VILLA RENÉ LALIQUE'S - JEAN-GEORGES KLEIN
03 June 2016
DINNER by VILLA LALIQUE'S HEAD CHEF
1. June 2016
So my birthday may not be until next week - but this year it felt like an early treat to have the opportunity to be among the guests for an exclusive Dinner by Star awarded Chef Jean-Georges Klein, voted best Chef of France in 2008, and on 3 star level for multiple of years. I always feel full of anticipation already days prior to eating two stars - my expectations are incredibly high, and my exitement is peaking. Its actually less about having 'better tasting' or 'pretty' food - what strikes and impresses me is much more the concept and story behind it. Being a devote viewer of chef's documentaries such as Netflix popular Chef's Table Series, whenever I eat with a chef I try to interpret and see as much as I can into the meal, the presentation, the choice of ingredients. Further from the stories, what is intriguing about eating a two star level meal is the inspiration of taste and flavour that I take home with me. Sometimes it might be a combination of two simple ingredients - such as green peas and strawberry served by Jean-Georges Klein - that I might copy and use at home in a recipe. Of course I am not able to recreate the complex textures and compositions I found in my little side bowl on my plate at the Park Weggis experience - but I may use the green pea & strawberry combo together with fresh mint at home in a salad and a smoothie. Obtaining the benefits of food pairing in a simple and easy way. So eating two stars, for me, is far more than eating a delicious meal. Its an inspiration in both concept and taste - its a lession about food and about creativity. Its an example of aesthetics and skilled composition - its a demonstration of creativity. It does inspire me.
So I was exited about visiting Park Weggis for this guest cooking event of Mr. Klein. Not just the dinner, also the host location - Park Weggis - a jewel lakeside of the Vierwaldstättersee. Gorgeous from the moment of driving through the gates: a small castle. The team friendly and welcoming, someone stepping out the moment I stopped my car in front of the stairs. I appreciate that so much, it makes the difference. It can be the most beautiful Hotel - if I am standing there alone in front of my car feeling a bit lost... I am sure you all know what I am speaking about or had similar experiences. Its so easy to feel uncomfortable in the surrounding of a 5 star luxury hotel if theres no friendly team there to make you feel 'home'.
But the Park Weggis arrival was perfect - I was in my room within 5 minutes, ready to change and meet the group downstairs for the hotel tour. I was happy to reconnect with fellow bloggers and explore the hotel together. Highlight at Park Weggis and worth a visit is definitely the romantic spa cottages that can be booked for several hours or half days even. A dimmed environment of relaxation, space and total privacy encloses the guests with everything at their disposal within the cottage. Steam room or sauna, whirlpool, lounge and massage beds, snacks and the possibility to order roomservice. Every need is catered to. Its a perfect hideaway for love doves - a name to put on your list of romantic places to discover.
I had no time, nor the company, for spa cottaging - instead we headed straight to the Lalique Caviar Bar where the night began with a champagne apero and snacks by the Park Weggis. It was a great time to mingle with all the guests and say hello's before the seated dinner would limit conversation to the individual dinner tables. It was a beautiful dining room though, decorated in pink and red, with red centerpieces and vibrant pink glasses - summery and fresh. I was exited to take a seat and enjoy dinner.
It was excellent and light. By hearing that Jean-Georges Klein was a french chef I had half expected a heavy cooking style - but instead was positively surprised by light, colourful and tasty courses. From the first spoon of potato foam until the last crack of my fork into a crystal lalique logo adorned chocolate cube - it was superb.
T H E M E N U
Cappucino of Potato & Truffle
Vegetable Variation revolving around the Pea
Langoustine Cocktail & Gold Caviar - Langoustine Carpaccio & Citrusfruits
Red Mullet "à la plancha" - Verbena & candied Rhubarb
Chartreuse of blue Lobster 'Pina Colada Style'
Filet Mignon of the Veal in Herb Crust, Asparagus & Gravy Reduction with Elderberry
Cheesecake with Melissa
Opéra Cake in Lalique Style & roasted barley ice cream
I'll let the images speak for themselves - to taste it you must visit Mr. Klein at Villa René Lalique to enjoy the full experience of culinary inspiration in the former home of Lalique founder Mr. René Lalique.
Special Thanks to all involved in organizing the event for this unique experience: The entire team of Park Weggis, Mr. Jean-Georges Klein and his brigade as well as Grauwiler Testa PR for having me.