarve. Harbouring a natural aptitude for cooking from a young age, he fondly recalls helping his mother in the kitchen, still owing his later career choice to these early experiences. My inspiration comes from my mother. I still remember watching her while she was preparing our meals. Even though she was cooking in a very traditional way, like people used to cook during the 1960s, she was very experimental and knew a lot about products, their origin and preparation. Later, when I was just about to finish school at the age of 15, friends of mine decided to work in the hotel and gastronomic business, and I just thought, “Why not?”. Thus, the teenager embarked on the beginning of a culinary internship that would lead on to him gaining his first cooking experiences in Austria, Munich and Mallorca, as well as working in several Michelin-starred restaurants, including Suvretta House (St Moritz), Tantris (Munich), Tristan (Horsham, England) and Hilton Vienna Plaza (Austria) along the way. It was in 1991 that Koschina received a call from Claudia Jung, owner of the Vila Joya on the Algarve, who was looking
for a new chef for her boutique resort. A brief conversation was enough to ignite the spark, with Jung and Koschina arranging a test meal a week later in Munich. It was not long before the chef found himself on a plane heading for the Algarve’s blossoming culinary scene. “When I started in the 1990s, Portugal was actually a no man’s land, in culinary terms. Although there was a very good traditional kitchen, the fine-dining scene was basically non-existent. It took a long time for six-course menus to prevail here.” Vila Joya (Portuguese for ‘house of joy’ or ‘jewellery box’) is a small Oriental-style palazzo directly situated on the picturesque Atlantic coast. It’s located in a breathtakingly beautiful spot where Moorish architecture, coupled with the fragrance of the ocean, helps to conjure up all the charms of a fairy tale. It’s a house of discriminating taste which claims that it opens a window to paradise, and in Dieter’s case it did – a real culinary paradise. A mere four years after arriving, Koschina achieved his goal of stepping into the culinary spotlight by earning Vila Joya its first Michelin star, followed by the second in 1999. For 13 years, Vila Joya with Dieter Koschina was the only restaurant in Portugal to be honoured with two Michelin stars. The Austria-born chef also achieved a »
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DIETER KOSCHINA « culinary first for his adopted country by propelling Portugal and Vila Joya into The World’s 50 Best Restaurants list.(number 22 in 2014). For more than a quarter of a century, Dieter Koschina has been gradually transforming the restaurant with his continued enthusiasm for the culinary arts and early cooking influences. “Eckart Witzigmann is definitely one of the chefs I admire the most. In my opinion, his way of cooking and creating new flavours and working with products is unique, and very inspiring.” “I also get inspired by nature, the current season, fresh produce, flavours and, of course, also when I talk to other chefs. Everyone knows something you didn’t know yet, so it is quite important to be open for an exchange between colleagues. That is something I would always strongly recommend to all chefs – be open-minded regardless of your age! Then there is the element of chance. Chance frequently helps when trying to think up a new idea.” With this philosophy in mind, the menu at Vila Joya changes every day, focusing on seasonal ingredients from local suppliers that are complemented by quality products from the area. “The Algarve has a lot to give, and nature has a lot to offer here. Fruits, vegetables, seafood and fish – everything
comes straight from the source, and so the taste is pure and aromatic and full of amazing flavours. “I want to create unforgettable culinary flavours and memories, which is quite easy when you live in Portugal – everything is so fresh.” In fact, Dieter likes nothing better than the challenge of opening the door of the refrigerator in his kitchen at Vila Joya and creating something new from its contents. “Many of our guests tend to stay for more than a week, some of them even longer, which means we can’t serve the same menu or dishes during their stay. That would be boring and wouldn’t match with our motto: ‘welcome to Vila Joya, welcome to paradise’. And in paradise you don’t eat pasta all day every day, do you? “Therefore, we present a new six-course menu every single evening. There is no time for a particular philosophy, but I guess nature and its flavours are my compass, as well as my passion and love for fresh products.” The restaurant prides itself on combining the rich local produce with northern European cooking techniques, so dishes such as guinea fowl stuffed with black truffles and artichokes, and roasted goose liver served on a broccoli purée with smoked eel, can be seen on the menu, as well as innovative creations using the country’s ubiquitous »
PREVIOUS PAGE Pulpo, pork belly and chorizo sauce. LEFT Cucumber, tapioca and caviar.
IMAGE BY FARUK PINJO
AN ODE TO CULINARY ART You wake up and hear the sound of the sea. You open your eyes and look around your lovingly designed room. You walk barefoot on your terrace and glance at the sea, listening to birdsong. In this very moment, you become aware of nature’s beauty. The particularity of Vila Joya in Algarve is the heavenly setting created by nature. And as a way to the heart through the stomach, chef Dieter Koschina spoils his guests with alluring dishes like the beautiful arrangement of `sweet bites` that is served with VERA PURE´s pirate spoon. This long, elegant spoon together with the pirate fork, make it easier to pinch food from your neighbours plate. Eating connects us like nothing else. There is something special about the moments we share around a table over a delicious meal and a glass of wine. At mealtimes we connect, we laugh and reminisce. Dieter Koschina explains, that while “growing up in the Austrian Alps, nature has always been a deep inspiration for me and my dishes! Vera’s designs share the philosophy of nature as the
highest ‘master’. Her MoonLashes cutlery is a unique inspiration for my culinary creations.” In fact, all MoonLashes pieces are ideally balanced and serve as tools in the background, bowing to the culinary artistry of the chef! The knife is sharp, the prongs of the fork diagonal, the bowl of the spoon inclined and the butter spreader a functional ‘sculpture’. The Swiss family-owned design studio VERA PURE offers this exclusive silverware collection that even considers right- and left-handers. Furthermore, the unique collection of 19 MoonLashes pieces is available in silver, titan and copper, while golden pieces found their way to the royal tables, just as the new SinStella glass series. Dieter’s “process of creating dishes is fully focussed on bringing joy to the guests. The flavours should stimulate all senses, ensuring a lasting, nearly addictive taste.” He perceives Vera’s designs as “the perfect match, as she follows the same ´sensual´ approach, achieving the best possible result and as such completing my creations perfectly.”
Many of Dieter Koschina’s colleagues also pamper their guests with VERA PURE designs, some of which include long-standing collaborations with Heinz Reitbauer of the Steirereck in Vienna, Martin Klein at the Red Bull’s Hangar-7 in Salzburg, Hans Haas from Munich’s Tantris and the French celebrity chef Gabriel Kreuther in New York. See the entire MoonLashes cutlery and SinStella glassware collections at www.verapu.re
RIGHT Sunset view from the restaurant’s terrace. OPPOSITE Tuna, datterino tomato and jalapeño.
“I want to create unforgettable culinary flavours and memories, which is quite easy when you live in Portugal – everything is so fresh”
« bacalhau – dried and salted cod – confited and paired with beetroot coulis and yogurt. “I love the combination of fish and meat. Austria meets Algarve. Ocean meets wood. I also really like the famous cataplana – a traditional Portuguese dish made of clams, pork fillet, carabinheiro and pepper. It used to be a leftover meal, but it is so very tasty.” Using his Austrian roots to add an extra something special, Dieter’s attitude, like many Austrian chefs, is one of flexibility and creativity. He is a firm believer that creativity and evolution are what keep you going, especially in a time where so many additional demands are placed on the kitchen team. “These days, there are also so many more allergies and health issues that chefs have to deal with. There is always someone veggie, someone else is lactose-intolerant and the next one forgoes nuts or has a life-threatening seafood allergy. As a chef, you get forced to create exciting dishes anyway. Necessity is the mother of invention!” In spite of his success, it’s clear from the outset that Dieter Koschina remains humble in his ambitions and is grateful for all that he has learned over the last 27 years. “I think there are three main reasons why we are successful. First of all there is the villa. Beautifully located, »
DIETER KOSCHINA « the ocean just there – I love to just go down the stairs for a quick jump in the ocean in the afternoon break – the terrace with its amazing view over the garden, and the ocean from where you can watch one of the most breathtaking sunsets I have ever seen. And if it is not sunset, to spend a lunch on this terrace is just heaven on earth. “Second, the owners. Today, Joy is the owner of Vila Joya, and before her, her parents were in charge – well, mainly it was Claudia Jung that ran the hotel – but all of the Jung family have always been very supportive. I’ve never ever had to fight for something, which is what commonly happens in other kitchens and restaurants. “Last but not least, I’m glad that I have met a lot of renowned chefs during my career, especially during the last 10 years here in my kitchen. Our reputable international gourmet festival, Tribute to Claudia, which we have been organising yearly since 2007, has brought the most amazing chefs to the Algarve. I really feel the need to exchange knowledge, to speak to other chefs and learn from their techniques and their flavour palettes.” Dieter has unbridled passion for his profession and wants to support the region’s blossoming fine-dining scene. He also understands that the key to progress is to adapt and change, especially in terms of the future of fine dining.
“The new message is: back to the basic. Sustainable cultivation is getting more and more important and, compared with former times, today’s dishes are pure and reduced. There is no fuss on the plate; the focus is on the product itself. People are interested in culinary developments from all over the world and the focus is not only on the food, but on the chefs as well.” Having witnessed a positive surge in the last decade or so, he finally feels that Portugal has found a place on the international fine-dining map. Owing the country’s progress to a wealth of natural produce, a booming tourism industry and better investment in training young people in the hospitality sector, Dieter is keen to see this continue to develop and improve. It’s this determination and creativity to deliver perfection in taste and innovation that has enabled Dieter to lead Vila Joya to its position as one of the best restaurants – not only in Portugal, but also in the world. “Our main goal at Vila Joya isn’t necessarily to constantly achieve stars and awards, but to please our guests so they keep returning time and time again. When we receive positive feedback from our guests, this is what makes us happiest of all.”
LEFT Carabinero, octopus carpaccio and basil.
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BACK TO BASICS Standing on the site of 18th-century Kilwhimen Barracks, Station Road restaurant at The Lovat Hotel in the Scottish Highlands offers a new take on traditional Scottish fare, thanks to talented chef Sean Kelly. P H OTO G R A P H Y BY RYA N J O H N S TO N ( T H E S H I N E AG E N C Y )
he site of The Lovat Hotel in Inverness-Shire is thought to have been used as a hotel as early as 1869, and for a long time was known simply as ‘The Inn’, offering basic accommodation to people travelling through the area. It wasn’t until 2005 that the hotel started its gradual transformation into what is now an award-winning hotel and restaurant concept. Inspired by Highland history and with a penchant for local fare, Sean has helped propel Station Road restaurant and The Brasserie at The Lovat into leading dining spots in the Highlands, with an eco-conscious ethos at its core. “I feel at home in the kitchen, but if I am not creating dishes, you’ll often see me foraging for ingredients including a variety of mushrooms, wild fruits, herbs and berries, to add a personal touch to my dishes.” Having originally wanted to be a fireman, Sean was told that he didn’t have the right qualifications for the job. Needing to earn money, he began pot-washing in a local restaurant, which eventually led him to catering college.
“When I first started out in the kitchen, I thought that there had to be more to cooking than this! But eventually I met Marcus Springett, a really passionate chef whose enthusiasm rubbed off on me. It was his drive and teaching skills that inspired me to carry on.” After graduating and spending several years as head chef at The Bell Inn, Horndon on the Hill, Sean then relocated to Corsica to become second chef at Hôtel Arena Restaurant Le Refuge in Corte. This was then followed by a five-year move to Paris, where he fulfilled roles including pastry chef at Bertie’s under Albert Roux, and second chef at Michelin-starred Paris restaurants La Table du Baltimore and Le Drouant. Not stopping his journey there, he also spent a short period of time learning classic techniques in Italy, before returning to the UK in 2007 to refine his acquired skills and culinary techniques. It was in 2011 that he eventually moved to The Lovat, where he has been head chef and director of the Brasserie »
LEFT Hotel and grounds at The Lovat.
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Magically Saint-Julien, Elegantly Barton
LEFT Fresh seasonal dishes that are sourced from the area near Loch Ness. RIGHT The Lovat Hotel in Inverness-Shire, Scotland.
LEFT Venison, game pie and peas.
“In my opinion, the old meaning of fine dining is dying a death, and the new ‘refined’ dining is all about the food, the flavour, and the provenance.”
« and triple-AA Rosette restaurant Station Road. The light and spacious hotel dining room offers views up the Great Glen, and is where Sean has finally decided to lay his culinary roots. “I get asked to describe my style quite a lot but always find it’s a difficult question to answer. I would describe it as simple and uncomplicated. I use as many Scottish ingredients as I can, but ingredients from the rest of the world equally inspire me as well.” Sean’s creations are not only a clever combination of local and regional fare, but are also beautifully presented with a contemporary aesthetic. Admitting that his favourite subject at school was art, and having honed in his skills throughout the years, the culinary arts are clearly the perfect outlet for his vivid imagination. “I like my plates to be neat and tidy – I’m not a big fan of powders dusted everywhere, and I think that shows in my food and any pictures. I think returning guests at the restaurant expect to be surprised because they know what they see isn’t always exactly what they get!” The restaurant is only open for dinner and offers a fivecourse, (10 if you include the extras: canapés, bites, bread, »
“A Place for All Reasons” “A for All Reasons” “A “A “APlace Place Place forfor All All Reasons” Reasons” Reasons” Theresa Carroll, Co-Proprietor
Theresa Theresa TheresaCarroll, Carroll, Carroll,Co-Proprietor Co-Proprietor Co-Proprietor Theresa Theresa Carroll, Carroll, Theresa Co-Proprietor Co-Proprietor Carroll, Co-Proprietor
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SEAN KELLY « and petits fours) no choice set menu. Having originally offered an a la carte menu, Sean soon found that this wasn’t something that worked for him, as they preferred to work with the seasonal produce that was available. “The menu at Station Road is constantly changing depending on the seasons, and, of course, trial and error with the dishes. We try and source as much as possible locally – foraging for mushrooms, herbs and flowers, as well as growing some produce in our mini kitchen garden.” Although, at times, the dishes are elaborate, with modern-day cooking features and adventurous textures and flavours, the focus still remains on fresh, seasonal produce. As such, Sean avoids having signature dishes, preferring instead to keep the options fun and dynamic. “Fun is what it’s all about, really. We like to keep our guests entertained, so the menu comes in a sealed envelope and is waiting on the table to be opened or kept as a surprise. The tables are elegant and simply laid with rustic crockery and linen – some of which is hand made in Scotland.” It’s clear that Station Road is part of the new culinary generation that steers away from antiquated ideas of classic »
“The future is simplifying the food and not overcomplicating it. Experienced diners want ‘an experience’ and they want to be looked after, and we have to give it to them”
LEFT The bar at Station Road restaurant. RIGHT Bacon ice cream.
LEFT Nuts and Bolts.
« fine dining and the attached notions of a stuffy ambience and formal dress code. Instead, the emphasis at Station Road is on the food and not what people are wearing, so there is no dress code. Sean wants people to be able to relax and enjoy the experience with an informal yet professional service. “Fine dining tends to conjure up images of posh folk in posh frocks with snooty waiters. In my opinion, the old meaning of fine dining is dying a death, and the new ‘refined’ dining is all about the food, the flavour and the provenance.” He even tries to avoid all unnecessary wording within the menus, keeping it as simple as possible and with no added frills. This way the diners are able to relate to the ingredients, but the dish stills remains a surprise when it comes to the final presentation. However, this lesson has been learned over many years, with Sean stating that, “I used to overcomplicate my dishes and try too hard – I now do the opposite, I keep things simple – not too many ingredients, keep it clean with great presentation, and that tastes just as good.”
Along with his preference for simply styled food, Station Road really does attempt to deliver something that is unique to the area, and so far this is proving highly successful. Currently Station Road is undergoing a temporary closure pending relocation. Sean is now using this time to work on improving his culinary offerings in the Brasserie, as well as thinking about an expansion to another site. However, Sean’s main focus is to embed a strong team who are comfortable with the dishes before trying to jump ahead, showing that he really does put quality before quantity. “I want people to leave with the feeling that they have been well looked after, have had a good experience and a bit of theatre. I want them to be happy, tell their friends and come back. “The future is simplifying the food and not overcomplicating it. Experienced diners want an ‘experience’ and they want to be looked after, and we have to give it to them”
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THE FAIREST OF THE CAPE Gregory Czarnecki is changing the face of South African fine-dining with his penchant for local fare, biodynamic wine and a contemporary French touch. P H OTO G R A P H Y BY C L A I R E G U N N ( P O RT R A I T & B U I L D I N G ) WAT E R K LO O F W I N E E S TAT E / G R EG O RY C Z A R N EC K I
LEFT Sunset views from the main building at Waterkloof Wine Estate.
I would quote Constantin Brancusi: ‘Simplicity is complexity resolved’, says Gregory Czarnecki when asked how he would describe his culinary philosophy, and it’s easy to understand why. This dynamic young chef prides himself and his creations on being as natural as possible, in order to showcase the pure flavours of all the select South African produce, whilst also leaving no room to hide errors – a brave move for someone who basically stands alone on the Somerset West gastronomic scene. Since moving to South Africa nearly 10 years ago, the Frenchman has been a man on a mission to create the ultimate fine-dining experience in the heart of the beautiful Cape Winelands. Nestled between the hills of the Waterkloof Wine Estate, the restaurant is housed in an impressive contemporary steel, concrete and glass box structure that appears to be suspended between vineyards and sky. Surrounded by one
of the most breathtaking 360-degree views a restaurant can have, it’s from here that Gregory creates exquisite plates that look like miniature works of art. Taking inspiration from both the landscape and the architecture of the venue, Gregory skillfully plays with shapes, jagged edges, and linear yet asymmetrical lines in his culinary creations, all of which have helped mold the restaurant into a dining destination that ranks as one of South Africa’s top restaurants. “The whole idea for the menu came about because we wanted food that was just as elegant as the wine estate, but at the same time they had to complement each other in terms of local flavours.” This means that the tasting menu is comprised of dishes that use only the finest local and seasonal produce, such as Schapenberg lamb, and a variety of common and rare herbs and vegetables – many of which are grown and sourced at Waterkloof, and paired with the award-winning wines from the estate.
漀甀爀 眀椀渀攀猀 愀爀攀 挀攀氀攀戀爀愀琀攀搀 昀漀爀 琀栀攀椀爀 甀渀椀焀甀攀 琀攀爀爀漀椀爀 愀渀搀 猀攀渀猀攀 漀昀 瀀氀愀挀攀⸀ 䈀漀爀搀攀愀甀砀 愀琀 椀琀猀 昀椀渀攀猀琀⸀ 眀眀眀⸀挀栀愀琀攀愀甀瀀攀礀昀愀甀爀攀猀⸀挀漀洀
LEFT Jerusalem artichokes, hazelnut and winter truffle. RIGHT The stunning glass box structure of the restaurant at Waterkloof.
GREGORY CZARNECKI “Most of our products are sourced locally and we have wonderful suppliers helping us along the way. Ideally located between ocean and mountains, we have access to a very wide range of products. Neighbouring farms grow produce for the restaurant as well. Throughout the years our relationships with our suppliers have grown stronger, it is a great help for our creative process.” Just like Gregory’s desire to create clean, honest and minimalist food, the restaurant’s open-plan design also tries to reflect the open and transparent philosophy of the wine estate as a whole.
“The décor is very minimalistic and clean and, because the building has a very masculine feel to it, we introduced a lot of soft touches to break that up a little bit. We want everything to be in complete harmony with the environment around the estate. “Equally, my chefs and I take the dishes out to the guests, because I believe that the best people to share their passion with our diners are the actual chefs making the food. We want our guests to leave feeling as if they have been taken through a completely immersive journey, and hopefully learnt something along the way.”
“Creativity and consistency are the keys to success, but you are only able to achieve this through a great support structure.”
RIGHT Egg 63 and Iberico lard.
吀䠀䔀 儀唀䤀一吀䔀匀匀䔀一吀䤀䄀䰀 䬀䤀吀䌀䠀䔀一 吀䠀䔀 儀唀䤀一吀䔀匀匀䔀一吀䤀䄀䰀 䬀䤀吀䌀䠀䔀一 吀䠀䔀 儀唀䤀一吀䔀匀匀䔀一吀䤀䄀䰀 䬀䤀吀䌀䠀䔀一
⬀ 刀䄀一䜀䔀匀Ⰰ 䄀倀倀䰀䤀䄀一䌀䔀匀Ⰰ 䌀䄀䈀䤀一䔀吀刀夀 ☀ 䄀䌀䌀䔀匀匀伀刀䤀䔀匀 ⬀ 刀䄀一䜀䔀匀Ⰰ 䄀倀倀䰀䤀䄀一䌀䔀匀Ⰰ 䌀䄀䈀䤀一䔀吀刀夀 ☀ 䄀䌀䌀䔀匀匀伀刀䤀䔀匀 ⬀ 刀䄀一䜀䔀匀Ⰰ 䄀倀倀䰀䤀䄀一䌀䔀匀Ⰰ 䌀䄀䈀䤀一䔀吀刀夀 ☀ 䄀䌀䌀䔀匀匀伀刀䤀䔀匀
伀昀昀椀挀椀渀攀䜀甀氀氀漀⸀挀漀洀 ⴀ 伀昀昀椀挀椀渀攀䜀甀氀氀漀⸀挀漀洀 ⴀ 伀昀昀椀挀椀渀攀䜀甀氀氀漀⸀挀漀洀 ⴀ 㠀 ⸀㜀㠀⸀㜀㈀㔀 㠀 ⸀㜀㠀⸀㜀㈀㔀 㠀 ⸀㜀㠀⸀㜀㈀㔀
LEFT Interior of the restaurant at Waterkloof. RIGHT Quail, pickled red cabbage and parsnips.
“Cape Town has now become a culinary destination, and it is great to see the industry evolving as great talent surrounds us.”
The food is elegant, contemporary and just like Gregory, maintains a strong core of integrity, drawing inspiration from his classic French background and years of training in international kitchens. “Cooking is shaped a lot by the mentors that you worked for during your early years; they forge your character and your vision on cooking. All of their perceptions of cuisine, as well as the lessons that they taught me, have made me who I am today.” Contemporary and stylistically diverse, Gregory’s classical cuisine with a modern French twist has put
Waterkloof Wine Estate and Somerset West firmly on the fine dining map. Dishes such as seabass with watercress grace the spring menu, using subtle hints of leek ash and pommes boulangère to enhance the delicate flavours and textures of the fish. Seabass cream and watercress oil is then lovingly poured at the table for the plate’s final execution. In spite of the striking detail and planning that goes into each carefully considered dish, Czarnecki insists that there is no signature plate. “I don’t like the idea of signature dishes as there is always room for improvement; we are always learning. I am always
GREGORY CZARNECKI thinking of how to make the experience greater and how to push the boundaries for the team and I.” And so far Gregory’s attitude has proven successful; having been awarded with the Eat Out S Pellegrino and Acqua Panna Chef of the Year 2016, as well as having the restaurant ranked in the country’s top 3 restaurants. Gregory is rapidly helping to take the South African finedining scene to new culinary heights, as well as pave the way for a whole new generation of young aspiring chefs in the area. “There has been a massive explosion of fine dining and restaurants in general in South Africa. Cape Town has now become a culinary destination, and it is great to see the industry evolving as great talent surrounds us. “The way forward is definitely making sure that the younger generation of chefs gets educated. Our mentors have spent time teaching us, and it is the time now for us to give it back to the industry. It is very important to keep our
RIGHT Bonbons chocolat.
craft going and moving forward. Sharing your knowledge and passion gives you a certain sense of accomplishment.” Yet, what remains very apparent is that Gregory is as grounded as the day he arrived on South African soil back in 2009, insisting that, “the true entity of the restaurant has not changed at all, the vision is still true to our first day. Creativity and consistency are the keys to success, but you are only able to achieve this through a great support structure. I have an amazing team with young chefs that are motivated, willing to learn and hard working. I wouldn’t be able to do accomplish my vision for the restaurant if it wasn’t for them, and just like any other kitchen, we became more of a family.” It’s clear that after 10 years, Gregory is only just getting started on his culinary quest, and when he does reach is his peak he will definitely be making waves far beyond the sleepy town of Somerset West. In the words of the Michelin guide: “Excellent cooking, worth a detour”
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ALL ABOUT BALANCE FOUR revisits Daniel Humm, the darling of Manhattan, to find out what he’s been up to since his World’s 50 Best Restaurants accolade. P H OTO G R A P H Y BY E VA N S U N G ( P O RT R A I T A N D D I S H E S ) AND JAKE CHESSUM (INTERIOR)
s chef/co-owner of several award-winning establishments (Eleven Madison Park; The NoMad restaurant and NoMad Bar at The NoMad Hotel NYC; ‘fast casual’ concept Made Nice; the newly opened NoMad LA), Daniel Humm is an unstopping force in the culinary world. Having maintained a coveted three Michelin stars for Eleven Madison Park since 2011, with the restaurant named World’s Best Restaurant in the 2017 World’s 50 Best Restaurants, Daniel Humm seems to have learned the fine art of balance. Now in his early 40s, Daniel has, in the last few years, reached the sort of astronomical culinary heights that most of his contemporaries could only dream about. Yet this Swiss-born chef has his feet firmly on the ground. “Awards and accolades are always humbling because they recognise the passion and dedication of our entire team, but they aren’t the driving force behind what we do. We’re in this business because we love the craft of cooking and because we genuinely love making people happy. We use the awards to motivate us and push us to work harder so we can do what we do better.” Having consistently focused his cuisine around the locally sourced ingredients of New York State, Daniel
combines this with his classic French culinary background to create contemporary, sophisticated dishes. Crediting his early culinary exposure and appreciation to his mother, Daniel says, “From a young age, I remember going with her to the local markets in our hometown in Switzerland, and it was there that I developed a true appreciation for ingredients. We ate most of our meals at home, and I came to love the hours of preparation that went into creating a meal and the experience of sharing that meal with my family. With that appreciation came the realisation that this could be a craft I could turn into a lifelong career. I also credit my early mentor, Gérard Rabaey, for inspiring me to become a chef. He taught me about organisation, precision and excellence.” A classicist who is never scared of embracing contemporary gastronomy, Daniel Humm’s delicate and precise cooking style is an ode to the seasons of both New York and Los Angeles. “For me, inspiration always begins with the ingredients. My style has definitely evolved over the years – in the early days being more about the many techniques I could incorporate into a dish – but now the ingredients are more the focal point. Today, I use four fundamentals to really »
LEFT The bar at Eleven Madison Park, NYC.
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PREVIOUS PAGE Mushroom, with winter truffle and thyme. RIGHT Poached lobster with chanterelles and potato.
« drive the conception of a dish: delicious, beautiful, intentional and creative. With those four elements, the ingredients can shine even more.” Never forgetting his roots, Humm has remained committed to this basic philosophy of the creation of pure and simple food. “When Eleven Madison Park [EMP] first opened in 1998, it was intended by the owner to be a French brasserie. My partner, Will Guidara, and I began working together at EMP in 2006 with the goal of turning the place into a finedining restaurant for the next generation – a place where the food was delicious and the hospitality was gracious. And in 2011, when Will and I purchased the restaurant outright, we solidified that goal.” Back to 2018, and Manhattan’s culinary wunderkind has continued to strike gold by amassing a total of four Michelin stars for Eleven Madison and NoMad in New York, plus numerous other accolades along the way. Undoubtedly this can be attributed to not only having himself matured over the years, but also that his celebrated cooking style has also evolved. Where he once focused on technique and showmanship, he now chooses to honour the fine East Coast ingredients he opts for by letting them speak for themselves. »
“The goal has always been to make our guests feel like they are being welcomed into our home, and now the space feels a bit more like us”
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DANIEL HUMM « “As a chef, I feel like I’ve really established my culinary philosophy just recently. When I started out, I felt like I needed to be constantly adding something to a dish – another ingredient, another technique – because that would show my skill. But as I’ve grown, I’ve realised that simplicity really shows skill more than anything else. When you have less on a plate, every aspect has a distinct purpose and intention. We use this minimalist approach at Eleven Madison Park and require that each dish must be beautiful, creative, intentional and delicious.” The constantly changing menus also reflect this by emphasising and showcasing the seasonal flavours and local ingredients. “We consider ourselves extremely lucky to live in a place where we have access to so many amazing farmers and artisans, and even luckier to call them friends. At all of our restaurants, we try to use as much local produce as the season allows, from apples to celery root, duck, foie gras, scallops and much more, New York really produces some of the best ingredients.” “One of my favourite dishes is a Hudson Valley foie gras cured and marinated with pumpkin. The foie gras is covered in meticulously placed pumpkin seeds – a process that takes about 10 minutes per dish. It looks stunning, tastes
delicious and highlights seasonal, local produce from New York’s back yard. The dry-aged duck is the closest we have to a ‘signature dish’ – details of the preparation change with the season, but it’s always on the menu.” Apart from remaining true to his gastronomic ethos, when asked about what else he thinks has helped the success of his restaurants, he states, “I think the key to success at any of our restaurants is the equal importance that we place on the kitchen and the dining room – one cannot succeed without the other. The collaboration between both allows us to provide the ultimate experience for our guests, with delicious food and gracious hospitality.” Daniel’s attitude towards food and hospitality is unquestionably genuine and unending. He seems happy and willing to adapt at all costs to ensure not only his continued success in the industry, but also just to keep true to his word. A recent renovation to Eleven Madison Park shows that Daniel is not one for stagnation, or complacency towards his patrons. “The idea behind this summer’s renovation was to update the space to be more contemporary, and fit the cuisine and experience we offered, while still keeping the historical details that make it special. We kept things like »
LEFT Light and airy dining room of Eleven Madison Park. RIGHT Honey-glazed duck with apple and rutabaga.
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RIGHT New York “cheesecake,” with sturgeon and caviar.
« such as the Art Deco pendant lights, the terrazzo floors and the massive windows that overlook Madison Square Park, but we replaced tables with plush banquettes to make the space feel more intimate, redesigned the bar area to make it feel like its own space and added artwork by Daniel Turner and Rita Ackermann that pay tribute to the past and the future. The goal has always been to make our guests feel like they are being welcomed into our home, and now the space feels a bit more like us.” This idea of opening up the space to reveal more about the person behind the food, and the stories they have to tell, is an increasingly popular theme within fine dining, and seems as though it is here to stay. In recent years, more emphasis has been placed on the diner and whether they feel this is the way forward for fine dining, Daniel replies, “I think we’re seeing a lot more restaurants focusing on service as part of the overall dining experience. We’ve always believed that you can make the most delicious dish, but if it’s not served with gracious hospitality, the effect is lost. Guests are looking for restaurants to make their experience special, and it’s a challenge I’m excited to see more restaurateurs take on.” Just like his food, Daniel is the perfect combination of classic and modern-day styles. Both are required in order to exist, and both provide a balance that is required to evolve – a sure sign that the best of Daniel Humm is yet to come.
“I use four fundamentals to really drive the conception of a dish: delicious, beautiful, intentional and creative. With those four elements, the ingredients can shine even more”
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A TASTE OF PARADISE In an exciting culinary showcase tour, Eden Roc at Cap Cana’s executive chef Gianluca Re Fraschini will embark upon a six-date gastronomical journey, hosting exquisite dinners in US sister properties within the exclusive Relais & Châteaux hotel collection.
estled in the most exclusive gated beachfront community of the Dominican Republic, the five-star Eden Roc at Cap Cana resort is home to pristine beaches, towering cliffs and tropical forests, a bustling marina, and the No. 1 golf course in the Caribbean and Mexico - a Jack Nicklaus signature course. The 30,000-acre Cap Cana community blends the impeccable standards of the French and Italian Rivieras with the warmth and relaxed charms of the Caribbean. This summer, Cap Cana will be offering a taste of tropical paradise spirit elsewhere, when the resort’s celebrated chef, Gianluca Re Fraschini, who heads up Mediterraneo Restaurant will embark upon a six-date gastronomical tour of North America. Hailing from the Province of Milan, Chef Gianluca has been involved in the world of food preparation for over 20 years, and learned trade secrets from many
OPPOSITE La Palapita on Eden Roc at Cap Cana’s private beach club. ABOVE A lunch with a view at La Palapa by Eden Roc.
well known, globally renown and skilled chefs. He has been responsible for the openings of many top-notch Italian Restaurants in various international hotel-chains including the distinctive “Carnevale” at Jumeirah Beach Hotel and Resort in Dubai, “La Reserva Rotana” hotel boutique in Spain, “Il Cavallino” in Luxemburg, and “Aubergine” the Mediterranean Restaurant in Tel Aviv’s Intercontinental Hotel. He then became Executive Chef of Eden Roc at Cap Cana in 2012. Kicking of the culinary tour at the luxury country retreat Blantyre in Massachusetts, Re Fraschini will serve up authentic dishes from his home country in the hotel’s Farm & Vine restaurant on 5th June with his Mediterranean Soirée, which will include pre cocktails dinner with canapes, follow by 4 course set menu. Guests can expect dishes such as Mediterranean ventresca, sardinian fregola, bottarga and whole petit veal shank braised with Amarone wine, » 87
LEFT Kakuni Blue, a Nikkei delicacy served at Blue Grill + Bar in Eden Roc at Cap Cana. BELOW, LEFT Chef Gianluca Re Fraschini. ABOVE, RIGHT Blue Grill + Bar terrace. BELOW, RIGHT Punta Espada Golf Course, 5 minutes golf cart ride from Eden Roc at Cap Cana.
To reserve your participation in any of these events, please contact Eden Roc at Cap Cana today at 1 809 695 5555 or by e-mail: email@example.com. To find out more information edenroccapcana.com
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« polenta with black truffles from Norcia, crispy asparagus within a three or four course option. This will be followed by a two-day residency at Ocean House in Rhode Island, one of only thirteen Forbes triple five-star hotels in the world. Here, Re Fraschini will serve up a Nikkei Extravaganza on the beach on 7th June, with a selection of signature classic and Peruvian cocktails and an array of raw food and Nikkei cuisine. Dishes will include Pork jowl nigiri, asado sauce, crunchy chicharron, Sesame seed tofu, lemon grass, sea scallops, quinoa paper and Squid filled with “carabinero prawns”, edamame and chupe sauce. This will be sandwiched on either side by the Mediterranean Soirée menu on 5th and 8th of June
at the property’s seaside terrace. All June events will also be supported by Eden Roc Cap Cana’s Alberto García, Sous Chef at Mediterraneo, and Franck Heimburger, Mixologist. The final weekend in August will then see an exciting partnership between Eden Roc and Cap Cana and fellow Caribbean Relais & Châteaux hotel, Calabash Luxury Boutique Hotel in Grenada as the summer draws to a close. On 31st August and 1st September, the two outstanding hotels will join forces to host a Relais & Châteaux Caribbean Magee Homestead Culinary weekend. Guests at the world-renowned Wyoming Ranch can experience exquisite Caribbean cuisine served family-style in a stunning yurt setting with the Platte Canyon. The last day of the culinary tour will culminate in the highly-anticipated 6 hands dinner, prepared by Magee Homestead’s Chef AJ Buchanio, Calabash’s Chef Mark Banthorpe and Eden Roc Cap Cana’s Chef Gianluca Re Fraschini and will be served at the Rocky Mountain’s Magee Lodge. Both nights will also offer rum and cigar tasting for guests.
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THE NEXT GENERATION Now on to their eighth generation of family winemakers, the Château Léoville Barton and Langoa-Barton estates welcome Damien and Mélanie BartonSartorius to man the helm of Bordeaux’s most famous vinous dynasties.
he ownership of the renowned Château Langoa-Barton and Château Léoville Barton wine estates in Saint-Julien is believed to be one of the longest periods of single-family ownership of a vineyard in Bordeaux. After recently retiring, Anthony Barton handed over to daughter Lilian Barton Sartorius and her children Mélanie and Damien, where they will remain at the helm of both chateaux until the next generation arrives. Even though both grew up in the Médoc, alongside the beautiful Bordeaux countryside and esteemed vines, viticulture wasn’t the first thing on Mélanie and Damien’s minds. However, they soon found that their family’s winemaking legacy would call them back to wine production and see them taking over the illustrious family business, which is thought to have laid its foundations as early as 1725. “Léoville Barton is not really where it all started but more with Langoa in 1821. My ancestor Hugh bough this beautiful château and a few plots of vines around it. Five years later, in 1826, Hugh bought from the Marquis de Las Cases around 50 hectares of the huge Léoville vineyard. 90
ABOVE The house and gardens of Château Langoa-Barton. BELOW Wine vintages from the Château Léoville Barton estate.
This block of vine ended up being made in the same cellar as Langoa-Barton, and still is today. And so, Léoville Barton wines have always been made between the walls of Château Langoa-Barton. A few years later, in 1855, both got classified”, says Damien. Both siblings recall having a lightening bulb moment that lead the two of them to pursue further training in
viticulture. “I have always been attracted to wine but more precisely in the technical side. Thanks to very good traineeship and learning with people around me, I knew this was it”, recalls Mélanie. After gaining combined experience in Tuscany and at Lea & Sandeman in London, it was confirmed to them that there was an extraordinary variety of great wines around that were begging to be explored and used to inspire the continued success of Léoville Barton wines. “My brother and I are today the eighth generation of Bartons on the property, and the history is going on with Château Mauvesin Barton in Moulis-en-Médoc, bought in 2011. We are proud to be one of the only two families still owning the property since the classification.” Hard work and dedication have seen the Barton estate survive and succeed over the years, but things have not always as been as smooth sailing as it is currently. “The wines have been through highs and lows. In the 1970s we almost sold the property as the vintages where very difficult and the building was in terrible condition. Water was leaking from the roof. My grandfather took over in 1984, and when he travelled promoting the family wines, the answer was, ‘We only buy Léoville when it’s on sale!’ He worked hard to better the quality of the wines and travelled regularly to the US and England to showcase the wines further afield. I believe the reputation of the family wines is due to his hard work and love for the place, and the family history.” Of course, hard work and passion are not the only prevailing factors for the estate’s continued success in wine production. According to the brother and sister, “Terroir is, of course, the main source of luck: great grapes thanks to this gravel soil along the Gironde river. We also try to keep the tradition that we all love so much. We produce a style of wine that we like and that people can recognise.” Striding forth into their new reign at the estate, Mélanie and Mélanie now oversee the daily upkeep of the vineyard with Melanie also looking after the production, wines and vines at the new Château Mauvesin Barton, with Damien focusing more on the general management side of things. He travels around the globe showcasing the wines to consumers during winter and helps out at the vineyard for the rest of the season. “I try to stay around when the vine grows and obviously for harvest. Its essential for me to walk through the vineyard regularly, to see it grow and
ABOVE, LEFT Original papers to the Langoa estate, dating back more than 200 years. ABOVE, RIGHT Mélanie and Damien Barton-Sartorius. BELOW Châteaux Langoa Barton and Léoville-Barton estates, home to of one of Bordeaux’s most famous vineyards.
understand what’s happening so that we can exchange this information with the team.” With such a huge history of winemaking in their midst, the challenge to maintain the reputation and quality of the wines is of utmost importance to the pair. “If we could climb a few steps up in term of quality and notoriety, of course that would be even better. The best I can wish for is to pass the chateau to the next generation in the same great condition, as we were lucky enough to receive it. Our biggest challenge today is actually at the new Mauvesin Barton vineyard, as it needs a lot of work, patience and time to achieve the same status as Château Langoa Barton.
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Days of future past Grant Achatz’s The Aviary prides itself on serving cocktails with the same attention to detail and creativity as a Michelin-starred restaurant. With the help of Micah Melton, the stunning cocktails have been propelled into the current era, breaking all notions of clichéd, Prohibition era-inspired drinks. I was born and raised in Davenport, Iowa before moving to Chicago. Growing up, I initially wanted to work with computers. I loved video games, so naturally I thought that I would become a computer programmer and make video games. “This idea, however, didn’t last long, and I soon left computer-programming school to go to culinary school instead. I started working in bars in my spare time to pay my bills, and I just fell in love with making and serving drinks. That’s pretty much what led me to Chicago’s The Aviary, and I haven’t looked back since. “The Aviary is a contemporary cocktail bar owned by the Alinea group, also based in Chicago. We use a progressive approach to making drinks, and try to present ones that are interesting in more ways than just taste – although taste is the most important thing. “We opened in Chicago in 2011 with The Aviary and The Office. We opened NYC versions of both bars in 2017, within the Mandarin Oriental. The Office NYC opened in June and the Aviary NYC opened in September that year. We are also self-publishing a cocktail book, which should be out some time later this year. “My favourite part about working as a mixologist at The Aviary is that, basically, I love the way we make drinks! The way we take time to create the cocktails adds a lot of surprise and makes the experience more memorable than drinking normally would. We like to play with emotion and nostalgia to make the experience fun without being pretentious. “For example, some of the current creations we are serving in NYC include Totem Pole and Wizard Staff. For the first of these we had custom stackable tiki mugs made,
BELOW The award-winning bar at The Aviary NYC. RIGHT Micah Melton heads the team at The Aviary.
and we stack four different tiki drinks with four flavoured ices, all topped off with a Mai Tai aroma. It’s pretty crazy! “The new rendition of our famous presentation The Porthole is fun, too: we call it the Lovely Bunch. It’s a reposado tequila and Seedlip Spice cocktail, which infuses with French curry, dried banana, blood orange and chai tea. “The Support Squad is also awesome. It’s a nice little daiquiri riff with some anise flavours and delicious grape and bergamot ice cubes – super-tasty! Finally, Elvis Parsley is a drink one of our bartenders in Chicago helped us to come up with. It’s paired with specific flavours of the beef tartare that we serve on one of The Office tasting menus. The coriander, scotch and parsley are perfect compliments to the dish! “I think the world of mixology is becoming increasingly popular and appealing for many reasons. Firstly, I think television really popularised the culinary world as a whole, which naturally trickles down to the other areas of hospitality. More people have become aware that this can be a career path and not just a job you take between your ‘real jobs’. “The world of mixology is having a real boom at the moment. I actually think the majority of the industry is moving towards simplicity in cocktails, and complexity in design and environment. Good drinks are almost assumed, so now people are working niche concepts and more straightforward and easy-to-produce cocktails. “At The Aviary we are always trying to push the boundaries and be creative and inventive. We continuously play around with new presentations, flavours and techniques so that nothing becomes too stagnant. My hope is that in the near future, Chicago and NYC aren’t the only places you will be able to have an Aviary or Office cocktail in.” » 93
ON A WIRE INGREDIENTS
1½oz (45ml) Jean-Luc Pasquet Coeur de Grande Champagne Cognac ¾oz (25ml) graham cracker syrup ½oz (15ml) Bonal Gentiane Quina apéritif ¼oz (7.5ml) Benedictine 2 dashes Angostura bitters ¾oz (25ml) lemon juice 2 cider ice cubes TO G A R N I S H
1 small sprig of rosemary ½oz (15ml) Laird’s Straight Apple Brandy, warmed to 50°C (120°F) METHOD
Combine cocktail portion, lemon juice and cider ice cubes in a cocktail shaker. Shake vigorously until the ice is completely melted. Pour chilled liquid into small carafe. Suspend rosemary sprig upside-down in a clip service piece, and clip on to the side of medium glass. Pour the warmed apple brandy into the glass. At a table, carefully use a candle lighter to ignite the apple brandy. Burn until the rosemary is toasted and fragrant. Pour the contents of the carafe into the glass, extinguishing the flame.
GREEN THUMB INGREDIENTS
TO G A R N I S H
¾oz (22.5ml) Brugal Especial Extra Dry White Rum ¾oz (22.5ml) St George Botanivore Gin ½oz (15ml) Green Chartreuse ¼oz (7.5ml) Lustau Los Arcos Amontillado Sherry ¾oz (22.5ml) sugar-snap pea syrup ¾oz (22.5ml) fresh lime juice
2 pea shoots Olive oil Green thumb spice mix Wheatgrass Barbecue aroma
GREEN THUMB SPICE MIX
20g fennel pollen, finely ground 25g dill pollen, finely ground 8g black pepper, finely ground 1g white pepper, finely ground 20g distilled vinegar powder 35g kosher salt Combine all the ingredients in a small bowl and mix thoroughly. Reserve in an airtight container.
In a small bowl, drizzle pea shoots with olive oil and toss with the green thumb spice mix. Combine remaining ingredients with ice in cocktail shaker, and shake vigorously until chilled and diluted. Strain into a carbonation device and carbonate according to manufacturer’s instructions. Place a large rectangular ice cube into a tall glass. Pour carbonated cocktail over the ice. Garnish with seasoned pea shoots, insert a straw into the glass and place glass on a bed of fresh wheatgrass. Finally, spray the wheatgrass with some barbecue aroma.
ELVIS PARSLEY INGREDIENTS
1¼oz (37.5ml) Compass Box Orangerie 1¼oz (37.5ml) Lustau Peninsula Palo Cortado sherry ½oz (15ml) Lustau San Emilio Pedro Ximénez sherry ½oz (15ml) Bigallet China-China Amer Liqueur ½oz (15ml) Carpano Antica Formula sweet vermouth 2 drops smoked salt solution 5 drops Coriander Oil TO G A R N I S H
1/4oz (30ml) parsley tincture METHOD
Combine all ingredients in a cocktail mixing glass, stirring to mix thoroughly. Transfer mixture to small flask and reserve at room temperature. Place inside of a hollowed-out cocktail book and hide in the bar. Pour ¼oz parsley tincture into a medium rocks glass with one ice cube, swirling to coat the interior of the glass and chill slightly. Discard, then place a large cube of ice into the glass. Invite a guest to add the cocktail from the flask, then swirl the ice to chill.
SUPPORT SQUAD INGREDIENTS
2 cubes Concord grape and bergamot ice 1 ½oz (45ml) Casa Magdalena rum ½oz (15ml) Carpano Bianco ½oz (15ml) fennel honey syrup ½oz (15ml) Krogstad Festlig Aquavit ½oz (15ml) Alvear Pale Cream sherry ¾oz (22.5ml) clarified lime juice ¼oz (7.5 ml) simple sugar syrup 2 dashes Regans’ Orange Bitters METHOD
PHOTOS: ALLEN HEMBERGER
Place two cubes of Concord grape and bergamot ice into a stemless wine glass. Separately, combine the alcohol, syrup and lime juice with ice in a cocktail shaker. Shake the cocktail until aerated, chilled and diluted, then double-strain into the glass over the ice.
IMAGE Â© ANANTARA AL JABAL AL AKHDAR RESORT
Travel & Property
Wellness Safari Whether you are in need for a spring-cleanse, or a post-summer detox, FOUR brings you some of Africaâ€™s most relaxing spa treatments, the best yoga facilities, and wifi-free lodges, so that you can unplug, unwind, and find the ultimate holiday harmony.
1 Singita Lebombo
2 Londolozi Varty/Founders
When you first set eyes on this property, it comes as no surprise that Singita Lebombo boasts an A-list clientele that includes Justin Timberlake, Oprah Winfrey, and members of the Royal Family. Synonymous with opulence and beauty, Singita is a breathtaking property suspended above 13,350 hectares of pristine wilderness within Kruger National Park. From its fine dining to its glass-fronted rooms, Lebombo oozes style and luxury making it more of a contemporary boutique than safari camp. Using exclusive products and traditional treatments, every wellness whim is catered for at Lebombo’s glorious spa. The signature treatment, ‘I Dreamed of Africa’ is the perfect remedy to eliminate toxins. Using heated pindas to combine heat, deep pressure, micro-massage, and lymphatic drainage movements, your body will feel rejuvenated and refreshed in no time. Alternatively, there are couples treatments available such as the ‘African Self-Enlightening Ritual’, which is based on ancient African healing remedies. Comprising of a full-body exfoliation, as well as a holistic heat therapy using African basalt rocks, this treatment is completely exclusive to Singita Lebombo. Packed with high-end facial products like Dermalogica, Terres d’Afrique essential oils, and body butters, the resident masseuses make a visit to the bush spa an absolute must!
Londolozi oozes Zen with its pyramid-thatched roof and large wooden yoga decks. Any bendy and inner-calm-inspired traveller will be instantly drawn to this South African property, as it allows for shakra-cleansing, wildlife watching and peaceful yoga practice all in one go. This stunning property offers exciting morning and afternoon excursions in the game-viewing vehicles, before heading back for rest and relaxation in one of their complimentary yoga classes. Acting as the ideal antidote to the action-packed safari, Londolozi offers various yoga styles to suit your needs including: Kundalini, Ana Forrest, and Vinyasa. Taken everyday at noon, the yoga classes are intimate, peaceful, and sometimes attended by the resident wildlife. If you’ve never seen elephants walk by as you do your best Adho Mukha Svanasana, then you haven’t been to Londolozi. Under the teachings of BeJay Watson, who intiated yoga at Londlozi over ten years ago, classes place emphasis on harmonising the body with elements of the African bush so that clients become at one with the sounds, temperatures, and animals that surround them.
londolozi.com PREVIOUS PAGE North Island, Seychelles. ABOVE & BELOW, LEFT Singita Lebombo, South Africa. ABOVE & BELOW, RIGHT Londolozi, South Africa.
THE ULTIMATE SAFARI EXPERIENCE Based in Rwanda, Uber Luxe Safaris is a boutique luxury safari company specializing in providing the ultimate authentic safari experience in East Africa, at the highest level of bespoke service.
ber Luxe Safaris are not only specialist consultants with a strong passion and appreciation of fine travel, but they also have an intimate knowledge of the culture, history and wildlife of East Africa. As members of the Rwanda Tourism and Travel Association, SITE Africa Chapter, and registered and licensed by the Rwanda Development Board, Uber Luxe Safaris ensures the highest standards of travel consultancy available in the region. A trip organized with Uber Luxe Safaris offers the discerning traveller a completely bespoke service, reflecting each individual’s need, taste and interest. With Uber Luxe Safaris everything is taken care of, so you don’t have to worry about a thing. The knowledgeable and efficient team will develop and recommend a personalized tour package that promises to satisfy your hunger for authenticity, new experiences and exclusivity. They also promise to provide a seamless service from the planning process to transfers, accommodation, safari to the return journey, in order to thoroughly enhance the client’s experience.
Some of their exclusive safari packages include trekking tours of the endangered mountain gorillas in the Virunga National park of Rwanda, arts and cultural tours, helicopter safaris, photographic safaris, game viewing and philanthropic tours. The Uber Luxe Safaris’ recommended destinations have a strong focus on conservation, nature and promotion of sustainable tourism. Uber Luxe Safaris ensures that their packages not only entertain and stimulate, but also provide total indulgence to their esteemed clients. The team at Uber Luxe Safaris goes above and beyond your safari expectations in a bid to create the adventure of a lifetime.
Le Migo Hotel, Office Blocks, Ground floor, KG624 St., Kimihurura, Kigali, RWANDA Tel.: +250 786 559 109 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org www.uberluxesafaris.com To book a gorilla trekking tour now call +250 786 559 109 103
3 Greystoke Mahale TA N Z A N I A
Greystoke Mahale is hands-down one of Africa’s finest lodges. Set on the sandy shores of Lake Tanganyika, with an incredible backdrop of the forested slopes of the Mahale Mountains, the lodge can only be accessed by boat and is far away from pretty much everything. At Greystoke you can expect to completely disconnect from the world - there’s no WiFi, Internet, or even mobile reception. Here, you have the opportunity to connect with a different kind of lifestyle as you encounter some of Tanzania’s beautiful wildlife. Known especially for the abundance of chimpanzees, you can pass the time with these fascinating creatures rather than glued to your phone. Who needs FaceTime when you can have face-to-face meetings with monkeys in the rainforests of remote Tanzania? nomad-tanzania.com
4 North Island S E YC H E L L E S
Accessible by helicopter, this is remote luxury living at its finest. Comprising of 11 exclusive villas, the North Island is the ultimate archipelago retreat for romantics and hedonists alike. Priding itself on not being just another private island in the Seychelles, North Island has set itself apart by being a superb wellness and yoga retreat. With highly trained instructors on hand for all levels, guests can begin each day with a morning yoga session either on the yoga deck, or within the privacy of the villa. For those looking to turn it up a notch or two, the North Island offers guests the chance to try their hand at stand-up paddleboard yoga leaving you relaxed, revitalised and with a much stronger core than when you started! north-island.com
5 Bisate Lodge R WA N DA
ABOVE Greystoke Mahale, Tanzania.
Situated adjacent to Volcanoes National Park, at a mere 2,650 metres above sea level, Bisate is currently the most luxurious lodge within gorilla-trekking distance. It isn’t just the fresh, healthy mountain air that makes Bisate an ideal destination for a holistic and wellness experience, it’s also thanks to its ridiculously sumptuous en-suite bathrooms, private verandas, and large bedrooms. After spending the day hiking along misty pathways in search of the endangered mountain gorilla, visitors can return to the stunning lodge to indulge in a massage from resident masseuse Orlane Umutesi. The signature massage is the Intonga Amasatchi, a local full-body, deep-tissue treatment ideal for relieving stress and the aches and pains of a long hike. This massage makes use of different-sized wooden sticks to stretch tight muscles and ease toxic overload, as well as soothing lemon and lemongrass essential oils. With ample space for to accommodate a massage, visitors can opt for an in-room treatment to further enhance their much-needed rejuvenation. wilderness-safaris.com/camps/bisate-lodge 104
MIDDLE, LEFT North Island, Seychelles. LEFT Bisate Lodge, Rwanda.
For more information or to book a tailor-made safari to any of these destinations, contact Yellow Zebra Safaris on +44 (0)20 8547 2305 or yellowzebrasafaris.com
SKI-IN & SKI-OUT ON 1.930 M
SNOW SECURE FROM THE MIDDLE OF NOVEMBER UNTIL THE BEGINNING OF MAY.
Hotel Edelweiss & Gurgl, Obergurgl, spa, indoor- & outdoor pool
THE EDELWEISS & GURGL HOTEL! Ski-in & ski-out in Obergurgl ............................................................................................................ Ski Obergurgl, Ötz valley, Tyrol - Enjoy perfect skiing conditions from the middle of November to the beginning of May. Obergurgl is well known for top quality skiing and no waiting times at the ski lifts. Easy and comfortable arrival through Innsbruck airport. Located directly at the foot of the slopes of Obergurgl, ski to and from the hotel’s door. Only a few steps away you’ll find a charming umbrella bar, a ski hire shop, a sun terrace, a spacious ski storage room, and the ski school meeting point is right in front of you! You can also use the heated indoor and outdoor pool in the ‘glacier-spa’ area with different saunas, steam baths, a whirl pool, a gym, a brand new relax-room and a beauty area.
(available in January 2017, selected dates)
CONTACT HOTEL EDELWEISS & GURGL ® since 1889 A-6456 Obergurgl p: +43-5256-6223 www.edelweiss-gurgl.com
Book direct, best price guaranteed!
Authentically Arabian Maxime Jacovella takes us on a voyage of discovery to the mountainous region of Al Jabal Al Akhdar, in the unspoilt Sultanate of Oman.
f Oman was a recipe, it would go something along the lines of this. A generous dollop of pristine, secluded and powdery white sandy beaches. A spoonful of craggy mountains where vertiginous canyons can be seen carved through them and lush, Garden of Eden-like wadis intermittently dotted along them. Add the smooth, orange-tinted dunes of the ‘Empty Quarter’ and the worldly fjords of the Musandam Peninsula. Throw in a pinch of colourful and pulse-stimulating cities that are steeped in history. And bear witness to the quintessential Arabic architecture with archaeological remains that will induce your imagination to travel back to a time when Camels graced wavy dunes of inhospitable deserts and dhows, the traditional sailboat of the region, travelled the adjoining seas, with each transporting precious Omani-made goods such as Frankincense out to Europe. All of the these ingredients make up Oman’s DNA, a country of outstanding beauty with incredibly varied scenery – and, surprisingly, still very much unblemished. A must-see before the word gets out. Travelling to Oman is fairly straightforward, and although the national carrier, Oman Air, offers direct flights to Muscat, most travellers will include a stopover at either neighbouring Dubai or Abu Dhabi in their itinerary. We choose Abu Dhabi and fly with Etihad, which has helped this Emirate of the United Arab Emirates become, over the years, a real competitor in the region for the battle to win over tourists travelling to Australasia. Moreover, as we were about to discover, Abu Dhabi is much more than a handful of luxury shopping malls, hotels and restaurants. It’s a rich ecosystem with natural wonders, which include the beautiful Arabian dunes of the Empty Quarter, verdant mangrove forests (with tidal channels that make them perfect for bird-watching) and the island of Sir Bani Yas, home to the Arabian Wildlife Park, where giraffes and the exceptional native Arabian oryx (a type of antelope) roam free. These features are turning Abu Dhabi increasingly into a naturebased destination. With only two nights to spare in Abu Dhabi, we choose to stay at the Anantara Eastern Mangroves – which, as its name aptly suggests, sits by the tranquil waterways of the Mangrove National Park and is within easy reach of the city centre, the airport, the Sheikh Zayed Mosque and the Abu
ABOVE The Eastern Mangroves Hotel & Spa by Anantara in Abu Dhabi is a great stopover on the way to Oman. BELOW The hamman at Eastern Mangroves Hotel & Spa by Anantara.
Dhabi Mall, making it the perfect urban sanctuary. Gleaming chandeliers, typical Arabic archways and a phenomenal view of the hotel’s infinity pool edging towards the mangrove make for a worldly lobby. Following a seamless check-in, we are shown to our beautifully decorated room, whose terrace faces the lush mangroves and Abu Dhabi’s city skyline in its backdrop – a postcard-perfect sight with opportunities for astounding Arabian sunsets. Bliss. The Eastern Mangroves Hotel & Spa by Anantara is renowned throughout the Middle East for the amazing treatments its spa offers – and pampering is what we need. Upon entering the spa section of the property, it is easy to see what the fuss is about: a sizable and utterly impressive Turkish-style hammam awaits us, with a typically Arabesque ceiling embossed with gold detailing and a slab of marble that acts as the massage table, all of which is large enough to fit eight people comfortably. A brief moment in the sauna and steam room ensures my pores are open to their optimum levels, which precedes having hot water (precisely 42°C) poured on to my head and body out of a large copper bucket. I then have my body rubbed and scrubbed by my friendly and professional therapist, Hamza, and I close my eyes to the sound of his softly spoken explanations of the fundamental differences between a Turkish hammam and a Moroccan one. The experience is an absolute must when visiting the Eastern Mangroves property. That evening, feeling revitalised by our visit to the hammam, we indulge in some of the finest Thai cuisine in the region at the hotel’s signature outlet, Pachaylen. The space, which oozes a sense of sober classiness, offers dinners with an intimate feel and an opportunity to see the working kitchen in action via the clear tinted windows on display. Some of the highlights of our meal include the crispy softshell crab curry and sea-bass fillet, steamed with lemongrass and dressed with a delectable chilli-garlic dressing with a sprinkling of fresh lime juice on top. Leave some room for the Chiang Rai coconut sticky rice pudding and sweet Thai mango, which is truly delicious. The following day we are up early and following a comprehensive breakfast on the terrace of the Ingredients »
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« restaurant, we finally hit the road for our long-awaited destination, Oman – but more precisely another Anantara property, just recently opened and nested high up on top of Al Jabal al Akhdar, which means ‘Green Mountains’ in Arabic. The altitude at which the Anantara is located (it’s the highest five-star resort in the region) means that it can be visited year-round, with March through to November offering the best weather. This also tends to be the busiest period for the property as folk from neighbouring Gulf countries seek cooler weather to beat the heat. Winter nights can sometimes reach as low as 1-2°C, so if you are to visit in that period be sure to pack your warmest cashmere.
ABOVE Views of Birkat al-Mouz from The Eastern Mangroves Hotel & Spa. BELOW-LEFT Traditional Omani welcome from staff. BELOW-RIGHT Driveway entrance to the Anantara Al Jabal Al Akhdar Resort in Oman.
The roads of both the UAE and Oman are very passable and offer scenic vistas along the way, which takes in lush oases, fortified towns and magnificent orange sand dunes. From Abu Dhabi and Dubai respectively, the drive takes around six hours, while from the Omani capital, Muscat, it is a quicker two-hour drive. Beware, though, as the ultimate section requires a 4x4 as you will have to go up an impossibly vertical road, which apparently took a construction crew seven years to build! In fact, the roads are that exhilarating here that an episode of Top Gear saw Matt Le Blanc, the show’s current head honcho, take part in a race that finished at the hotel. So, with every metre risen, so does our excitement as we look forward to getting to know this truly stunning property, whose location is clearly its raison d’être. One last hairpin bend causing the tyres to screech and we reach the ultimate pass, which sees us get on to an arid plateau upon which the resort sits. We drive through the sleepy town of Ad Dakhiliyah, the final frontier before reaching the hotel’s impressive entrance, characterised by authentic wooden gates that have a Jurassic Park feel to them. As we enter the luxurious lobby, we are overpowered by a fragrance emanating from the burning of frankincense, an aromatic resin found particularly on the Arabian Peninsula. We are warmly welcomed by local staff dressed in typical Omani garments, thereby adding a sense of genuineness to our experience at the Anantara thus far. Following an »
WELCOME TO 1000 NIGHTS CAMP Situated in the heart of the Wahiba Sands desert, 300km from Muscat, the capital of Oman, 1000 NIGHTS CAMP is the ultimate retreat for unforgettable experiences.
n exclusive desert camp built with 1001 Nights Tale in mind, where magic happens and memories are made. Surrounded by gently sloping dunes, desert Cineraria trees, oryx and gazelles, all under thousands of glowing stars, 1000 NIGHTS CAMP welcomes you to its one of kind traditional desert retreat that will enhance the true culture and heritage of Arabia. For those seeking a unique desert experience 1000 NIGHTS CAMP offers the best comfort in traditional tents and a range of entertainment that will enhance the experience.
« invigorating smoothie made from locally picked dates, we are brought to our room, offering breathtaking views over the canyon where sleepy, semi-abandoned Omani villages can be spotted clinging on to an almost vertical cliffside. Patches of green can be distinguished representing the tiered field terraces that are famous for the culture of pomegranate and roses that bloom in April, and whose petals are distilled to make rosewater, part of the national Omani heritage. Each terrace is ingeniously irrigated by Oman’s Aflaj Irrigation Systems, a network of man-made streams and pools that has been granted UNESCO World Heritage Site status and is a true spectacle to behold. Scoping the horizon, a sense of escapism – and to some extent one of perplexity – engulfs me as I contemplate the logistics involved in running this awe-inspiring resort, and the feeling of isolation is heightened upon hearing that it takes a whopping 15 trucks to provision the property with fresh water daily. Staggering. The property oozes character and charm, and as I meander the stone pathways (which are lined with more than 50 well-labelled types of local plants and flowers) it is clear that no expenses were spared in its development, taking 2,000 men to build it and roughly £200 million to complete. Gentle waterways, inspired by the traditional Aflaj mentioned above, run through the centre of the hotel and pay a vibrant homage to the area’s past perfectly. There is a total of 80 rooms and 35 villas, which may seem excessive; however the expansive nature of the hotel’s layout means it retains a sense of intimacy; at times it almost feels like we have the hotel to ourselves. While the architecture of the building is distinctly Omani, Lotfi Sidirahal (the hotel’s architect from international architecture and interior-design studio Atelier Pod) subtly blends in touches of Moroccan design as well, epitomised by the peaceful riad-like courtyard where a fire pit is at its centre and a library and lounge café sit around it. We follow the calm waterways and make our way to the centrepiece of the resort, which is the cliff-edge, pristine and turquoise infinity pool. To the left can be found Diana’s Point, a viewing platform and the resort’s yoga point that hangs above the gorge, offering guest spine-tingling views. The hotel named it so after the princess visited Oman in 1986 and took in these breathless views, just as we are doing. As we gaze at the views, kids and adults alike walk past kitted up ready to take on the Jabal Activity Wall, which offers a 112
ABOVE-LEFT The Premier Canyon View Room offers panoramic views over the rugged terrain. ABOVE-RIGHT Sunset views from restaurant Al Maisan. BELOW Mountaintop yoga, one of the many activities available at the Anantara Al Jabal Al Akhdar Resort.
variety of gradual and intermediate climbing routes. For the thrill-seeker there is a Via Ferrata, which enables you to literally walk along the face of the cliff through the use of steel cables that are bolted into the rock. The property has a generous food and beverage offering, with three restaurants, a café and a shisha lounge. Bella Vista serves freshly made, authentic Italian food and is renowned for its wood oven-fired pizzas. Al Maisan, the all-day dining venue where breakfast is taken, offers an international menu with a gorgeous terrace overlooking the flowery gardens. The signature venue, however, is Al Qalaa, which is housed inside an Omani fort-like building with incredible interior decor. If you have time after your meal, it is worth climbing up to the top of the tower where there is a telescope enabling you to enjoy some stargazing action. The Anantara is a one-of-a-kind property that has become one of the most popular and sought-after properties in the region. Its grandeur, combined with it’s phenomenal location and unique charm, has made it one of the most coveted hotel in the world, entirely justifying its appearance on BBC Two’s Amazing Hotels: Life Beyond the Lobby in the UK earlier this year.
THE CONSCIOUS TRAVELLER With the protection of nature, and sociocultural engagement being key to preserving the world for future generations, FOUR looks at the wide range of conscious vacations – from green city trips to luxurious beach resorts, available at Green Pearls®.
s a communication and information platform for handpicked sustainable places worldwide, Green Pearls® spreads the word about the fantastic green stories that make its members unique. On greenpearls.com travelers can find sustainable accommodation, regions and destinations, as well as easily search for a desired experience. Green Pearls® members fulfill a range of strict criteria and prove that it is possible to travel consciously without compromising on quality or standard. Located all over the world, their approaches to sustainability, their philosophy and initiatives are diverse, and reach from providing organic and regional food to nature conservation projects. Hotel Milano Scala shows what it means to act sustainably in the center of a vibrant city. The small boutique hotel is the first zero-emission hotel in Milan, and offers a perfect location within walking distance of the district of Brera, cultural and historical sites, such as the Cathedral or the opera house La Scala, as well as the luxury shopping districts of Via Monte Napoleone and Via della Spiga. Milano
ABOVE Hotel Milano Scala’s rooftop garden and garden-terrace; Reethi Faru Resort in the Raa Atoll in the Maldives.
Scala’s rooftop garden provides herbs, fruit and vegetables for the delicious organic cuisine, and is an enchanting place to relax from city life with a view over the Duomo. Pristine white beaches, colourful underwater worlds and pure relaxation under palm trees – this is what guests will experience when staying at the Reethi Faru Resort in the Raa Atoll in the Maldives. The spacious villas and the spa, located at a beautiful coconut grove, are perfect places to rest from the various activities offered at the resort, like diving at the house reef, water sports, tennis or aerobics. Reethi Faru Resort is dedicated to a sustainable approach and maximum protection of the environment, while offering luxury and comfort ensuring that guests can travel with a good conscience.
A DESIGN DILEMMA Interior design expert Guy Oliver talks design diplomacy and the positive impact that the design industry can have on international relations.
was asked to give a talk at the annual British Institute of Interior Design (BIID) conference last year, and during the Q&A one lady asked me, “How can we justify what we do for a living?” There seems to be a national predisposition in ‘old Blighty’ to dismiss the work of designers as somehow extraneous or trivial. After all, creativity only features on the tip of the pyramid in Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, suggesting it is hardly essential for life. I thought her question was strange, because I truly love what I do and had long ago ceased to listen to anyone who tried to detract from that. It was almost as if she was embarrassed by her choice of profession, so I asked her to think about it in a different way. Design and creativity are essential for an enriched and fulfilling life, for mental and spiritual stimulation, and also hugely important to our economy. Designing a scheme, even for a modest single room, involves manufacturers and retailers of carpet, furniture, paper, paint and textiles, and the individual pulling all of these elements together goes on to employ builders, carpet fitters, decorators, electricians, upholsterers, and so on, to implement it.
PREVIOUS PAGE, LEFT The rebuild of the 50m motor yacht Malahne, originally built in 1937, which illustrates the argument raised in the column. PREVIOUS PAGE, RIGHT Details of the scheme, including an antique Brandt lamp by a German designer and a bespoke piano case, designed by GO and made by a Frenchman in a workshop in Kent. LEFT Another space in the Malahne shows bronze and glass balustrading made in the UK, a games table made in France with leather from the US and wood from Africa, plus a table lamp from France with marble base from Italy that was assembled in UK.
As you go higher up the tree there are bespoke details, such as specially made furniture and light fittings, hand-mixed paints or hand-woven carpets. This engages artists and artisans, and in turn enables people who might otherwise be working in more mundane jobs to earn a living through their creativity. If a scheme is photographed and published, that employs yet more people, and then if it is imitated by others, the cycle goes on. Simply put, design enables people to enjoy a better quality of life. I suggested to her, when she goes to work, that she consider all of this and to be proud of what she does, rather than apologetic. People need to spend money to keep an economy moving, this keeps us all gainfully employed. Taking it a stage further, tariff-free trade maximises the possibilities of the creative process. A furniture frame made in Italy, with fabric from France and upholstered in England, a light fitting from Portugal , a plaster-worker from Norfolk, a metal worker from Belfast – everything is interrelated. As a designer,
I work in the UK, Europe and further afield, and I enjoy and want to keep doing that. There is a political divisiveness in the air at the moment, playing on all of our fears and demons. People are defaulting to polarised, tribal politics and there is an uncertainty about what is to happen next March. This is causing inertia, stagnation and increased costs, which is not good for anyone. Speaking frankly and directly, the reintroduction of trade tariffs would obstruct creativity, restrict commerce and isolate us from a marketplace of 450 million people right on our doorstep, and this makes absolutely no sense whatsoever. On the global stage, phrases such as ‘trade war’ and ‘cold war’ are being bandied about, and take it from one who remembers: this is not a place to which we should return. There is a gentle diplomacy in design and commerce that encourages a positive dialogue between nations. We have had peace and security in Europe for more than 70 years now; don’t let us throw this away. 115
LA RÉSIDENCE DE LA PINÈDE Home of Michelin-starred chef Arnaud Donckele with a design concept from prolific architect Jean-Michel Wilmotte, and all set within a lush natural park, La Résidence de la Pinède is the crème de la crème of the Côte d’Azur.
t’s possible that La Résidence de la Pinède epitomises everything about classic notions of the Côte d’Azur, with its sweeping views out to the sea and tranquil setting within a beautiful natural park. To top it off, La Résidence de la Pinède is the only hotel on the Côte d’Azur with its own private beach, making it feel discreetly unavailable from the escapades of the main beaches, yet in easy-reach distance to the mythical village just in case some local spirit takes your fancy. The hotel is nothing but sheer elegance from the moment you arrive, and offers Instagram-worthy hotspots at every turn. Three distinct areas – the main building, the villa and the tower – provide varied scenery throughout La Pinède. Located on either side of the main building, the tower – a former oil mill – and the villa facing the pool embody the essence of privacy. However, like all things truly chic, it maintains its understated elegance and boasts just 36 rooms, each with 116
ABOVE Sweeping views of the sea and mountains along the Côte d’Azur. OPPOSITE Rooms decorated with bright and fresh tones of the surrounding panoramic views.
its own unique view of the sea, the pine forest, or the nearby town of Saint-Tropez. With most rooms featuring a terrace or balcony, they are the perfect setting in which to enjoy the balmy evenings and seductive scent of pine trees, which are typical of the Mediterranean. And if there was any mistaking where you were in the world, La Résidence de la Pinède has ensured that you live and breathe the Côte d’Azur, with decor that has been inspired by the bright and fresh tones of the surrounding countryside and its panoramic views. In fact, very recently, La Résidence de la Pinède collaborated with architect JeanMichel Wilmotte to create a new concept for this year’s season. It was inspired by the seafront location, and is a natural evolution for the hotel to transform its interior into a haven that adequately matches the outside. With the exciting new unveiling taking place in May, Jean-Michel has used the hotel’s original aesthetic as a base for the new contemporary finish. Making sophisticated use
of Mediterranean materials in the bedrooms and bathrooms, Jean-Michel has opted for soft-wood furniture and warm colours with hints of blue, which echoes the surrounding landscape. In the more public areas, sandy tones and soft woods have been used to enhance the natural sunlight, which will naturally illuminate the space. As a long-term partner of the LVMH group – and himself a frequent guest of the hotel – Jean-Michel describes the property as “an exceptional place that is bathed by the Mediterranean and expresses a magic that resonates with our time”. The seaside estate will also showcase beautiful pieces by artist and ceramist Roger Captron in an attempt to offer guests an updated warm, welcoming design concept that reflects the charm and ethos of the entire complex. If food is more your bag in the South of France, La Résidence de la Pinède also has that covered. Hosting to two restaurants and one bar, the hotel has left nothing to be desired when it comes to a true gastronomic escape. La Vague d’Or invites guests on a magical journey between land and sea, and is the only restaurant on the Côte d’Azur to be awarded three Michelin stars, five toques and a rating of 19 out of 20 by the Gault & Millau. Having trained with classic names of French cooking such as Michel Guérard, Alain Ducasse, and Jean-Louis Nomicos at Lasserre, executive chef Arnaud Donckele is master of his trade, creating colourful, vibrant cuisine that transports you on a whimsical journey through the Mediterranean. »
“La Résidence de la Pinède is ‘an exceptional place that is bathed by the Mediterranean and expresses a magic that resonates with our time’”
then head to La Terrasse restaurant. Offering modern-day, simplistic cuisine with hints of the Mediterranean, the menu highlights local and seasonal ingredients as well as having direct access to Le Bar. With its nautical-inspired decor, Le Bar invites all to a refreshing interlude with a laid-back atmosphere that is typical of the Côte d’Azur. When all the eating and drinking has become too much, then the private beach at La Résidence de la Pinède is the perfect place to take refuge. Plage de Bouillabaisse not only boasts soft, white sand, private views of the bay of Saint-Tropez and a prime setting for people-watching, but also an infinity pool. The constantly 30C infinity pool lets you indulge in a swim even if the air turns a little chilly, making this the perfect addition to a blissful retreat. With access points for boats at the end of the jetty, all sea excursions and watersports can be organised right from the end of the beach, ensuring that you never need to leave this haven of bliss.
« Using the region’s finest ingredients, subtle flavours and age-old classic dishes, Donckele cleverly allows guests a peek into rustic Provence but with a contemporary edge. The proposed culinary journey takes diners from black truffle and foie gras-stuffed zitone pasta accompanied by triple-textured purple artichoke, and finished with sweet basil – a tribute to one of Arnaud Donckele’s mentors – to ‘three-style’ Tarbouriech oysters and fennel with flavours of anise, to name just a few of Arnaud’s favourite creations. On hand to assist with any sweet cravings is pastry chef Guillaume Godin, who closes the gastronomic experience with enhanced local ingredients such as frozen nougat from the village of Trets in Provence, blackberry and lycheeflavoured extracts, and roses from Grasse. Naturally, when in the Mediterranean, exceptional cuisine is paired with exceptional wines – and this is no different at La Pinède. Wines from around the world are carefully selected by the head sommelier, and act as delicate – or bold – enhancements to the award-winning food. If you fancy a more relaxed lunch in front of the water, 118
ABOVE Jean-Michel Wilmotte’s design reflects the colours and contours of the Mediterranean. RIGHT Inspired by its seafront location, the hotel is the perfect place to relax and unwind.
SIRIUS AQUAMARINE 6V 119.6 x 52 x 51 cm (HxWxD) 47.1 x 20.5 x 20.1 in (HxWxD) VDS III or IV | EN 1143-1 ca. 480 kg
Uncompromising security, impeccable quality in every detail, fully bespoke exterior and interior design, perfect craftsmanship “Made in Germany”, with up to 70 precision watch winders. Stockinger safes, as secure as a bank, yet far more beautiful. SAFES SAFE ROOMS WATCH WINDER CABINETS
SHANGHAI-STYLE Debuting this year, the latest venue from Bulgari Hotels & Resorts will bring new standards of Italian luxury to Shanghai’s city centre.
eading luxury hospitality collection, Bulgari Hotels & Resorts, will be soon be opening the doors to its latest venue, Bulgari Hotel Shanghai, situated just a few minutes from the iconic Bund and Shanghai City Centre. The new location on China’s central coast, forms part of the visionary Suhe Creek development and offers guests a luxury haven in the heart of the country’s biggest city. Featuring sweeping views of the Bund and of Pudong dramatic skyline, the hotel has been designed to the highest standard, combining both the local culture as well as the contemporary Italian style associated with the Bulgari brand. The stunning riverside location is enriched by rare and lavish materials, featuring design furniture and custom-built details, allowing guests to enjoy an intimate ambience and highly-personalised service. Featuring some of the most extensive facilities in the city, the 82- room hotel will also include The Bulgari Residences, a 2,000 sqm. BVLGARI SPA and fitness centre, and an Italian rooftop restaurant and bar. Inspired by the Italian Dolce Vita style both in its design and gastronomy concepts, Il Bar will celebrate some of the most sought after views of Shanghai. The panoramic backdrop and exclusive private terrace, is set to make the rooftop Italian restaurant and bar of the most fashionable venues in Shanghai. Moving down a floor, guests can dine at the awardwinning restaurant concept, Il Ristorante. Featuring floorto-ceiling windows on the top floor of the Bulgari Hotel 120
ABOVE, LEFT Views of the Bund from the Bulgari Hotel Shanghai. ABOVE, RIGHT The panoramic backdrop and exclusive private terrace of the rooftop bar. BELOW The stylish and sophisticated bar area at Bulgari Hotel Shanghai.
Shanghai, the triple-height ceiling will not fail to wow guests with its spectacular views of the Shanghai skyline. The stylish interiors, coupled with the Italian contemporary cuisine and complementary wine list of hand-picked will make this a go-to destination when in the Chinese city. Heading further down into the hotel, guests can relax and unwind in the Italian Garden. Located next to The Lounge, the Italian garden is reminiscent of the original garden found at the flagship hotel in Milan, and is the ideal location to enjoy a refreshing cocktail away from the hubbub of the city.
Suite Experience A newly energised city requires a freshly designed home for luxury. That’s why Kempinski Hotel Corvinus Budapest has commissioned noted designer Alex Kravetz to create a brand-new suite experience. The resulting space is generous in expansion and draws in natural light, and is outfitted in comforting classics like marble and wood, in natural hues. The new suites invite to stay to relish the many amenities that you’re used to at home with other services brought to you in five-star care. And if you choose to spend more time enjoying yourself in your suite, central Budapest’s views beckon through your windows. +361 429 3375 | email@example.com | kempinski.com/budapest
BEHIND THE SCENES FOUR speaks to Mark Kirby, an experienced hotelier and General Manager of Armani Hotel Dubai, to find out what makes this hotel a cut above the rest. HOW DID YOU GET INTO YOUR LINE OF WORK? My father had a successful company, and was managing projects for several clients, including many London hotels. I would visit with my father and would watch the staff and how they cared for the guests. Soon after that I joined a catering school in Buxton, which nurtured my passion for the industry. Thereafter, I joined Birmingham University & Birmingham College of Food, and four years later, including a one-year placement at the Goring Hotel in London, I graduated. TELL US ABOUT THE DESIGN CONCEPT OF ARMANI HOTELS? Armani Hotel Dubai takes its design influences not only from the fact that it is personally designed by fashion legend Giorgio Armani, but also from its location in Burj Khalifa, a global icon. Every aspect of the hotel – from its design to accessories to the service standards set – is the brainchild of Giorgio Armani. The hotel’s design reflects the pure elegance, simplicity and sophisticated comfort that define Armani’s signature style. Our luxurious rooms and suites are an expression of Armani’s minimalist opulence – combining precious materials and sophisticated finishes to create a highly personalised space. WHAT MAKES THE HOTELS SO SPECIAL IN YOUR OPINION? Armani Hotel Dubai has an unbeatable and exclusive location in the heart of Downtown Dubai at the iconic Burj Khalifa. The design excellence of the hotel is another compelling factor, as is our approach to guest service. Every guest is considered as Giorgio Armani’s personal guest – which
BELOW Luxurious soft furnishings and design details in the Ambassador Suite. RIGHT Sweeping views of the Dubai cityscape from the Armani Signature Suite.
underpins our ‘Stay with Armani’ philosophy. We have ‘Lifestyle Managers,’ who take care of every aspect of the guest’s stay assuring personalised service. In addition to a choice of rooms & suites, we offer several gastronomic delights: Guests can discover authentic Japanese cuisine at ARMANI/Hashi; Italian and modern interpretation of classic dishes at ARMANI/Ristorante; Indian flavours at ARMANI/Amal; and the flavours of the Mediterranean at ARMANI/Mediterraneo. A culinary experience with an Italian flair at ARMANI/Deli, and a lounge experience any time of the day at the ARMANI/ Lounge complement the sanctuary offered by Armani/ SPA. Guests can shop for the latest couture collection at Armani/Galleria, pick up indulgent sweet treats at Armani/Dolci, or select a bespoke floral arrangement at Armani/Fiori. WHAT DO YOU THINK GUESTS EXPECT WHEN THEY WALK INTO THE HOTELS? While the tag of luxury associated with the hotel is important, so is the level of service we provide. We focus on exceeding their expectations, with our Lifestyle Managers meeting their every need. The key is to ensure that you meet their aspirations, going beyond the call of duty. WHAT DO YOU THINK LEAVES THE BIGGEST IMPRESSION ON GUESTS? Without doubt, the service we offer! I believe that it is all about your people – you are only as good as them! A large part of my activities is centred on staff activities and their care, which creates a happy, positive environment, which is passed on to our guests. As our staff satisfaction is at an all-time high, our customer care scores continue to grow. We have observed that technology has been the real game changer, and is therefore important to be adequately represented on various digital platforms.
BAIA ROCA SANITARIO, S.A - 513, Diagonal - 08029 Barcelona - Spain T. +34 93 366 1200 F. + 34 93 430 2019 - www.armaniroca.com - www.roca.com
LA DOLCE VITA FOUR’s resident property expert and managing director of Engels & Völkers Private Office, Constantin von Dalwigk, explains why Italy is currently hot property for buyers.
imilar to the Spanish market, the Italian real-estate market suffered a significant drop during the years srrounding the 2008 economic crisis. Home ownership in Italy is comparatively high at around 72% in 2016 (Switzerland: 44%; Germany: 52%), which has also obliged many Italians to sell their homes. This explains in part why we currently have so many amazing properties in primaryand second-home locations for sale. Now, after eight years of a declining economy, Italy has put a comprehensive reform strategy in place to build a more efficient and friendly business climate. The Italian government has also implemented an investment visa for foreign investors bringing at least one million euros into Italy. This visa will come with an extendable residence permit of two years. It also grants permission for family members to join the visa-holder. Just to put things into perspective, Italy is the ninthlargest economy in the world – bigger than Canada or Russia. Italian workers are mostly highly skilled and
ABOVE & BELOWLEFT Stunning lakeside properties in Lake Como. ABOVE & BELOW-RIGHT Reduced property prices makes prime investment opportunities for Italian houses such as these.
well-educated. Italian universities are some of the bestranked in the world. People all over the world recognise the tagline ‘made in Italy’ as a mark of high quality and skilled craftsmanship. Italian cities are overflowing with ancient monuments and treasures, and this – combined with its world-famous art, culture, music, food and wine – gives the country an unparalleled quality of life that is hard to beat. Strong signs of economic revival and the continuous recovery of the real-estate sector have again strengthened Italy’s image and opened tremendous opportunities for foreign property buyers. Property prices have come down substantially and are still lower than before the economic crisis, which is especially appealing for foreign buyers looking for a good deal. Alongside Milan, Florence and Rome, I currently see great opportunities in Venice, Toscana, Umbria, the Amalfi Coast, the Cinque Terre, the Lake Como area and Chianti. There is still a large stock of fabulous properties for sale all across Italy, and we believe that now is a very opportune time to buy.
DREAMING OF ITALY World leaders in Real Estate consultancy, Engel & Völkers shares with FOUR some of the most exclusive properties currently available in Italy. LAKE COMO The wonderful and impressive ‘Villa Regina’ in Laglio, which stands out for its unmistakable and bright emerald green color, was built at the end of the 19th century with 300m of the property directly on the lake shore. Laglio, a picturesque coastal town famous for hosting Villa Oleandra is among the most exclusive and most popular towns on Lake Como. Along the lakeside of Laglio there are excellent restaurants that offer traditional Italian cuisine, pontoons for mooring boats and a beach. Surrounded by a well-planted park, the property boasts a large entrance leading to bright living, kitchen, dining and guest bathrooms, all with breathtaking panoramic views of the lake and the surrounding mountains. Taking the staircase you reach the upper floors. On the first floor there are 6 bedrooms, of which the master bedroom has a lake front balcony, 3 bathrooms and a terrace. On the second floor there are another 4 bedrooms, 2 of which have a terrace and 2 bathrooms. There is a utility 126
ABOVE Villa Regina on the shore of Lagio, Lake Como. OPPOSTE, LEFT Sweeping views of Lake Maggiore from Villa Ada in Ghiffa. OPPOSTE, RIGHT A cool, contemporary loft-style apartment on Venice’s Giudecca Island.
room and storage room in the attic. The ground floor has been partially renovated keeping the neoclassical style with inlaid marble, stucco, and Doric columns and it’s furnished with pieces dating back to the 900’s. The property also includes a small private port, a greenhouse, boat moorings and 3 docks offering space for different types of boats. By way of a walkway you reach a cave and a separate independent property, consisting of a ground floor with garage, courtyard and a cellar made of rock (240 square meters total), and on the first floor and attic there is the caretaker’s accommodations (170 sqm). LAKE MAGGIORE This wonderful villa in Ghiffa comes with a huge expanse of park measuring 21,500 sqm. The size of the private gardens surrounding Villa Ada is not only unrivalled in Europe, but it’s also home to a preservation collection of plants, especially conifers, from all over the world.
This jewel of Maggiore has been completely renovated with the best contemporary building technology, equipment, and is luxuriously furnished. The villa is split over three levels: at the ground floor a large entrance leads to the bright living room with a lake views, then to the dining room, library, large kitchen, and service bathroom. Using the grand staircase, or the elevator, you reach the first floor, where you will find four double bedrooms with en suite bathrooms, all with access to a large lake view terrace. On the second floor there are a further three double bedrooms, with en suite bathrooms and two balconies. On the mezzanine level, two more bedrooms and a bathroom can be found, as well as a large laundry room, sauna, and general maintenance rooms. The rooms are equipped with a kitchenette and can be used as mini-apartments, or ideal for a luxury B&B. Finally, a private beach and two berths complete the property.
VENICE Giudecca Island, only a short gondola ride from San Marco, was Venice’s ‘garden of delights’ in the 18th century. This charming and glamourous area, which has been attracting artists, celebrities and lovers, represents an exclusive portrait of a truly Venetian atmosphere. The new-build element is all contained within a prefabricated cylinder that stands within the old industrial walls, so the historic structure and modern shell do not touch. Its music-loving owner wanted a large performance space, where he keeps his grand piano, so the living space sits high up on a suspended platform - “like a contemporary ‘piano nobile’,” says its architect Michael Carapetian – providing optimum acoustics and canal views through the old brewery’s enormous windows. The ultimate “Venetian mask” property, many of Villa Wagner’s features are hidden from view, including a secret sauna and galley kitchen that folds away out of sight. Even the bathroom is concealed in a glass box. 127
GEORGE TOWN FESTIVAL RETURNS George Town Festival in Penang, Malaysia is a month-long celebration of arts and culture, drawing in visitors from across the world, started in celebration of George Townâ€™s listing as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. NOW, IN 2018, GEORGE TOWN FESTIVAL (GTF) showcases local and international artists, performers, photographers, musicians, designers, speakers, and more, exposing Penangites to the international performing arts scence. Running from 4 August to 2 September this year, GTF is set to host a wide variety of shows and exhibitions, from contemporary theatre to intimate exhibitions to art scattered around the town - with George Town as the perfect canvas. PARADISE OF PENANG Stand in George Town and watch as trishaws pedal past hawker food stalls, creating the cuisine that sparked Penangâ€™s infamous reputation of having the best street food in the world. Wander through the twisting streets and gaze up at the colourful heritage houses, colonial-style buildings, award-winning historic homes, and museums, all while stumbling on sophisticated pieces of street art. Outside the city, take a short drive and immerse yourself in exotic jungle and white-sand beaches,
ABOVE One of George Town Festival 2018 highlight shows - Blind by Desvio Coletivo BELOW Armenian Street, George Town George Town Festival presents - 100% Penang, a show that puts the people of Penang at the forefront
and the natural paradise of Tropical Spice Garden, The Habitat, Entopia, and more. We look forward to
welcoming you to Penang in August for GTF.
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WILDLIFE AROUND THE WORLD With a passion for wildlife, Jeremy Jauncey, founder and CEO of Beautiful Destinations, spends his life travelling the world. He has picked his favourite places to spot animals on land and sea.
s an ambassador for the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), I am passionate about animals, nature and combatting the challenges that conservation faces in the world today. I am fortunate to be in a position where I travel the world professionally and get to see animals in their natural habitat. Here, I’ve picked out some of my favourite countries to spot wildlife, from jaunts with jaguars in Belize to whale-watching in Iceland. CHINA One of my favourite countries, China, offers varied and diverse landscapes – from bustling cities lined with skyscrapers to sweeping rural hills. I’m amazed by China every time I visit, and there’s so much to see and do. The giant panda is native to China, and there are many
ABOVE The jaguar, an enigmatic native of Belize’s diverse landscape.
sanctuaries and conservation centres where they can be seen. Chengdu has the most well-known giant panda research base, and is a fantastic place to see them playing together and tucking into bamboo. THE BAHAMAS Exuma is an archipelago of 365 cays and islands in The Bahamas, and it’s home to the adorable and famous swimming pigs. Around 20 pigs and piglets live on Big Major Cay, also known as Pig Beach, and all are completely domesticated, often swimming up to those who visit in search of treats. It’s not known how the pigs arrived at the Exuma district, but they are an important part of the islands’ culture and attract visitors from around the world. After swimming with the famous pigs, there are also a number of stingrays, starfish and schools of fish to be discovered. » 129
for its voluminous mountains, quiet bays and blissful sandy beaches. The surrounding South Pacific is a paradise for marine life; dolphins, sharks, whales and rays are regularly spotted from the shore. Moorea also attracts Hawksbill and Green Sea turtles, the latter of which return to lay their eggs on the island’s beaches year after year.
BELIZE Situated in Central America, Belize is a naturally beautiful country, home to white, sandy beaches, dense tropical jungle and the clear-blue Caribbean. A world of adventure awaits those who visit, from exploring ancient Mayan ruins to scuba diving the infamous Great Blue Hole, a 124-metre drop that is rich in marine life. The country’s diverse landscape provides a habitat to a variety of species, including the jaguar, a native animal. The Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary, located in southern Belize, is the world’s only jaguar reserve and is home to around 15-20 of the big cats. The best time to see them is at dusk or dawn, although only those lucky enough will catch a glimpse! ICELAND Dramatic waterfalls, towering glaciers and impressive hot springs are just a few of the natural wonders that can be found in Iceland. Although most people are familiar with the capital, Reykjavík, regions in north Iceland offer something totally different, including the opportunity to spot whales. Dalvík is where visitors have the greatest chance of encountering whales such as gigantic great humpbacks and majestic blue whales. Seals and basking sharks can also be seen swimming in the North Atlantic Ocean, while puffins and gannets are frequent visitors overhead. ATLANTIC CANADA Canada’s most easterly region, Atlantic Canada, comprises of four provinces, with each offering interesting, diverse and inspiring landscapes. Located in the south-east of New Brunswick is Fundy National Park, an outdoor sanctuary and haven for a variety of wildlife. Explore its hiking trails and discover the white-tailed deer that live in the pristine forest and wild moose that roam the grassland, while bald eagles swoop among the treetops. The park also experiences the highest tides in the world, creating more than 25 waterfalls waiting to be discovered. FRENCH POLYNESIA More than 100 beautiful tropical islands and atolls make up French Polynesia. Each small but perfectly formed, they are synonymous with relaxation: think bright blue waters, hammocks hanging from palm trees, and floating bungalow resorts and spas. Moorea, also known as the Magical Island, is only 52 square miles but attracts visitors 130
ABOVE China’s rural landscapes offer a wealth of great panorama’s. BELOW The South Pacific surrounding French Polynesia is a paradise for marine life.
DOMINICA Dominica, also known as the ‘Nature Isle’, defies the Caribbean stereotype with its natural hot springs, gushing waterfalls and tropical green rainforest. A far cry from the terrain of its neighbouring islands, Dominica is rich in wildlife, and animals from pint-sized bats to large wild pigs can be found across its land. Like Iceland, whalewatching is popular in Dominica, and it’s the only country in the world where sperm whales reside all year long. On land, visitors can spot 17 species of reptile including four different varieties of snake. KENYA It may seem an obvious choice, but Kenya is a truly spectacular country and must-visit for anyone with an interest in wildlife. Those heading to Kenya have a plethora of national parks and reserves to choose from where they can see the ‘big five’ animals – lions, leopards, elephants, buffalos and rhinos. Safaris in Kenya offer a unique chance to get up close to these breathtaking creatures and see them in their natural surroundings. The best time to visit is between June to October, when the climate is warm and dry. Remember to bring your camera!
You can keep up with Jeremy and the Beautiful Destinations team by following @jeremyjauncey and @beautifuldestinations on Instagram.
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