alberto alessi talks design



alberto alessi talks design
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It has been a year of personal celebrations – a wedding, a new grandson and a 70th birthday.
To top it all, a very successful year for The Waterside Inn thanks to the leadership of Alain and
Diego who head their teams by example.
Alain and Laura were married in the South of France in August. Laura’s family travelled from Montpelier and my
daughters came from Paris. It was a true family wedding with grandchildren almost outnumbering the grownups.
Robyn started the festivities with a pre-wedding party at the Bergerie with a very colourful evening around the
pool in perfect weather. After waiting so long for the event, Alain deserved a big spoil – so spoil we did. Just before
Christmas their son Paul was born so I was, needless to add, a very proud grandfather once more.
In January we always try to find the warm weather and preferably in Asia. We returned to Chiva Som, south of
Bangkok for 10 days of the healthy life. We were in the hands of professionals as they performed miracles on tired
and stressed bodies. I even took a 7-day detox programme only to be somewhat irritated that Robyn lost almost as
much weight as I did and by eating whatever she wanted! We left, promising to be back next January; the Chiva
Som experience leaves me in top form for three months.
I took to the Swiss slopes in February with my elder daughter Christine and family. The three granddaughters
surrounded me and shielded me from overzealous snow boarders and other skiers – it was like having my own
protection team, they’re known as ‘Michel’s Angels’.
After over a year of work, my manuscript Desserts was delivered to the Publisher – on time! I love writing and
am very proud that this is my twelfth book and will be published early in October this year.
In April some serious celebrations started for my 70th birthday with a big family dinner in Paris at my friend
Michel Rostang’s restaurant. He and his wife Marie Claude served a fabulous dinner spoiling us with Poulet de
Bresse au Vin Jaune et Morille Mushrooms, lots and lots of them. I had two helpings and Michel Roux Junior had
three! Sadly Albert was the only missing member of the family as he had work commitments in Australia.
Robyn had organised a rather unconventional birthday present so the following morning we commenced
a long journey to Norway for a once-in-a-lifetime trip to Longyearbyen which is just 600 miles south of the Pole.
Why, you ask? Well to go dog-sledding of course! This was a complete hands-on experience from feeding them,
harnessing them, mushing and yes, even cleaning up after them. We mushed for 50 kilometres a day staying in a
glorious old sailing ship that is set in the ice. The quiet and sweeping tundra were awesome and the huskies were
so brave.
Alain and I appeared together cooking on television for the first time on ‘Saturday Kitchen’ with James Martin.
Happily I won the omelette competition which proves that this old pensioner still has what it takes!
Back in Switzerland I had a memorable long lunch with my old friend Fredy Girardet, reminiscing about our
long relationship and reliving the many meals I have eaten at Crissier. I love visiting the wineries in the Valais to stock
my cellar, walking in the mountains and attempting to improve my golf but the views are so distracting.
In May I treated myself to a birthday present and chartered a Sunseeker Predator to cruise around Sardinia
and Corsica with Robyn and three friends. I cooked on board, swam in crystal clear waters and obeyed the
command to ‘chill out’. It was bliss – so relaxing and unusually for me I was not in control. What does a chef know
about being captain of the boat or even reading charts, that was all left to the skipper, Chris Fox who coincidentally
is the son of my ex-secretary Caroline.
I received a telephone call from Amanda Ross of Cactus Productions confirming that she had secured a
contract for a television series on the Roux family. The working title is ‘The Roux Dynasty’ and I, as well the rest of the
family, are over the moon. It should be shown on the UKTV Good Food channel early 2012. Watch out for it – Albert
and I will be back working together after 25 years and no doubt some sparks will fly as they always do! We will need
the calming influence of our two respective sons to sort us out!
Until next year I will say à bientôt and thank you each and every one for your support at The Waterside Inn.
The Waterside Inn, Ferry Road, Bray, Berkshire SL6 2AT
Int Tel: +44 (1628) 620691 Int Fax: +44 (1628) 784710
E-mail: [email protected]
Thirteenth Issue
The Per fect Theatr e| 6
Food writer and presenter Matthew Fort enjoys the performance that is food and service at The Waterside Inn
The Art of Alessi| 14
Escorte gastronomique…
Josh Sims interviews design mogul Alberto Alessi on design, love and kitchen equipment
Network House
28 Ballmoor
Celtic Court
MK18 1RQ
+44 (0)1280 829300
Fr om Bean to Bar| 18
Alain Roux visits French chocolate manufacturer Valrhona to discover how this ingredient turns from bean to bar
Ghost of the Night| 22
Quiet, sleek and smooth, driving the Rolls-Royce Ghost is simply a spiritual experience
+44 (0)1280 829350
Email: [email protected]
Publisher: Peter Marshall
Managing Editor: Shirley Marshall
Editor: Katy Morris
Assistant Editor: Sue Christelow
A Happy Family| 28
Alain Roux recalls his wedding to Laura Delmas and the birth of their son, Paul
Editorial Assistant: Danielle May
Editorial Contributors: Rosie Birkett,
Matthew Fort, Josh Sims
Design: Philip Donnelly
Room to Relax| 35
Discover the beautiful Hostellerie La Briqueterie in the heart of the Champagne region in France
Room for Design| 40
Production Co-ordinator: Glyn Mansfield
Photographer: Myburgh du Plessis
Sales::Sue Prain, Diane Farnham
Sales Support: Diane Warren
PA: Olivia White
Robyn Roux shares her inspiration behind the interior design choices for the rooms at The Waterside Inn
A Night to Remember| 46
American Express holds a dinner in honour of 25 years of Michelin success, Rosie Birkett was there
Mark Bir chall of L’Enclume wins Roux Scholarship 2011| 51
Rosie Birkett speaks to the 2011 Roux Scholar Mark Birchall about the competition and his upcoming stage in El
Celler de Can Roca, Spain
Swan Upping| 54
© Network Contract Publishing Ltd and
Roux Waterside Inn 2011. While every effort is
made to ensure accuracy, no responsibility can
be accepted for inaccuracies, howsoever caused.
No liability can be accepted for illustrations,
photographs, artwork or advertising materials while
in transmission or with the publisher or their agents.
All information is correct at time of going to print.
Royal birds with a royal heritage, this regular survey is an important event on The River Thames
Bray in Bloom| 56
Britain in Bloom committee member Maggie Hughes discusses the competition
News| 59
All the latest news from The Waterside Inn
The oldest Wine House in Champagne : Aÿ 1584
Mc Kinley Vintners - London SE1 7BL
[email protected] -
The perfect
Matthew Fort is captivated by The Waterside Inn
– ‘a corner of French style and sophistication in
the most British of settings.’
weet Thames, flow softly’, wrote
the poet, Edmund Spenser. It
does, in front of The Waterside
Inn, as it has done for almost 40
years. The surface of the water
crinkles like aluminium foil in the spring sun.
A grebe disappears beneath the water with
an elegant flip. A cruiser presses purposefully
up stream on the far side of the river. Standing
on the jetty in front of the restaurant, Diego
Masciaga, the maître d of maître d’s, casts
a benevolent eye over a clutch of tiny, fluffy
ducklings scooting around The Waterside Inn’s
landing stage. He picks an errant leaf from
one of the box bushes, which stand like green
shaving brushes in tubs at intervals along the
jetty. Diego turns to cast an equally benevolent
and watchful eye over the guests gathered at
various points of the restaurant’s terraced river
“You get the sense
of, that here is a chef
who understands
the real pleasure of
food, who is not afraid
He checks a plate of amuse bouches one
of the waiters is carrying to a couple sitting
on a bench just above the water, pauses to
chat smilingly to a group of six, which cover
perhaps three generations of the same family.
There is an ease, a rhythm about this pre-lunch
period, as guests settle down in the sunshine,
sip their drinks, study their menus, sink into
the comfort and attention as you might sink
into a warm bath. There is a sense that there’s
nothing to worry about, that everything will be
taken care of, that you are the single focus of
an alert, thoughtful, immensely capable team.
There really is nowhere in Britain quite
like The Waterside Inn. Its style, its position, its
reputation, its gastronomy, its sense of refined
luxury, have been benchmarks since Michel
Roux Senior settled here in 1972. When Michel
ceded place to his son, Alain, in 2002, there
was no diminution of standards, but there has
been a subtle progression of style. Evolution
rather than revolution is the order of the day.
to draw on the traditions
that made French haute
cuisine the yardstick
against which others are
judged. However, he is not
a slave to these traditions.
He bends them, advances
them to create his own,
personal vision of what
each dish should do.”
The perfect
“Alain Roux’s cooking
is the antithesis of the
ego-driven, self-centred
variety evident in the food of
many contemporary chefs.”
Filets de sole pochés au parfum d’estragon, queues d’écrevisses et morilles, sauce au vin jaune
‘Your table’s ready, Mr Fort’. Diego
Masciaga beams down, kindly, encouraging,
complicit in the pleasure that he knows
I’m about to have. He’s seen it countless
thousands of times before, helped hone the
experience to the seamless sequence of
delights it has become.
the service, the more invisible it becomes.
But if you do want to watch, take note of the
precise choreography of white-jacketed,
black-trousered, shining-shoed bodies, moving,
almost flowing, between the tables. But I’m
not going to be distracted by the mini-dramas
going on elsewhere because I have one of our
own. The first course has
Fond d’artichaut
garni d’une mousse
moelleuse d’asperges
et de betterave, cordon
de jeunes pousses de
salade et vinaigrette à
la ‘pomme d’or’. French
seems to bestow an
effortless poetry on a
dish, that translates into
Fabrice Uhryn Diego Masciaga, Matthew Fort and Alain Roux
the experience of eating
The half drunk glass of Champagne is
it. The firm artichoke base carries a light, airy
borne ceremoniously in front. I move from
mousse, a cloud of asparagus, gentle, allusive,
the dancing brightness of the Thames-side
defined by the vinaigrette. It’s a delightful
terrace into the sudden shade of the body of ramble through spring flavours, fresh and light,
the building, and then to the calm, sun-filled
classic really, a variation on a theme that’s run
order of the dining room, with its dusty pinks,
through French haute cuisine since Escoffier
roses, modulated reds, its carefully spaced
I wipe the plate clean with the chewy,
tables covered by brilliant white damask
springy bread baked earlier that day. The plate
cloths, set with winking glasses in precise
vanishes. There is a precisely judged pause,
order. It’s theatrical, feminine, sexy and yes,
just long enough to meditate on the pleasure
unmistakably French, a corner of French
of the past dish and to feel the prickle of
style and sophistication in the most British of
anticipation of the dish to come.
And here it comes, Émietté de tourteau
At this point the service sinks discretely
du Devon et bar mariné sur une gelée de
into the background, as it should. The better
carottes au gingembre, caviar osciètre ‘Royal
de Belgique’. Heaven knows what emiette is,
but there’s a little pile of glittering white crab
meat on a base of carrot jelly, with a slice
of marinated sea bass and a frond or two
of celery leaf. It’s a dish which advertises its
sophistication quietly. The crab sparkles with
sweet freshness. The languorous texture of the
sea bass shimmers with a delicate acidity.
The caviar’s saltiness, fishiness, seasons each
mouthful. The carrot provides a bloom of fruit.
And what’s this? Heat from ginger riding in on
the back of the carrot and then the meaty,
bovrilly flavour of the celery has the mysterious
quality of focussing the other flavours.
Yikes. That’s was good. Can I lick the bowl?
While I’m working out whether or not I really
might, it disappears. It’s just as well.
The life at the other tables is in full swing.
Chat, animation, laughter. The sound of voices
is like the wash of the sea on a pebble beach.
Diego moves around the room, the image
of a genial gardener tending his favourite
plants. He gives a word of advice here, a joke
there, a murmur in the ear of a waiter, pouring
a glass of water. Waiters and sommeliers glide
around him.
Ah, Ravioles et diablotins d’escargots
de Bourgogne en persillade servis dans un
bouillon de volaille parfumé aux bâtons de
citronnelle. It’s a dish of earthy, almost rustic
flavours, civilised by consummate, classic
cooking skills. I think that the chicken mousse
of exquisite delicacy must be the diablotin. The
velvety ravioli is plump with more chicken. They
rest in a clear, deep brown stock of muscular
Ravioles et diablotins d’escargots de Bourgogne en persillade servis dans un bouillon de volaille parfumé aux bâtons de citronnelle.
The perfect
Tournedos d’Angus piqué aux olives noires et ses croquettes moelleuses de pommes de terre à
la tapenade, sauce au vin blanc parfumée au basilic.
“I’m settling into a rhythm now. The pacing of each dish is immaculate.
The tempo is picking up at other tables too, as the sense of well-being
wraps up each luncher in a duvet of good cheer.”
Entremets amandine à la pomme verte et son granité,
meatiness, and studded with fat, springy snails,
lifted by lemongrass, with the brilliant green of
broad beans to provide colour and crunch.
I’m settling into a rhythm now. The pacing
of each dish is immaculate. The tempo is
picking up at other tables too, as the sense of
well-being wraps up each luncher in a duvet
of good cheer.
Dos de saumon cuit en papillote aux
aiguilles de pin marin, petites pousses de pakchoï en friture, nage à l’anis étoilé. What’s this?
A rectangular bar of wild salmon with pine
needles sticking out of it. Weird or what? Not a
bit. The subtle astringency of the pine offsets
the voluptuous, velvety richness of the fish and
the sauce, lightly infused with aniseed. There
are a couple of leaves of pak choi, too, almost
grassy inside their tempura casing. Alain Roux
is a master of detail, each elegantly dovetailed
into the beautifully composed dish. Flavour
and balance are never sacrificed to mere
And as I sit and ponder on that, another
fish dish arrives, Filets de sole pochés au
parfum d’estragon, queues d’écrevisses
et morilles, sauce au vin jaune. It has the
almost miraculous combination of firm sole
filled with another feather-light mousse. The
sharp, almost medicinal flavour of tarragon
clears the way for bosky morels and little
detonations of fresh peas. Ah me. This is
timeless stuff, pulled off with immaculate
polish. And, wonder of wonder, the proportion
of sauce to other ingredients is just so,
precisely right, enough to register, enough
to lubricate each mouthful, and leave
just enough to mop up with bread when
everything else has vanished.
You get the sense of, that here is a chef
who understands the real pleasure of food,
who is not afraid to draw on the traditions
that made French haute cuisine the yardstick
against which others are judged. However,
he is not a slave to these traditions. He bends
them, advances them to create his own,
personal vision of what each dish should do.
Alain Roux’s cooking is the antithesis of
the ego-driven, self-centred variety evident
in the food of many contemporary chefs. He
may be no culinary sans culotte, but there
is a confidence and conviction about the
combinations he creates, a balance and a
sureness of touch. While he’s not afraid of big,
deep flavours, I would say that delicacy and
lightness are the hallmarks of his dishes. He
knows when to stop.
Enough maundering. The Fondant de
pigeonneau ‘Royal Maine-Anjou’ et de caille,
sur lit de pommes de terre écrasées et chou
frisé, jus au citron vert has appeared, a
quail breast stuffed inside a pigeon’s breast,
contrasting textures of velvet and suede,
infinitely elegant and emollient, with the
crushed potatoes to add a nubbly, bucolic
note. And then there are tiny triangles of lime
that burst through the silky richness of the
sauce. It’s all about contrast and poise.
I wouldn’t say that there was the same
reticence about the Tournedos d’Angus piqué
aux olives noires et ses croquettes moelleuses
de pommes de terre à la tapenade, sauce au
vin blanc parfumée au basilic. The aristocratic
fillet of beef has been studded with salty black
olives. Olives pop up again in the fluffy potato
croquettes. And then there’s a white wine
sauce and basil. With Aberdeen Angus beef?
A travesty? Not a bit of it. The sunshine of the
South of France warms the Scottish foodscape.
Sour, salty olives spice up the beef, brings zing
and a life to this soft-textured cut.
But that’s enough of protein. Time for
cheeses, smooth, potent, exemplary and
then for sweetness, for Entremets amandine
à la pomme verte et son granité, an exquisite
example of French pâtisserie and the
understanding of how a light, luxuriously
squidgy almond cream needs the sharpness
of a Granny Smith apple to lead you from
mouthful to mouthful. And just in case I haven’t
had quite enough, a Florentin aux avelines,
mousse voire et fruit de la passion, a hazelnut
florentine, all toasted-wheat-and-butter flavours
with an absurdly indulgent white chocolate
mousse made honest by intense passion fruit,
just dots the ‘I’s’ and crosses the ‘T’s’, as it were,
of a memorable lunch.
It confirms just how much this country has
owed, still owes, to French gastronomy, how,
when food is imagined with this sophistication,
cooked with this level of skill and served with
this level of charm and consideration, really
there’s nothing to match it.
‘Finished, Mr Fort?’ Diego Masciaga
materialises at my elbow. ‘Oh, I think so,’ I say.
Florentin aux avelines, mousse voire et fruit de la passion
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Josh Sims discusses life, style and industry
with Italian design guru ALBERTO ALESSI.
esign is certainly more popular
now,” says Alberto Alessi, puffing
on his cigar. “Forty years ago
interest in it was niche, even
if the industry itself was that much bigger.
Now many more people understand and
appreciate it. But now there is a lot of bad
design about too. And in fact that is only
muddling understanding of what is good and
bad design. There’s all the mass-media too, TV
especially – that’s not a contribution to forming
good taste.” Alessi might well have a strong opinion
on the matter. His company’s products have
become such totems of chic living, statements
of one’s design sensibility, that over the last 30
years or so home-owners have bought into
Alessi to the tune of a €100m turnover and
sales to 60 countries. Alessi, arguably, has
been at the vanguard of the kitchen’s re-birth
as the domestic space that most typically
shows off our status. If other cutlery, coffee
pot and crockery-makers have made the
conventional, Alessi has made the consciously
quirky, and the cultish, with the help of worldclass designers the likes of Achille Castiglioni,
but also Joe Colombo and Ettore Sottsass,
Richard Sapper and Michael Graves, not to
mention artists including Salvador Dali and
Gio Pomodoro. Small wonder then, that – a little bit of
Italy in a corner of France – The Waterside Inn
is no less an homage to Alessi products too.
From coffee cups to milk jugs to fruit stands,
pepper mills to paper baskets, wine stands to
wine coolers, tea strainers to coffee makers,
Alessi products are found everywhere – even in
the toilets, where the brush comes courtesy of
Alessi too. “You have to be conscious of functional
needs of a kitchen – what shape a bowl
needs in order to be able to hold it to whisk
its contents well, or the requirements of a
pan in which to cook pasta, which may be
as simple as ensuring it has the right handle
or a restaurant but also fashion,” explains
Alberto Gozzi, consultant to Alessi and the
man charged with bringing designer and
Alessi project together. “But you also have
to be aware of fashion – for example, it was
once the case that any up-market restaurant
had to have everything in silver, but obviously
that’s not the case anymore, just as copper
has been replaced by stainless steel in the
kitchen. Sometimes you have to be mindful of
traditional forms too.” “But I have never been overly concerned with that idea that form should always
follow function,” Alessi says. “If you’re creating a bottle opener, for example, in
a market in which devices for doing that already exist, then the function of the
opener actually becomes to provide a more beautiful version.”
Published on October 3rd 2011
“But you also have to be aware of fashion
– for example, it was once the case that
any up-market restaurant had to have
everything in silver, but obviously that’s
not the case anymore, just as copper
has been replaced by stainless steel in
the kitchen. Sometimes you have to be
mindful of traditional forms too.”
All books by
Michel Roux
are available at
The Waterside Inn,
and all good
Indeed, many of the Alessi
pieces around The Waterside Inn
are classical and understated such
they would not have appeared out
of place a century ago. Yet others
are more obviously characteristic
of the brand – a playful, fun style
with which the Alessi company has
made its name, through which,
Alberto Alessi argues, it has survived. “Did the company need the
fun I helped to introduce to the
products? I don’t know,” says Alessi,
head of design and now president
of the Italian family business
established by his grandfather 90
years ago this year “But I do think
play is fundamental to business
activity. And I know that when the
company started out there were
maybe 30 others in a similar field.
And now there is just us. Perhaps
it saved us. Production costs with
average industrial products are
just so high that competition is
impossible when the same item can
be made in China for perhaps four
times less.”
Alessi’s response to this
predicament has been three-fold.
For one, the company has acted
more like a gallery curator or film
producer: to tap into the world’s
leading design talents and organise
that talent to create products
that are understood by enough
customers to make them viable.
The other big idea has been to pay
as much attention to the everyday
products we unconsciously
develop a relationship with, as to
the show-stoppers that look great
on the counter-top – to give as
much attention to the shape of a
spoon as he might to the many
collaborative projects that have
seen the company also design cars,
bathrooms, phones and watches.
It is in precisely the more humble
objects, he stresses – among the
100 or so it will produce this year
alone – that Alessi the company
finds its competitive edge. And yes,
the teaspoons at The Waterside Inn
are Alessi too.
“Throughout history small
objects can be masterpieces of
applied arts, from vases to salt
cellars, and that is what we offer,”
says Alessi. “But I have never been
overly concerned with that idea that
form should always follow function,”
Alessi says. “If you’re creating a
bottle opener, for example, in a
market in which devices for doing
that already exist, then the function
of the opener actually becomes to
provide a more beautiful version.”
Alberto Alessi’s transformation
of the family firm from effective
steel works to design manufacturer
has not been without its conflicts.
Alessi’s father Carlo, who died in
2009, always thought Alberto’s
preferred direction to be too radical,
with more traditional products a
safer route. But Alberto had kicked
against what was expected from
the outset. While there was little
doubt that his career would be in
the family business – the traditions
of such in Italy being so strong,
he even refers to it as “an issue
of destiny” – the realisation of the
fact only hit him when he was 18
and his father insisted he study
economics. Head-strong, he insisted
on architecture. Between them, they
compromised on law. “What did
I learn from my studies? Probably
nothing. At least nothing important,”
he says. But at least it was close
enough to his artistic bent to ensure
this was not overwhelmed by a
regard for the bottom line.
“What we really do is
commercial art. Like fashion,
cinema, maybe even a rock
concert, it’s the form of art
addressed to a much wider
audience,” Alessi explains. “That
means there are limits to what we
can do. Well, not what we can do,
but what will be appreciated by
our customers. If a product is not
accessible, you don’t sell it. But
we still make items even knowing
they’re less accessible and will
make less money. And let’s say that
sometimes other family members
and employees don’t quite agree
with that approach. Of course profit is essential
to survive,” he adds. “There’s no
question about that. But it is not
the most important issue and
most mass-production companies
don’t understand that. There’s less
and less poetry in the little things
because of mass production,
which in contemporary culture is
dominated by marketing. But before
I’m an industrialist I’m a human
being who needs poetry. And we all
need more of that.”
Rosie Birkett travelled to Valrhona’s headquar ters in Tain-l’Hermitage with
Alain Roux to discover how the superior culinary chocolate is made.
e’ve always used Valrhona,”
says Alain Roux as we arrive
at the small but charming
Le Mangevins bistro in Tain
L’Hermitage for a spot of lunch
before we get down to the hungry business of learning
about how Valrhona make their exquisite chocolate.
“The support they offer to pastry chefs is fantastic,”
he adds, referring to the way in which the chocolate
producer works with professional chefs to support
and impart product knowledge and recipe know-how.
As we tuck into fresh plates of ravioles de Royans – a
local dish of tiny ravioli filled with Comte cheese and
topped with poutargue [dried grey mullet eggs], Alain
recalls how he used to enjoy the speciality when he
was living nearby in Valence – working at Restaurant
Pic under legendary chef Jacques Pic, whose
daughter Anne-Sophie now holds the reins, and three
Michelin stars.
“I used to have these as a snack with friends
when we came back from a night out – they were
a staple for us then, often rolled in cream,” he smiles.
After we’ve polished off main courses of braised piglet,
washed down with some delicious local Domaine Yves
Cuilleron Côte-Rôtie red (the restaurant is a brilliant
showcase of small, local growers) we enjoy some
individually-wrapped Valrhona chocolates from a glass
on our table. That even this humble, 20-cover bistro –
which favours small, independent wine makers and
suppliers – has Valrhona on offer reflects the values of
terroir and passionate production that lie at the heart of
the brand, as we’re about to find out.
“It is not by chance that Valrhona put
the taste of an agricultural product at the
centre of its strategy,” explains Pierre Costet,
Valrhona’s resident cocoa expert that
afternoon. In one of the presentation rooms at
Valrhona’s HQ, he takes us through the cocoa
procurement and rigorous quality control
process employed by the brand, explaining
the parallels between the wine and chocolate
making that occur in this part of the Rhone.
“Here in the Rhone Valley for many years,
people have been cultivating grapes to make
very good wine, so it has been for a long time
here that the quality of a product has a strong
connection with the environment.” To illustrate
his point he then shows us two pictures – one
of a wine maker in a local vineyard, and one
of a Valrhona cocoa grower on an Ecuadorian
“In this picture you have the terroir and
the environment – the soil, the vine and the
wine maker who knows how to transform
this grape into a very good wine. That’s the
terroir. For cocoa it’s exactly the same thing.
Everything you know about wine you can
apply to cocoa. This guy is living in Ecuador,
you can see the fever he’s got in his eyes. We
are not looking for cocoa, we are looking for
people who are eager to make very good
cocoa and we are looking for terroirs. We’re
looking for taste.”
Pierre goes on to explain about the three
different cocoa varieties: Criollo, Forastero and
Trinitario (a hybrid of Criollo and Forastero),
and the countries and suppliers that the
company works with directly to ensure quality
and sustainable sources. But, he explains, it’s
not all about variety. “Variety is only part of the
quality,” he says. “You can have a good Criollo,
but if it’s planted and cultivated wrong it won’t
give good cocoa.” To this end, to guarantee
the constant quality of its cocoa beans, the
chocolate brand has long-term partnerships
with local producers, who work with its experts
like Pierre during every stage of the cultivation
process. “Our purpose is not to create many
farms,” he says. “We want the farms to really
understand cocoa farming.”
After Pierre’s insightful presentation
we meet Vanessa Lemoine, a miraculously
petite lady (given that a big part of her
job is tasting chocolate) who holds the
intriguing title of Sensory Analysis Manager.
“I train people to taste and check every
aroma in our chocolate,” she explains. “We
have 30 chocolate experts here at Valrhona
and more than 200 people that taste the
chocolate every day to check the quality
of the product at every stage.” That’s how
seriously this company takes the matter of
taste. Vanessa then shows us what she calls
‘the cut test’, which is the first assessment
the cocoa beans go through when they are
received from growers. Beans are placed in
a special guillotine machine that slices them
straight down the middle, so that Vanessa and
her colleagues can look at things like colour,
texture and smell to see if it’s a good batch of
beans that have been fermented correctly.
We are not looking for
cocoa, we are looking for
people who are eager to
make very good cocoa and
we are looking for terroirs.
We’re looking for taste.”
Costet Pierre
After an explanation of how aroma,
taste and smell are linked, we get down to
the tasting – which is more complicated than
you might think, as Vanessa explains how her
professional tasters carry out the taste test.
“First, snap the chocolate in your fingers to
get a feel for how it’s been tempered and to
release the aromas,” she says. “Then rub the
chocolate between your tongue and your
palate so that it starts to melt, and exhale
through the nose.” Sure enough, this is the
most intense and effective way of tasting
We try more than our fair share of the
different chocolates, and are impressed by
the varieties of aroma and flavour profiles
that we experience. Guanaja (70%), the
groundbreaking chocolate that was the
most bitter in the world when it was released
by Valrhona in 1986, is a deep, dark and
incredibly grown-up affair, while the Majari,
which comes from a single Madagascan
estate, is heady with red fruit and the Alpaco
is more floral, calling to mind jasmine and soft
praline. “The variety is incredible,” says Alain as
he takes another chocolate to scrutinise.
The famous chocolate, which is a
favourite among pastry chefs and the top
tiers of high gastronomy (its latest marketing
campaign bears a stack of chocolate
emblazoned with the names including
Bocuse, Ducasse, Pic and Robuchon)
has been produced at the factory in the
Rhone Valley since 1922. Over that time it’s
grown – the production site moving from its
original premises in the centre of town to
accommodate the increased production –
but it’s been determined to stay close to the
original values set out by its founding pâtissier.
At the core of this is Valrhona’s dedication to
working with professional chefs such as Alain,
providing them with specific products and
services to enhance their desserts.
Part of this ethos is the Ecole de Grand
Chocolat cookery school that was set up by
the brand’s legendary pastry chef Frederic
Bau in 1989. The following day, after an
exquisite lunch at Frederic’s restaurant Umia
– which is set among the rolling vines of a
nearby vineyard – we head to the school to
check it out. Our guide, Thierry Castel, tells
us that 700-800 professional chefs enroll in
the school each year, with some classes also
being attended by the general public. The
extensive, impressive facilities include three
lab classrooms, complete with an ‘enrobing
machine’ – an incredibly handy machine that
tempers chocolate.
In these classroom labs, students are
taught pastry recipes by experts – learning
everything from opalines and sorbets to
ganaches and sauces, and interestingly,
what they’re taught does not all revolve
around chocolate or Valrhona’s products. As
Thierry explains: “the more people that get to
knowledge about pastry, the more they will use
good products. So we need to promote pastry
in general, and that is part of our philosophy.”
A walk around the chocolate factory,
where the air is warm and thick with melting
chocolate, reveals that while the production
site may have got bigger and more technically
advanced over the years (this site was built in
2003), the traditions that underpin the brand
are still very much alive. Most of the machines
that Valrhona chooses to use are an average
of 40 years old because the chocolate makers
find that they yield the best results, and parts
of the production (like the painstaking handdecoration) are still done by hand.
It’s fascinating to see and taste
the chocolate at different stages of the
production, and to note how different the
product tastes when still in its raw form.
When we try the cocoa nibs, before they
have been refined and mixed with the other
ingredients like cocoa butter and vanilla, it’s
a very acidic, bitter and lasting flavour that
while not palatable on its own, implies the
potential that will be realised when the recipe
is completed. “It’s great to come here and see
how the product is being made – from bean
to bar,” concludes Alain, who has clearly been
impressed by the dedication to taste, quality
and terroir that we have seen from Valrhona
during our visit.
For more information about Valrhona
chocolate visit
of the night
Silent, smooth and sleek – the new
Rolls-Royce Ghost is like no spirit
ever seen before.
Michel Roux pays homage
outside hotel Chateau Du
he journey began
like many others,
packing, checking,
discussions and then
the anticipation, not
just for where you
will be going but how you will be
getting there and that is where
the similarities to a regular journey
end. Starting at three Michelinstarred restaurant The Waterside
Inn, the Rolls-Royce Ghost was
true to its name, a spirit in the
early morn it glides towards the
chosen destination – Paris – to
pick up world-renowned chef
ambassador Michel Roux.
With a powerful 6.6 litre V12
engine the Ghost makes little
work of the English countryside
as it heads for France. The twincoloured body work of dark
indigo and sleek silver work in
perfect harmony as it cruises over
the landscape. As it moves the
self-righting wheel centres stay
upright so that all around can be
sure that this is a Rolls-Royce – not
that those inside could forget.
The luxurious interior offers
comfort that one could only
expect to find in their private
boudoir, in this case smooth
and supple cream leather seats
paired with snug wool carpets
and sleek wood veneer surrounds.
Chrome handles and buttons
ensure that your every need is
taken care of whether passenger
or driver.
A striking presence in Montreuil
For drivers, the drive is one of your life –
smooth and smart the Ghost simply and easily
owns the road. Offering cruise and speed
control, just set to the required speed on long
journeys and the Ghost will lead the way,
breaking and accelerating where necessary.
The vibration alert ensures that control is firmly
kept and will warn you if you happen to drift
between lanes.
The dashboard is fully equipped so that
you can demand the same control from the
car as it does of the road – showing everything
from speed and time to track and volume the
dashboard is also highlighted on the screen
as an unobtrusive hologram so that eyes need
not even leave the road.
That same control is maintained in the
dark as the infrared camera reads the road
for any animals or obstructions that may pose
a hazard. This same camera is equally as
necessary when reversing as it switches into
colour mode together with the reversing alarm
so that you can see exactly what is behind or
in front of you at all times.
En route to Paris, many of the features
were put into practice, some are things so
apparent that you wonder how you have
ever lived without them and some so simple
that you have mastered them in a number
of seconds – the in-built satellite navigation
system for instance, with a dual-screen option
so that those in front can change the settings
without losing the route.
As well as all this the Ghost is a powerful
machine with an 8-speed ZF gearbox that
means it can accelerate from 0 to 62mph
in just 4.9 seconds, and in perfect silence,
so that those inside can enjoy the speed
of the road and not the sound of the car.
Within minutes the Ghost arrives in Paris to
collect Michel Roux, settling comfortably into
the passenger seat, Michel discusses the
technical specifications of the car before
enjoying the short ride to Relais & Châteaux
hotel La Briquetterie set in the heart of the
Champagne region.
Unfortunately the weather has turned
since Paris and the threat of rain is overhead,
however the custom-made umbrellas
sheathed in the doors are a welcome relief
from the spots of rain that fall. As Michel
exits the car through the coach doors he
comments on the comfort and quietness of
the journey from Paris.
A visit to Epernay
For passengers (and driver of course) the
panoramic sunroof, reclining seats and hot
and cold air conditioning are just the basic
facilities that the Ghost offers. Other features
such as hot and cold seat temperatures,
seat massagers and full surround sound in
both the front and back of the car, with in-car
entertainment in the form of TV, DVD and
music choices are specially designed so that
passengers can sit back and enjoy the ride.
Vehicle length
5399 mm / 212.6 in
Vehicle width
1948 mm / 76.7 in
Vehicle height (unladen)
1550 mm / 61.0 in
3295 mm / 129.7 in
Engine / cylinders / valves
V / 12 / 48
Power output @ engine speed
563 bhp / 420 kW / 570 PS @5250 rpm
Max torque @ engine speed
780 Nm / 575 lb ft @ 1500 rpm
Compression ratio / fuel type
10:1 / premium unleaded2
Top speed
155 mph / 250 km/h (governed)
Acceleration 0-60 mph
4.7 sec
Acceleration 0-100 km/h
4.9 sec
After a stay at La Briquetterie the
Ghost is back on the road once more.
When faced with a long journey ahead
to the second stop, passenger and driver
show little worry for discomfort as they
know the drive will be smooth and stressfree in the Ghost. Stopping at the Château
du Montreuil just an hour from Calais and
another member of the Relais & Châteaux
family the Ghost owns the road with ease,
and with coveted looks and awe from
bystanders this Ghost is definitely a car
to be seen and not heard. It is here that
Michel Roux departs and the Ghost returns
to the roads of the UK once more.
For more information about the
Rolls-Royce Ghost visit
or call +44(0)1344 871200
Rolls-Royce Motor Cars Sunningdale
London Road
En route to Paris, many of the features were put into practice, some are things
so apparent that you wonder how you have ever lived without them and
some so simple that you have mastered them in a number of seconds
On the streets of Montreuil
A luxury Relais & Châteaux hotel with
a panoramic view over the bay of Saint-Tropez.
The Villa Belrose is situated in Gassin, only a few minutes away from SaintTropez, on a hilltop with an exceptional view. Built following a typical
Mediterranean style, enshrined in a private domain of 7,000 m² the Villa
Belrose has only 40 suites and rooms. Since 2002, the restaurant boasts in
the Michelin Guide. The Chef Thierry Thiercelin proposes a Mediterranean cuisine based upon local products. Having dinner on the terrace
becomes an unforgettable experience both for your eyes and taste buds.
Saint-Tropez – the heart of the French Riviera and home away from
home for the Roux family – and with tranquil landscapes, rolling hills
and beautiful beaches it’s easy to see why. In this section of the
magazine we celebrate the best of Saint-Tropez, from the luxury hotel
where chef Alain Roux and his wife Laura celebrated their wedding,
to fresh tastes from local seafood restaurant and Michel Roux
favourite, Le Table du Mareyeur. And if that wasn’t enough to make
Saint-Tropez the home of relaxation we take a moment to unwind
with the latest offering from Saint-Tropez vineyard Château Minuty.
Hotel Villa Belrose Boulevard des Crêtes La Grande Bastide F- 83580 Gassin/Saint Tropez
Phone +33 (0) 4 /94 55 97 97 Fax +33 (0) 4 /94 55 97 98 [email protected]
Alain and Laura Roux married in August
A happy
2010. Alain tells us all about the big day
and the birth of their son, Paul.
can’t believe it’s been nearly a year,”
Alain exclaims when asked about his
wedding to Laura Delmas, “It feels like
it was just yesterday.” The wedding itself
was a small affair taking place in Gassin, close
to Saint-Tropez – a regular destination for the
Roux family who enjoy spending time in the
South of France.
The celebrations began with a
congratulations party held at the Bergerie,
the Roux home in the south of France. The
small group, comprising mainly of family met
together on the terrace around the pool
enjoying the surroundings and in excited
anticipation for the happy couple. “It was
a fantastic event – so relaxed,” explains
Alain, “Robyn organised the decorations
and it was beautiful with a banner wishing
us congratulations on our special day and
each guest was given a diamond shaped
paperweight with our names engraved, which
was a lovely touch.”
At the celebration guests enjoyed
seafood from local restaurant and friend of
the family La Table du Mareyeur – a seafood
specialist based in Port Grimaud near SaintTropez with a reputation for the finest quality
fresh seafood platters of lobster, langoustine
and shrimp. Together with dishes of paella
and local cheeses from Aubrac, there was
plenty to please everyone with desserts of ice
“We were so
excited but
obviously we
had the wedding
to think about
first but the
arrival of the
baby was in the
forefront of
our minds,”
cream, red fruits and a special cake cooked
on the spit, a ‘gâteau à la broche’ made
by Laura’s grandmother Denise to finish. “It
was lovely to be able to spend time with our
families together and in such good weather
– Laura’s sister Julie wrote and sang us a
song and my nieces did a funny dancing
show, so we had entertainment as well,”
Alain continues.
The wedding ceremony, held the
following day at the Town Hall in Gassin close
to the hotel, was a low-key affair; never one
for drama Alain was pleased to celebrate
the event with his family. “François Matton
from winemakers Château Minuty actually
performed the ceremony,” Alain revealed,
“He used to be second in command to the
mayor in Gassin so it was a pleasure to have
him conduct the service.”
Following the service the group
went to Saint-Tropez’s Hôtel Villa Belrose, a
Relais & Châteaux property set in the hills
and overlooking the Bay of Saint-Tropez.
It was there that they enjoyed a fantastic
lunch cooked by chef Thierry Thiercelin, of
Langoustines pochées dans un court-bouillon
au goût d’un jardin niçois, Filet mignon de
veau en aiguillette sur un nid de pâtes farcies
and finishing with L’idée d’une tarte ‘Tatin’ aux
pêches blanches et glace à la menthe. The
meal was finished with a croquembouche
much to the delight of the bride and groom,
“that was a lovely suprise organised by
Alain,” adds Laura, “it was such a amazing
piece – we were all wowed by it, that was very
Relaxed and happy the guests returned
home in the afternoon,“then it was just us
and on our wedding night Laura surprised
me by taking me to a treetop hotel which was
in a vine field near the sea – everything in
there was made out of wood. It was a great
experience and such a nice surprise and I
didn’t have a clue about it!” Alain enthused.
When the couple returned to England
they began anticipating and planning a
new event. Already five months pregnant
when they married Laura was due to have
her baby in December. “We were so excited
but obviously we had the wedding to think
about first but the arrival of the baby was in
the forefront of our minds,” Laura explains. The
couple had a fairly calm couple of months
together before the birth but Alain remembers
one occasion, “we were visiting my sisters
in Paris in September – to collect toys and
clothes that they had given us – and Laura
started having contractions but luckily it was
a false alarm,” Alain recalls. Instead baby Paul
arrived in perfect timing. At around quarter to
12 at night when Alain was just finishing work
Laura’s contractions started and Alain took her
to the hospital, Paul was born at 4.13am on
the 29th November 2010. “We were so excited
and happy,” Alain says, “Laura had a natural
birth using a water bath and it was such an
amazing time.”
Laura agrees,“I had been to active
birth classes which really helped prepare
me. It meant that I could relax and enjoy the
experience,” she notes.
“Laura was great –nine months can
sometimes feel like a long time when you’re
waiting for something but it’s nothing in the
grand scheme of things. He is absolutely
beautiful and now the time is flying by!”
the taste of
Set in the heart of Port
Grimaud, nestled in
the Bay of St Tropez,
Le Table du Mareyeur
is proud to provide
the highest quality
fish and seafood to its
a Table du Mareyeur has
been committed to quality
for over 20 years – quality in
the produce which is sourced
responsibly and sustainably, quality in
the surroundings with its magnificent
waterside terrace and quality in the
friendly and personal service Ewan and
Caroline and their team offer on a daily
basis to all guests.
After training at Lausanne Hotel
Management School together, Ewan
and Caroline settled in Port Grimaud,
known as the ‘Provençale Venice’, and
have built up an excellent reputation
over the years for serving fresh seafood
and fish in an uncomplicated manner
– never following fad or fashion but
at the same time never standing
still. Although La Table du Mareyeur
features in few guidebooks or reviews,
their dedication to quality and ‘hands
on’ approach are characteristics
shared with Michel and Alain Roux
who visit regularly with family and
friends or who call on the home
delivery service when entertaining
guests at the family holiday home in
La Table du Mareyeur offers its
guests a spectacular setting directly
on the waterside in which to enjoy
fresh simple seafood and fish. For a
fantastic experience all round a taxi
boat service within the Bay of Saint
Tropez area allows clients to reach La
Table du Mareyeur directly and easily
whilst avoiding the traffic. La Table du
Mareyeur offers a ‘prix fixe’ lunch menu
at 25€ with wine and coffee included as
well as seafood platters and grilled fish
à la carte.
ÁÁ Home and yacht delivery
ÁÁ Private pontoon and moorings
ÁÁ Event organization and party
ÁÁ Open from March until
November and for Christmas
and New Year
10 & 11 Place des Artisans,
83310 Port Grimaud
Tel: +33 494560677
Email: [email protected]
Winemakers Château MINUTY introduce
their latest release – Cuvée OR.
2010 saw Château MINUTY, ‘Cru Classé in Côtes de Provence’ for the first time
reveal its Cuvée OR – the ultimate expression of its wine conception. A special
bottle was designed with an emphasis on simplicity, elegance and shape
which expresses the similar characteristics of the wine.
‘Blanc et OR’ is a subtle association of sauvignon and viognier creating a
elegant blend of delicate flavour. The two grape varieties, native sauvignon from
the Bordeaux area and the viognier of the Côtes-du-Rhône create a completely
different aroma from traditional Côtes-de-Provence’s white wines. The wine’s
bouquet reveals some intense notes of passion fruit and its well-round and
fragrant taste is harmonious and well-balanced.
‘Rosé et OR’ obtains an unanimous welcome during its launch under the 2009
vintage, and has established the popularity of rosés from Château MINUTY.
Through ‘Rose et OR’, the estate’s owners, Jean-Etienne and François Matton,
wished to express their ultimate conception of a rosé; a natural wine which gives
an immediate pleasure in the mouth. Elaborated with 95 per cent of grenache,
the king of the rosé’s grape varieties, the vintage 2010 challenges the excellence
of the previous one. This blend creates a rosé with a vibrating expression which
is a concentration of greedy aromas, with an intense freshness which offers a full
expression of fruits.
‘Rouge et Or’ is the result of the knowledge of Jean-Etienne and François, with
many investments made to the wine-making process. The best juices derived
from the procedure were then dedicated to this new vintage which would be
complete only when it had met the requirements of Jean-Etienne and François.
In fact Jean-Etienne and François are so keen on the quality that they actually
postponed the launch of ‘Rouge et OR’ after reflecting on the taste. Now this
‘Rouge et OR’ gives a new image to the reds of Côtes-de-Provence. This deep red
wine is composed of 80 per cent mourvèdre and expresses powerful aromas of
cherry. Its delicate and silky texture matches perfectly with its deep palate and
exceptional balance.
The regularity and the quality of the work of Château MINUTY allows it to be
exported and to be present on the most beautiful tables of the world. For more
information about the Cuvée OR range please visit
Room to
S e t i n t h e h e a r t o f F r a n c e ’s C h a m p a g n e r e g i o n ,
Book a Charming British or Irish Escape in one of our country house or city hotels and
experience great British or Irish food at it’s best prepared by some of the most renowned chefs.
From just £350* per couple…
Participating hotels:
Airds Hotel & Restaurant, Amberley Castle, The Bath Priory, Buckland Manor, Chewton Glen, Cliff House Hotel, The Connaught, Farlam Hall, Gidleigh Park,
Gilpin Hotel & Lake House, Glenapp Castle, Gravetye Manor, Hambleton Hall, Inverlochy Castle, Kinloch House, Lime Wood, Longueville Manor, Lower
Slaughter Manor, Lucknam Park, Mallory Court, Le Manoir aux Quat’ Saisons, Marlfield House, The Royal Crescent Hotel, Sharrow Bay, Sheen Falls Lodge,
Summer Lodge Country House Hotel & Spa, The Vineyard at Stockcross, The Waterside Inn, Whatley Manor, Ynyshir Hall.
*VAT may not already be included in some hotels. Dinner without drinks. This offer is valid all year for any holidays taken before December 30th, 2011 included.
Reservations must be made at least 72 hours prior to arrival date and are subject to availability. Changes may be done without prior notice. Rate based on two
people sharing a double room. Accommodation in a double classic or superior room, a dinner for 2 people and a sumptuous breakfast for 2 the following morning.
Euros will apply in hotels in Ireland. For reservations please call 00 800 2000 00 02**
** Toll free number
Relais & Châteaux hotel Hostellerie La Briqueterie
with its landscaped gardens, soothing spa and
s t y l i s h d e c o r i s t h e p e r f e c t p l a c e t o r e s t a n d r e l a x . F
or those arriving
at the Hostellerie
La Briqueterie it is
easy to see why this
destination is so
popular. Close to the highly
successful champagne trails
and surrounded by vineyards
of three major champagne
producers the hotel is a
highlight for visitors to the
region, with many guests
traveling from Paris for a
short break in the hills.
But the lure of
champagne is not the only
reason that Hostellerie La
Briqueterie is on the map –
this four-star hotel is famed
for its ability to make visitors
comfortable and relaxed.
Arriving at the curving
driveway at the entrance
of the hotel and entering
the beamed reception the
surrounding decoration
instantly helps guests to
feel at home. Warm fabrics
and soft materials perfectly
paired with cool stone
walls and tiled floors, not to
mention the quirky additions
of wooden carousel horses,
add a cheerful air to the
Offering 40 bedrooms
throughout and carefully
divided into classical, superior,
deluxe and suites, each room
has its own specific style
and decoration. Together
with unobtrusive technology
of flatscreen televisions and
WiFi, visitors can settle back
in the comfortable armchairs
or spread out on the large
bed. Complete with en-suite
bathrooms, plush furnishings
and eye-catching fabric
wall coverings this is just the
beginning of the relaxation
President Alix Philipon
has always seen this hotel
as a spot of tranquillity from
the busy streets of Paris
and has made it her goal
to ensure that the hotel is
as peaceful and relaxing
as possible. Having always
worked in the hospitality
industry Alix has a very good
idea of what people want
from the surroundings and
atmosphere of a hotel. “I also
manage a hotel in Paris,”
she says, “but the needs of
the visitors are completely
different to those here. In the
country people spend a lot
of time in the hotel, they want
to take in their environment,
enjoy spending time in their
rooms and the gardens –
I try to bear that in mind
when I am redecorating a
bedroom or talking to staff
about customer service.”
With 40 rooms to refresh and
refurbish at her fingertips it is
understandable that the hotel’s
decoration is an area close to
Alix’s heart, “I love working on the
rooms, it is my favourite part of
the job. Each room at the hotel is
different so it’s a new challenge
every time. When we first started at
the hotel it was looking very tired,
but now each room is fresh and
bright and has its own character,”
Alix explains.
The key pieces to her room
designs are the fabric wall
coverings, pinned close to the wall
so that they appear as smooth as
wallpaper, “we have used them
throughout all the rooms,” adds
Alix, “each room a different pattern,
but I always use Colefax and
Fowler as a supplier, their prints
are really striking and they are
guaranteed to make an impact on
people as they enter the rooms –
it’s a definite talking point.”
Although the comfort of the
rooms is an important aspect
for Alix she knows that being a
member of Relais & Châteaux
means offering quality in every
area – and with a focus on
relaxation in this hotel where else
better to relax than the spa. Set
in the lower levels of the hotel
the unique Briqueterie spa offers
everything needed for the perfect
out-of-body experience with a
little help from Carita and Decleor
beauty products, and a selection
of massages available.
And if the treatments aren’t
enough to chill out the guests
then a gentle swim in the indoor
pool, releasing the stress of the
day in the sauna or enjoying real
bubbles in the jacuzzi definitely
will. “Creating a spa was one of
the first developments that we
began when we undertook the
hotel,”Alix explains, “Visitors were
looking for something more than
just a hotel with fine dining and
comfortable rooms – the spa was
a natural next step for us and is
now a key reason for why people
want to stay.”
Guests can relax further into
their stay by indulging in a meal
set in the light spacious dining
room – a recent redevelopment
of the hotel. The large windows
and high ceilings work perfectly
with the grounds of the hotel,
where the rolling hills of the
surrounding landscape blend into
the manicured landscapes. From
the dining room diners can catch
a glimpse of the fragrant rose
garden, tranquil fountains and
majestic trees while they enjoy a
menu of fresh flavours and new
A recent addition to the hotel,
head chef Michael Nizzero brings
classic cooking to a modern
audience with a major impact
of flavours. The menu includes
dishes such as Veal sweetbread
tartlet, pecan nuts, vinaigrette
gourmande, Red mullet with
tapenade crust, crushed basil
potatoes, barigoule emulsion,
finishing with dishes such as Mélimelo of red fruits, flavoured with
lemon verbena, cactus crystalline
– always using ingredients that are
seasonal, fresh and full of flavour.
Hailing from Belgium, Michael
Nizzero comes to Hostellerie
La Briqueterie with a wealth of
culinary knowledge. Previously
stationed at the three Michelinstarred restaurant, The Waterside
Inn in Bray, England, Michael has
worked closely with chef patron
Alain Roux as well as with chef
ambassador and chef legend
Michael Nizzero and Michel Roux
“His intentions are very clear, he understands the
flavour of the main component such as the red
mullet and he uses ingredients that encourage
rather than overpower which works well.”
Michel Roux in an accompanying
role as sous chef on various
worldwide visits.
Michel Roux who recently
visited Hostellerie La Briqueterie
was proud of Michael’s
achievements and complimentary
about his menu. “His intentions
are very clear, he understands the
flavour of the main component
such as the red mullet and he
uses ingredients that encourage
rather than overpower which
works well. He leads his brigade
by example and he’s an excellent
teacher,” Michel says.
Michael himself is
unassuming about his talent,
despite having worked in both
two and three Michelin-starred
restaurants for a number of years
and moved from The Waterside Inn
to have the opportunity of running
his own kitchen and also to be
closer to his hometown in Belgium.
When asked how he describes
his style of food Michael explains;
“My style is modern classic, It’s
important to me to work with
quality ingredients. I work closely
with my suppliers and have them
on the phone every day and they
show me new things – I try to keep
things fresh and I personally go to
the market twice a week to buy
and check my products.”
Working at The Waterside Inn
has taught Michael many things
over the years: flavours, styles
and the ability to work well in a
high-pressure environment, but
Michael hasn’t finished learning
yet. “Working at Hostellerie La
Briqueterie has helped me to
work on so many things – learning
to run a kitchen and having
a relationship with the guests,
helping them choose from the
menu, the guest satisfaction is
definitely a rewarding experience
– to know they have enjoyed the
food,” Michael enthuses.
And what does Michael have
planned for the future? “We are
awaiting a new development
in the kitchen which will be due
to start over the next year. The
current kitchen is to be expanded
and set on one floor – this will
make us more efficient and cost
effective – enabling us to provide
an even better service to our
1 Roasted lobster tail, thermidor
garnish, watercress salad
2 Panfried John Dory, carrot purée,
artichoke and liquorice sauce
3 Langoustine tartare flavoured
with citrus, melba toast and
Aquitaine caviar
4 Lamb loin, nutty potatoes cream,
gratinated leeks
5 Red mullet with tapenade
crust, crushed basil potatoes,
barigoule emulsion
6 Veal sweetbread tartlet, pecan
nuts, vinaigrette gourmande
7 Mango “crémeux” flavoured
with rum and vanilla, star anise
nougatine and sorbet
8 Poached peach flavoured with
rosemary, dried fruit “dentelle”
9 Chocolate macaron flavoured
with Indian pepper, soft
ganache infused with yuzu and
10 Méli-melo of red fruits, flavoured
with lemon verbena, cactus
guests,” Michael notes. “We’re
looking forward to it.”
The redevelopment of the
kitchen isn’t the only plan that
the hotel has in store. Set on a
former brick-making factory, the
eponymous hotel still holds a
secret that is the former brick
oven. This part-buried tunnel of
bricks is where Alix and her team
are planning the next renovation.
“We’re looking into making this a
wine cellar so that we can hold
tastings for our guests. “We’re still
looking into the particulars of all
but we’re always looking for new
ways to develop and grow,” Alix
reveals. And where else better to
hold a champagne tasting than
in the heart of Champagne?
For more information about
Hostellerie La Briqueterie please
visit or
contact +33 (0)3 26 59 99 99 for
A marriage of perfection...
hile you would almost certainly expect to see the
familiar blue and white labels of Hildon gracing
the tables of the dining room and the bedrooms
at The Waterside Inn, it should come as no surprise to find that
this is the daily drinking choice of Alain Roux. An ever-present
bottle residing on his busy desk attests to the fact that Hildon
is very much his water of choice for everyday living, just as
he views it as the perfect complement to fine dining at The
Waterside Inn and everywhere he travels in the world.
How Hildon Natural Mineral Water has become such a
part of the Waterside Inn at Bray stems from Alain Roux’s
determination to serve English water at this iconic restaurant
beside the Thames. “I wanted to serve a water that matched
the dishes we create here,” he explained. “It had to be
naturally pure, cool and refreshing in taste and totally
consistent in quality. Of course, it had to be recognised by
our guests from all over the world as the finest to be found
anywhere. They would expect nothing else. So, we started
our long search for the perfect English water. Nothing we
tasted matched Hildon and it has proved the perfect partner
for us. Fine food and wines demand the very finest water. For
us, it is like a perfect marriage.”
For Hildon, the presence at The Waterside Inn represents
another chapter in a continuing association with the finest of
dining in the world‘s most renowned restaurants and hotels.
A heritage that is jealously guarded, the Hildon reputation
is one founded on total purity, the water being naturally
filtered from its environmentally protected source, deep in the
chalk hills which border the valley of Hampshire’s River Test.
Naturally crystal-clear, its stable composition, perfect taste
and health properties that include low sodium levels and high
calcium content, have become universally acknowledged,
establishing Hildon as the natural choice of the discerning
palate and the perfect partner for the exquisite food and
exceptional cellar at The Waterside Inn. A truly perfect
Hildon Ltd, Broughton, Hampshire SO20 8DQ √ +44 (0) 1794 301 747
Robyn Roux discusses her love of
interior design and how The Waterside
Inn was transformed to become a
restaurant avec chambres.
hen staying at The
Waterside Inn it is easy
to be a little in awe –
perfect service, a warm
atmosphere and of
course the anticipation
of a beautiful dinner. But when you have
checked into your room and sat on the bed,
as many guests do fatigued from travel and
excitement, that is when the true awe begins,
followed quickly by curiosity.
Luxurious fabrics, beautifully shaped
woodwork not to mention the sparkling sleek
bathrooms and unobtrusive technology
available in every room. The bedrooms at
The Waterside Inn (otherwise known as the
reason for said awe and curiosity) are created
by none other than Robyn Roux, the creative
innovator and unofficial interior designer of The
Waterside Inn.
Now a highly acclaimed restaurant
avec chambres The Waterside Inn offers nine
bedrooms and two suites available for guests
who usually stay for a single night – but Robyn
hasn’t always had so many rooms to play with.
“For many years The Waterside Inn was
just a restaurant, with the staff living in above
the house. It made sense, because until the
1990s there was very little accommodation
to rent in the local towns of Windsor and
Maidenhead – it was a buyers’ market and so
our staff lived here.”
Robyn recalls that having live-in staff
could be chaotic, “We purchased the house
next door to create a private dining room
in 1990 and soon after the rental market
changed so we felt the staff would be
healthier and happier living outside of the
operation. The development of the dining
room encouraged us to make the decision to
create six guest bedrooms upstairs which we
opened in 1992.”
Together with architect Michael Sumner,
Robyn worked on the rooms deciding on
everything from curtains and carpets to door
frames and bathrooms. One of the striking
features of the rooms at The Waterside Inn
are the curved ash doorways, each a perfect
entrance into the most captivating of rooms.
“The curved frames and the ash wood makes
a beautifully soft background which works with
practically anything”
Robyn explains.
And that was it, the beginning of stage
one of restaurant avec chambres for The
Waterside Inn and together with a small team
Robyn began on the regeneration. “It was
definitely a challenge,” she admits, “there were
so many things to think about and I remember
on our opening night as a restaurant with
rooms I was going down the hall with the
vacuum as the first guests were coming up –
but we did it and everything went to plan.”
The Waterside Inn is now as well known
for the chic and individual rooms as it is for
the sublime menu and Robyn swears by her
staple brand partnerships; “I started using
Grange, a French company for all our furniture
and it’s been a great partnership over the
years. Not only do they produce comfortable
attractive products, but more importantly they
produce domestic furniture which stands up
to commercial use.” Today Robyn still uses the
same company in France as well as the paint
and wallpaper brands that she selected when
The Waterside Inn first redeveloped the rooms
above the restaurant.
Every bedroom at The Waterside Inn is
different, each with its own charm and style
but wouldn’t it have been easier for Robyn
to create a sleek basic template with each
room the same? “Oh, but that’s so boring!” she
exclaims, “it’s so much fun when each room is
different – not just for me but for the staff, they
have to work in the environment every day
so even they say, ‘can we get new curtains?!’
and I think they have only been up there
two years!” Robyn’s idea of different rooms
is proving extremely popular as her designs
entrance guests who often make future
reservations for their personal favourite.
Now an ongoing ‘bridge-painting’
operation Robyn is on the lookout for more
rooms to redecorate after the development
of The Waterside Inn Tan Home in the summer
of 2010 – a from-scratch project that really
got her creative juices flowing. “I would love
to redecorate a lot of the rooms, but it’s not
practical, I do however look at the necessity
of change. A recent room I redesigned was
because the furnishings needed replacing,
by the time we costed it in we realised that it
wouldn’t cost much more to redesign it.”
When redesigning rooms Robyn must
consider a number of factors – captivating
design is of course important but ease of
use and practicality is equally high on her
agenda. “It means that certain styles are just
a no-go,” Robyn explains. “Unfortunately that
means no to painted items, and that basic
items such as bed linen and tablecloths need
to be of the highest standard and although
attractive in their own way quite simple in
design,” she continues.
It is these small details that really make it
for Robyn, who over the last 20 years has the
linen specifications down to a fine art and
knows exactly what will and won’t work in the
rooms, or almost; “I do struggle with carpets,”
she admits, “they get the most wear and tear
and I am partial to light colours which need to
be replaced regularly – Michel will quite often
say ‘haven’t you learnt by now,’ but it’s just my
personal taste.”
Visitors to The Waterside Inn will notice
Robyn’s own eclectic choices as they move
about the hotel, wood and glass pieces
that both Robyn and Michel pick up on
their travels work seamlessly with the room
interiors. As these interiors change Robyn
keeps excess furniture in storage until her next
redevelopment. However, there is one room
that is unlikely to change and continues to
charm again and again. “The Boat House is
one of our most popular rooms, it’s not the
biggest but it’s clever and quirky and everyone
loves it,” Robyn enthuses.
This bijou bedroom, though small,
offers plenty of light thanks to the wellplaced portholes while the trompe-l’oeil
mural wows guests with its intricate design,
“It’s just fantastic,” Robyn announces “we
commissioned Lorraine Schneider who also
painted the quirky bookshelf mural in the Tan
Home, and she was such a sight to watch –
electricians, decorators, plumbers watched in
awe as Lorraine, the epitome of calm, painted
her masterpiece – surrounded by chaos!”
Now with nine rooms and two suites
Robyn is used to the buzz of up-keeping
a restaurant with rooms. “I’m glad of the
small team I have,” she says, Tom Martell our
decorator has worked with me for over 20
years, after taking over from his father, Shane
Spiers the plumber and Kate Cornish who looks
after soft furnishings equally as long. I know
I can call on them whether it’s a complete
refurb or just a call-out when something goes
wrong.” And things occasionally do go wrong,
a ‘bridge-painting’ operation Robyn calls it –
and what a bridge to paint!
Patek Philippe
boasts an unrivalled reputation as
the finest watchmaker in the world, setting the highest
technical and aesthetic standards within the industry.
With such dedication to quality and service.
Philippe and Thierry Stern
atek Philippe is the last, privately
owned, independent Genevan
watch manufacture, now headed
by fourth generation owner
and President Thierry Stern, who
understands and revels in the challenge
of leading a family company renowned for
making the most highly valued and
desirable timepieces in existence.
Patek Philippe watches are
symbols of discernment and
exclusivity, representing a lifelong
statement of excellence and
refinement. No other watch lends
better expression to the true
Patek Philippe style than
the Calatrava. Created in
1932, this signature model
showcases sleek lines and
subtle elegance and is
distinguished by a round
case with a dial that displays
the time in the most simplest
way. Whether extra thin with
hobnail pattern or wide polished
bezels, the Calatrava design is
always unmistakably classic, yet
inherently contemporary.
Innovation with tradition is a
motto that has been constantly
embraced by Patek Philippe, as
demonstrated by more than 80 patents for
in-house developments and inventions. One
of the most recent and eagerly anticipated
launches was the birth of the new movement,
Calibre CH 29-535 PS, through which Patek
Philippe yet again redefined the benchmark in
chronograph architecture. In November 2009,
as a tribute to the growing interest of women in
complicated watches, the workshops decided
to first integrate the new movement into a wrist
chronograph for ladies, calling the beautiful
new watch the Ladies First Chronograph. This
rose gold model is available with two different
dial colours, both featuring 136 brilliant round
cut diamonds.
Never before has a new, complicated
movement debuted in a ladies’ model
and so understandably there was much
excitement among Patek Philippe collectors
and enthusiasts in Spring 2010, when the
brand new movement was finally presented
in a gentlemen’s model. The very classic Ref.
5170J features a yellow gold case and is
visibly reminiscent of the Patek Philippe 1940’s
chronographs that rank among the most
coveted treasures at auctions.
A little revolution took place in
Geneva in 1976, the launch of the
Nautilus; a luxury watch in a steel
case. At a time when the world of
horology was competing for thinner
watches, Patek Philippe introduced
an oversized watch with an
extravagant shape. The casual
elegance of this ground
breaking model inspired an
instant cult following, which
still exists today.
Patek Philippe has recently
extended the range
introducing the first ladies
automatic Nautilus in stainless
steel for ladies, Ref. 7008/1A. This
diamond-set model is available with
three different dial versions, being
satin-grey, blue tinted mother of pearl
and black mother of pearl.
A new era began for Patek Philippe
recently, with the introduction of
the Patek Philippe Seal. All of the
manufacturer’s mechanical movements will
be embossed with the exclusive Seal. This is
the evolution of a philosophy of quality and
independence that the workshops in Geneva
have been systematically pursuing since the
company was founded in 1839. The Patek
Philippe Seal is the watch industry’s most
exclusive and stringent hallmark of quality and
is a promise personally backed by Thierry and
his father, Honorary President Philippe Stern.
Patek Philippe watches are available from
Mallory’s of Bath
1 - 5 Bridge Street, Bath BA2 4AP
Tel: 01225 788800 Fax: 01225 442210
E-mail: [email protected]
A Night to
Colchester oysters with a cooling cucumber jelly, caviar
and water biscuit with seaweed butter
Lightly poached sole, filled with lobster mousse and
surrounded by a light, creamy champagne sauce
Bisque of Devon crab fragrant with stock, wine and
aromatics and moist, nutty crab meat
Roasted Challandaise duck with lightly spiced
prunes and puy lentils
In celebration of a quarter of a century of three Michelin stars,
The Waterside Inn threw a gourmet dinner for Amex Black Card holders.
Sliced pears and blueberries in shortbread biscuits
with a red coulis
s we reported in the previous
issue of the magazine, last year
The Waterside Inn celebrated
25 years of three Michelin stars
in style by opening up its doors
to the country’s Michelin-starred chefs and
its most loyal guests. This issue we’re looking
back at the American Express Black Card
holders’ dinner, which was also held in honour
of a quarter of a century of triple Michelin
stardom, and saw some of American Express’
best clients invited to enjoy a gourmet dinner
cooked by Alain Roux. Behind the scenes, the evening began
with a pre-service team briefing being given
(as it is before every service) by Diego, general
manager and the restaurant’s master of
ceremonies. Holding court in the restaurant
at around 7pm, he updated his team on the
night to come – explaining about the special
celebratory Wedgewood cover plates that
were to be laid out on the table for the guests
to see, then taken away, polished and boxed
into party bags. Running through the menu
for the night, he took special care to advise
the team of guests (he knows them all by
name) with dietary requirements and special
preferences for certain wines – displaying the
sort of attention to detail that has made him
such a treasured asset at The Waterside Inn. After the briefing the first of the guests
started to arrive and were invited to enjoy
glasses of Champagne – a delicious 1998
Dom Ruinart Blanc de Blancs – and canapés
of quails eggs with cucumber and celeriac
remoulade, foie gras domes and light-as-air
cheese straws. Among the chatter and clink of
glasses, an ebullient Robyn – ever the hostess
– circulated and rubbed shoulders with these
very special guests, who, though used to the
best in hospitality, were clearly delighted with
the treats being lavished on them.
Then to supper, and after a brief and
characteristically light-hearted welcome
speech from Michel, who emphasised the
long, fond relationship with American Express,
the guests settled down to enjoy some very
memorable food – each course a tribute to
a year in The Waterside Inn’s three-Michelin
starred history. And what a menu! A first course
(from 2009) of plump, succulent Colchester
oysters with a cooling cucumber jelly, caviar
and water biscuit with seaweed butter was
an elegant and delicious beginning to the
meal – the minerality of the oysters offset by
the umami seaweed butter. A crisp Riesling
‘R’ de Beyer 2002 (Domain Léon Beyer)
provided a suitably sharp and refreshing
Next came a rich, heady bisque of
Devon crab (1998), fragrant with stock, wine
and aromatics and an abundance of moist,
nutty crab meat. Glistening tapioca pearls
or ‘Japanese rice’ as it said on the menu
gave it an added textural intrigue and touch
of the orient, while the matching wine, a
Chablis 1er Cru Montmain 2008 (Domain
Gerard Tremblay) gave an invigorating citric
accompaniment. The next course was a
sublime and classic dish from 1987 – a white
chicken boudin with Madeira and truffle
sauce, as vital and exciting a dish as it was
those many years ago. The chicken sausage
was light and creamy, the sauce luxurious and
a St Aubin Premier Cru “La Chategniere” 2006
(Vincent Girardin) was an aromatic, honeyed
match, perfectly rounding off the dish.
From 1990 came a delicate dish of
lightly poached sole, filled with an indulgent
lobster mousse and surrounded by a light,
creamy champagne sauce. This was superbly
matched to a buttery, rich Louis Jadot 2001
Puligny-Montrachet Premier Cru “Referts”. A
simple and satisfying dish of perfectly pink
roasted Challandaise duck with lightly spiced
prunes and puy lentils (2006) was delicious
– the duck tender and flavourful, the prunes
adding a sweet, sticky edge. A Chateau Haut-
Bailly 2003 (Pessac Leognan) was a suitably
ripe, structured and oaky match. Dessert
came from the inaugural year of three
Michelin stars – a sweet, comforting treat of
sliced pears and blueberries in shortbread
biscuits with a red fruit coulis from 1985. The
accompanying wine was a Château Filhot
Grand Cru Classé 2001 (Sauternes) – a
light, fruity and floral match. To round off the evening a glowing
Michel gave the sated guests a speech,
in which he praised the hard work of his
restaurant’s team. “Twenty-five years of three
Michelin stars doesn’t happen just like that,”
he said. “It’s down to teamwork and having
a team who love what they’re doing. Diego
is running this place like it’s his own business
and we are lucky to have him, as I’m lucky
to have a son like Alain, and a Belgian chap
as well,” he joked in reference to head chef
Fabrice. Michel also thanked the sommelier
Simone, who was responsible for the
fantastic wine matches. “He’s had to marry a
wine with each dish and I think he’s done very
well,” said Michel, “and he’s not put one Italian
wine on our wine list,” he jokingly added in
reference to Simone’s Italian heritage.
At this point, the ever-modest Alain took
to the microphone and thanked the guests
for coming, as they enjoyed Hennessy Paradis
cognac and petits fours with their coffee. “We
tried all different shapes and we finally got
the French fries shape for the chicken boudin
– we know who made it,” he joked. “It was a
joy to taste it – and we’re really happy you’re
here and you enjoyed it – thank you.” He also
talked of his excitement and anticipation
at soon becoming a father for the first time,
playfully reminding Michel that it would be his
sixth grandchild, another addition to the Roux
dynasty. Who knows, perhaps in another 25
years there will be another Roux junior making
a similar speech...
George Digweed has just won his
nineteenth world title in clay pigeon
C’est Magnifique!
shooting. We caught up with George to
C’est L’Unico!
‘We use L’Unico Musetti espresso
coffee at The Waterside Inn
because it provides our guests
with the blend they’d expect from
us. The aroma, the quality, the
consistency – it’s superb coffee.’
L ’ U N I C O
Unit 2-3 Hookers Road, London E17 6DP
Te l : 0 2 0 8 5 3 1 2 6 6 2 F a x : 0 2 0 8 5 2 7 6 6 6 7
see how tough the competition really was.
Congratulations on winning the
nineteenth world title, what does
this mean for your career?
I’m at the stage where I’m
personally thinking that it’s
devaluing it a little bit. Only for
the reason that because I’ve
won quite a lot now people
are starting to think I can go
out and win them ad-lib so to
speak – they’re not as easy to
win as it seems. I walk into the
local pub and people ask where
I’ve been, I say ‘America for the
world championship’, and they
assume that I win and that it’s
a god given. It’s not as easy as
that, but it’s still a tremendous
achievement and I’m very proud
to have done it.
How did you find the competition
in comparison to competitions
you’ve been in before?
It was extreme, we went to San
Antonio in the middle of Texas
and it was 95 degrees. There was
a howling wind blowing, and we
were shooting different rotations. I
was the only person to qualify for
the super final from the rotation
that 300 competitors shot in. It
was a tough way round to get in
but I was pleased to do it and to
finish it off in the final.
How much pressure does this put
on next year and winning your
20th title?
You’re only as good as your last
result, and for me I’ve achieved
a huge amount and I’m very
privileged to have done so much
in this sport. I never look further
than my next event. I’m not
getting any younger, I’m 47 now
and to still be competing at a
world level for me is something
I wasn’t necessarily expecting
to be able to do, so I’m going
to take every opportunity that
comes along.
You have had an extremely
successful career so far, what
would you say are some of your
proudest moments?
I would think the proudest
moment of my career was being
able to take my wife, my mother
and mother-in-law to Buckingham
Palace to see me presented with
an MBE.
To win any world
championship is a very proud
moment in anybody’s career
because there’s such a small
minority of people that are in that
chart. So any World or European
championship I’ve won has
always been a proud moment – I
wouldn’t necessarily single any
particular one out.
With all these competitions
comes a lot of travelling, is this
something you enjoy?
It’s got to the stage now where I
love going to different countries
and meeting up with old friends
but the travelling side of it is a
bit of a chore. Already this year
I’ve been to New Zealand, South
Africa, America, France, Russia, I’m
going to Spain next week. It’s a
time-consuming schedule but it’s
part of the job and it comes with
the territory.
What would your advice be to
anyone starting out as a clay
pigeon shooter?
Never be frightened to ask
questions or to go out and watch
people that are good at the
sport. The best have got there for
a reason and you can learn a
huge amount by watching good
people playing sport, whatever
that sport may be.
If you weren’t a professional clay
pigeon shooter what do you think
you’d be doing?
I was still working in the shop in
the butchery business till 1993
until I decided I would try and
pursue a career in shooting. My
ideal life would have been a
professional cricketer, but then I
might have had to work on my
physique a bit more.
For more information about
shooting, visit the CPSA’s website and to discover
more about George, log on to
“The best have got there for a reason
and you can learn a huge amount by
watching good people playing sport,
whatever that sport may be.”
We believe in British Beef, the cold
drizzly climate and lush green grass
gives animals the best possible start
L’ E N C L U M E W I N S
Tradition’s an important thing to us here at Broad Stripe Butchers. Old-fashioned
principles like careful maturing, generous cuts and a warm welcome are what makes
our meat so special; they‘re even the reason behind the Broad Stripe name. The blue
and white butcher’s apron has been worn for hundreds of years, and historically a broad
blue stripe has always been the mark of a master butcher.
People often use the phrase ‘third time lucky’, but for
Tradition is one of the things that makes Casterbridge Grain Fed Beef so special;
developed by our sister company Fairfax Meadow to provide the best quality beef to
the foodservice industry, Casterbridge is English beef, sired from traditional breeds and
sourced from selected farms in the six counties of South West England.
Mark Birchall, the 29-year-old head chef at Simon Rogan’s
The EBLEX Quality Standard Mark guarantees that every care has been taken to ensure
the highest animal welfare and provide you with piece of mind that you will always get
an excellent quality product.
held on the 18th April at Westminster Kingsway College, in his
Michelin-starred restaurant, L’Enclume in Cumbria, and winner
of 2011’s Roux Scholarship, it was more a case of ‘fourth time
lucky’. Birchall beat five other finalists in a close-run competition
fourth and final year of entry, to win the legendary cooking
competition and gain access into the elite ‘Roux Scholar’ club.
At Broad Stripe Butchers we provide the very
best gourmet meat, online delivered direct to
your door. Expertly matured and butchered
providing you with the same top quality
meat at home, as in some of Britain’s top
restaurants and hotels like The Waterside Inn.
Visit us today for top quality meat delivered
to your door tomorrow.
Everybody knows that chefs are obsessive about their ingredients, after all, the finest cooking can only be created
from the finest raw materials. For truly great chefs like Alain Roux, this search for perfection begins with the cookware
he uses, which is why he chose All-Clad for The Waterside Inn kitchens.
All-Clad UK: 0800 083 1190 / [email protected]
Discover All-Clad Special Offers on
is rendering of
the complex
classic Veal
Orloff, a boned
and stuffed
rack of veal,
impressed the panel of expert
judges, who included Michel and
Alain Roux. Later, 250 industry
guests gathered to watch him
claim his prize at a special
evening ceremony at London’s
Mandarin Oriental Hotel. Michel
Roux OBE was full of praise
for Birchall: “Mark was a clear
winner, his dish was excellent,
well seasoned and the cooking
of each ingredient was bang
on. After three previous attempts
when his name wasn’t called, he
could have given up – but his
perseverance has paid off, he has
honed his skills and shown great
determination to succeed. This is
what being a Roux Scholar is all
about. Well done!”
The Scholarship offers the
winner a career-changing
opportunity of a three-month
stage at a three Michelin-starred
restaurant anywhere in the world
and since the competition,
Birchall has revealed that he
plans to travel to Girona in Spain
and spend his stage at family-
run restaurant El Celler de Can
Roca. The restaurant, which has
just been placed at number
two in this year’s S.Pellegrino
World’s 50 Best Restaurants list,
is run by brothers Joan, Josep
and Jordi – head chef, head
sommelier/maitre d’ and head
pastry chef respectively – and
is focused around a philosophy
of ‘emotional cuisine’. Of
his decision to head to this
particular restaurant, Birchall
said: “I chose it because they use
good techniques but they still
respect regional traditions and
produce, and it’s run by three
brothers who will be there the
whole time which will be very
interesting. I’ve never eaten there
but I’ve always followed it and
wanted to eat there.”
Birchall also commented
that he is looking forward to
visiting a region that has grown in
gastronomic credibility over the
past decade. “There’s loads of
good places in the surrounding
area too – it’s close to Barcelona
and the restraurant Can Fabes
which I’d like to eat at, and there’s
plenty to do in the region.”
Birchall becomes the 28th
Scholar following on from Kenneth
Culhane who is currently on his
winning stage at Jean Georges
in New York. Mark has been head
chef at L’Enclume for the last five
years. He said afterwards: “This
was the toughest year of all my
entries, without a doubt. None of
us knew the dish or what it should
look like. I knew that seasoning
was going to be important and I
just let my experience and food
sense guide me. It’s an amazing
The six finalists were given
the task of cooking roasted best
end of veal Orloff style, kidney
on skewers, stuffed vegetables
and truffle jus from the Larousse
Gastronomique, the symbol of
classical French haute cuisine.
Michel Roux Jr called it “an
exceptionally hard dish to
recreate”. The young chefs had
two and a half hours to complete
the task in front of the judges.
Joining the Roux family this year
were Brian Turner CBE, Gary
Rhodes OBE, David Nicholls and
James Martin. The guest judge
was Steve Love, the Roux Scholar
from 1997.
The other five finalists were
Quinton Bennett, Haymarket
Hotel, London; Richard Edwards,
Lucknam Park Hotel & Spa,
Wiltshire; Pramod Ghadge,
Restaurant Associates, London;
Neven Vanderzee, Galvin at
Windows, London and Nick
Whatmough, Restaurant
Associates, Barclays Wealth,
An exciting feature of the 2011
final was the ‘fly on the wall’ film
of the event produced by Cactus
TV, which will form the backbone
of ‘The Roux Legacy’, a newly
commissioned series by UKTV for
their Good Food Channel, set
to air early next year. A highlight
of the film was the Roux cousins,
Michel Roux Jr and Alain Roux,
demonstrating a masterclass
of how the final dish should be
cooked. The film also followed the
finalists’ journeys and featured
footage of last year’s Scholar,
Kenneth Culhane, on his stage
at Jean Georges in New York. The
short film, shown at the final, will be
released on the Roux Scholarship
website soon.
Visit for the film, further information
and all the news from the final.
The swans are
For Bray, and most certainly
The Waterside Inn, the
River Thames is an important
attribute of the local area
and home to some very
famous residents.
eautiful, graceful and owned by Her Majesty
the Queen, swans are one of the more elegant
residents of the River Thames. So important are
these birds to the local area that an annual
census known as the Swan Upping measures their
population and health, to ensure that these birds
will always be associated with the river and The Queen.
Historically this ceremony was initiated in the twelfth
century – as it was then that the Crown claimed ownership
over all mute swans, as swans were an important dish served at
banquets for the rich. The ownership of swans today still belongs
to the Crown, although The Queen only exercises her ownership
on specific areas of the Thames. Together this honour is shared
with the Worshipful Company of Vintners and the Worshipful
Company of Dyers – having been granted rights of ownership in
the fifteenth century.
Although swans are no longer eaten, their presence is
still regarded as an important attribute of the River Thames.
The Swan Upping measures the swan population of the River
Thames as it runs through Middlesex, Surrey, Buckinghamshire,
Berkshire and Oxfordshire. A ceremony steeped in tradition, the
Swan Upping follows many Medieval practices all taking place
over five days in the third week of July each year.
Consisting of The Queen’s Swan Marker and the Royal
Swan Uppers, the group use six traditional Thames rowing skiffs
and all travel up the river dressed in customary scarlet uniforms.
As well as sporting traditional dress the boats all fly specific
flags and pennants as they depart from Sunbury Lock in Surrey
and finish at the end of the week in Abingdon, Oxfordshire.
The task of this trip is to count, weigh and measure
such beautiful
creatures and it’s
fantastic that this
historical tradition
continues to take
the cygnets of the Thames in order to obtain estimates of
growth rates – this procedure also means that cygnets can
be checked for any injury from fishing hooks or lines. When a
brood is spotted a cry of ‘All up!” is a sign for the boats to get
into position before the swans are checked and ringed with
identification numbers by The Queen’s Swan Warden, Professor
Christopher Perrins, a professor of Ornithology from Oxford
University’s Zoology department.
Together with The Queen’s Swan Warden it is the The
Queen’s Swan Marker who compiles a report of the week’s
findings, which enables conservation methods to be installed to
protect the swans from theft or danger. As well as this, the Swan
Marker works closely with swan rescue organisations, local
boating and fishing organisations, and talks to schools about
swan welfare and how to respect and maintain the swan’s
natural habitat.
The Swan Upping is an important tradition that is
particularly respected in Berkshire with the county being the
location of Windsor Castle – the rowers stand to attention on
their boats with their oars raised while saluting ‘Her Majesty The
Queen, Seigneur of the Swans’ when they pass. “We’re grateful
to work alongside such a huge part of the country’s heritage,”
explains Chef Patron Alain Roux. “The swans are such beautiful
creatures and it’s fantastic that this historical tradition continues
to take place – tradition is something very important to us here
at The Waterside Inn,” he continues.
Supported by many schools and local communities the
Swan Upping is an important part of river tradition.
For more information about the Swan Upping please visit
place – tradition
is something very
important to us
here at
The Waterside Inn,
Bray Enhancement Comittee and their 2010 awards
Bray Brownies lend a hand
The local school discovers nature in Bray
Well known for its Michelin-starred
restaurants, Bray has a reputation
as another leader as a regular
winner of the Britain in Bloom
ritain in Bloom is a strong area of
expertise for the village of Bray, with
the residents having won the Gold
award for ‘Best Small Village’ over
several years. A pretty village in the heart of
Berkshire it is easy to see why the entry does
so well in this competition at both regional
and national levels. But it doesn’t just come
with the village, the participants of the Bray
Enhancement Committee work on a yearround basis. “We have a lot of support from
the residents,” explains committee fundraiser
Maggie Hughes, “and it helps that this is a
naturally attractive village and everyone wants
to keep it looking its best.”
And looking its best it does, as Bray has
been involved in the competition over 20
years, starting when local teacher Margaret
Pierce and friend Stan Bowler became
involved in the competition. “Originally we
had a lot of support from the local council
with the ‘The Best Kept Village’ competition,
and then we started entering Britain in Bloom.
Now much of our funding is raised from the
local community,” continues Maggie. “We hold
plant sales, have sponsorship – we’ve even
produced aprons and calendars which are
quite popular,” she adds.
However a lot of the contributions to
the success of the competition are nongardening orientated Maggie explains; “Bray
isn’t a huge village but we often ask the local
retailers if they will donate a voucher or a prize.
The Waterside Inn are a great help as they
provide the teas and coffees when the judges
come round.” In turn the committee support
other local charities, “we buy our plants from
Braywick Heath Nurseries, a local garden
centre which is staffed by people with special
needs,” Maggie notes, “it’s a nice partnership
between the two parties.”
As well as fundraising, each member of
the committee looks after a particular section,
“Margaret is our school liaison,” Maggie says,
“as a teacher it makes sense as she knows
the schools and she’s always been involved
in that area. We now have a lot of support
from younger members of the community,
especially Bray Guides, Bray Brownies and
junior schools – it’s nice to see their enthusiasm
and they really get into the spirit of it all!”
Together with the children from the
community the Bray Enhancement team do
quite a lot of maintenance around the village
from planting to litter picks. In judging season,
which is usually in the month of July, the whole
village really comes together to contribute for
those all-important points. “We’re usually quite
successful in the competition,” acknowledges
Maggie, “but the residents of Bray put in a lot
of hard work all-year round and not just in the
summer months.”
Supported by the Royal Horticultural
Society (RHS) Britain in Bloom has a number
of different categories including horticultural
achievement, community involvement and
most recently environmental responsibility.
Today with sustainability such a key issue for
the world the RHS is looking for examples of
sustainability, such as wildlife-loving plants
and homes for butterflies and birds. “We have
a section in the churchyard which is our
haven for wildlife,” Maggie notes, “but we are
still working on this area as it takes a while for
creatures to settle in.”
This year the village is focusing on
the support of nature and the possibility of
having more of a flower colour theme of
blues, lavenders and whites. Although Britain
“We’re usually quite successful in the competition,”
acknowledges Maggie, “but the residents of Bray
put in a lot of hard work all-year round and not just
in the summer months.”
in Bloom is important for the village Maggie
is aware that many people have their own
preferences. “Our committee suggested that
a theme throughout the village may be nice
this year,” she explains, “but we are aware that
this is entirely up to the residents – we don’t
want to enforce it, people want to enjoy their
gardens with the plants they like – it is their
garden after all! With the Queen’s Diamond
Jubilee next year, we have already decided on
a patriotic red, white and blue theme!”
When it comes to plant choices from
the team Maggie explains that longevity is of
the essence. “We ideally want long-flowering
plants, ones that will flower from June right up
to the frosts,” she says, “it’s timely and expensive
to replant, although we do replant for the
winter months – we really find it cheers people
up when there are evergreen plants or winter
hanging baskets.”
With many keen gardeners in the
country Britain in Bloom is a national
celebration of gardening within the
community. “It’s lovely to be involved,” Maggie
enthuses, “I enjoy gardening and it’s giving
something back which makes it even more
For more information about Britain in Bloom
visit and for more information
about the Bray Enhancement Committee visit
The spirit garden
The menu of
● Creation and maintenance
● Design ofce
● Excavation
● Brushwood clearance/pruning
A celebration of 25 years Three Michelin stars
● Stone wall/irrigation
Alain Roux celebrates 25 years of three
● Stone sculpture
Michelin stars by offering locals
● Pool maintenance
a meal set at 1985 prices.
■ Headquarters :
■ Deposit :
■ Phones :
Rue Sénateur Sigallas
83120 Le Plan de la Tour
ZA Camp Ferrat
Avenue de la Liberté
83120 Sainte-Maxime
Gsm. + 33 06 09 58 38 86
Tel. + 33 04 94 43 05 89
Fax. + 33 04 94 49 47 79
Email : [email protected]
Web site :
SIREN : 442 361 259 - SIRET : 442 361 259 0017 - Code APE : 014B
or many, the idea of dining
at a three Michelin-starred
restaurant for a price
charged a quarter of a
century ago seems only but a
dream. However in October 2010
this became reality for local
residents of The Waterside Inn in
Bray, who paid a mere £14.50 for
the famous Menu Gastronomique,
an exceptional bargain that
offered guests a remarkable
saving over the £56.00 it would
normally cost at today’s prices.
For two select weeks guests
were treated to classic French
cuisine from an award-winning
menu – comprising of dishes
such as Velouté de châtaignes
au Champagne, Julienne de
volaille et dés de céleri-rave
(Chestnut and Champagne
Veloute with Chicken Julienne
and Diced Celeriac) and Tarte
au chocolate et aux framboises,
sorbet à la framboise (Chocolate
and Raspberry Tart served with
Raspberry Sorbet). Such elaborate
dishes graced menus back in
the 80s and the selection was
also accompanied by vintage
wines courtesy of The Waterside
Inn’s suppliers ranging from
1999 Cuvée Louise Pommery
Champagne to a 1986 Château
The offer stood to residents
within a ten-mile radius only and
was a mark of celebration in
which Michel and Alain could
show their gratitude towards their
most loyal customers who have
supported the restaurant from the
beginning. The event was a major
success in the area, so much
so that those who managed to
secure a place were considered
extremely lucky. There were even
rumours that some City types were
claiming to be local in the hope
of sampling such a remarkable
offer. This resorted in the team
requesting post codes to ensure
that it was in fact ‘locals’ living
within the specified ten-mile radius
as opposed to the cheaters
looking for a cheap meal of
exceptional quality.
The establishment, founded
by Michel Roux, and run by
Michel’s son Alain for the last
eight years, is located in an idyllic
spot on the banks of the River
Thames and is recognised for
its outstanding achievement as
the only restaurant outside of
France to have been awarded
Michelin’s highest honour for 25
consecutive years. Achieving
three-star recognition is no mean
feat, but maintaining the standard
as tastes change and chefs age is
an exceptional achievement.
If you wish to change any of the dishes on this menu, each course will be charged separately
Velouté de châtaignes au Champagne, julienne de volaille et dés de céleri-rave
Chestnut and Champagne velouté with chicken julienne and celeriac dice
Quenelle de brochet à la lyonnaise
Traditional pike quenelle with langoustine tails
Filet de flétan braisé et relevé de gingembre, artichauts poivrade à la barigoule et sauce
au tamarin
Baked halibut fillet with a hint of ginger, baby artichokes cooked barigoule style and
tamarind sauce
Suprême de grouse en crépinette et cuisse farcie en beignet, cèpes de brodeauc poêlés et
just parfumé aux baies de genièvre
Grouse breast wrapped in a game farce, crispy leg with foie gras and sautéed ceps,
juniper berries scented jus
Tarte au chocolate et aux framboises, sorbet à la framboise
Chocolate and raspberry tart served with raspberry sorbet
Bavarois parfumé aux dattes et miel, sorbet à la poire
Date and honey flavoured bavarois dessert served with pear sorbet
Café et mignardises
Prices are inclusive of service and VAT
First opened in 1972, The
Waterside Inn was awarded its
first Michelin star in 1974, with the
launch of the UK guide, winning
its second in 1977 and the
third in 1985. Michel has always
remained true to the fact that
his accomplishment of three
Michelin stars isn’t just about the
standard of food, but the service
also. Together with son Alain he
believes their success is down to
an ‘entire philosophy’ by which
a restaurant is run and often
pays tribute to General Manager
Diego Masciaga, who runs front of
house. Diego has been in charge
of the service since 1988 and the
combination of his personality
and strive for perfection ensures
an ambience of complete
relaxation and satisfaction.
Alain Roux and Claude Bosi
join forces at the London
Restaurant Festival
elebrating the best of London’s restaurants The
Waterside Inn’s Chef Patron Alain Roux took a
trip out of Bray to support Michelin-starred chef
Claude Bosi at the 2010 London Restaurant
Festival. Working together at Claude Bosi’s
restaurant Hibiscus, Alain complemented Claude’s unique
menu with a menu of his own favourites – offering Hibiscus
diners the opportunity to sample some of The Waterside Inn’s
specialities in the heart of London.
Alain’s menu, consisting of ‘Terrine of Pressed Foie Gras,
Pan-fried Lobster Medallion and Pistachio Crème Brûlée’,
offered an additional flavour to Claude Bosi’s already very
popular menu of which Alain is a great fan. “It was such a
memorable experience working with Claude,” says Alain,
“this was the first time we have cooked together and it was
the perfect opportunity to work with an extremely talented
chef, discover his personality and style, and of course, work
with a great team.”
Claude, originally from Lyon in France, shares many of the
same attitudes to cooking as Alain, “I love his approach to
food,” Alain admits, “although it is French like our food at The
Waterside Inn, his has a modern twist – yet always having
respect for his ingredients, which is very important.”
As well as working together with Claude and his team how
did Alain feel about the event? “It was a great success,”
Alain explains, “they have the same stove as we do at The
Waterside Inn so I felt right at home!” Alain also felt like part
of the Hibiscus family, “I really enjoyed working with them all,
Claire Bosi, general manager and Claude’s wife was equally
a pleasure to work with and together they are a seamless
team running the kitchen and front of house – I am looking
forward to my next visit!”
For more information about Claude Bosi and Hibiscus visit
A Mammoth Brunch
n the 29th August 2010 Michel Roux was blown away
when he helped the team at the Ritz-Carlton, Millenia
Singapore prepare Sunday brunch for 750 of their regular
clients. On his tour as global ambassador Michel visited the hotel
together with former Waterside Inn sous chef Michael Nizzaro.
When Michel met Martha
leading figure in the American culinary world, Martha
Stewart is famed for her friendly nature and inspiring
shows. Michel Roux appeared on The Martha Stewart
Show in August 2010 to promote his bestselling book
Sauces. “I love visiting America,” explains Michel, “Martha
is a very good friend of mine and it’s easy to understand why her lifestyle
show is so popular! TV in the US is quite different to that in Europe –
you have to be very on the ball as the segments are quicker because
they have so much to fit in one show, still Martha always makes me feel
at home.”
‘The Martha Stewart Show’ is shown daily on the Hallmark Channel,
for more information visit
A Lifetime of Achievement
Chef patron Michel Roux has recently been given the award
of ‘a lifetime’ from La Luna de Metrópoli, the leisure and cultural
supplement of EL Mundo digital magazine – the largest daily
paper in Spain. The supplement offers gastronomic awards to
institutions and professionals that are leaders in the field. Michel
was honoured to be awarded with this acknowledgment.
“It was a fantastic experience,” explains Michel, “what a
monumentous task to arrange brunch for so many people –
it really was quite awe-inspiring.” Working alongside executive chef
Arnaud Thulliez and his brigade, Michel and his assisting sous
chefs worked on six of the dishes for the 75-metre banquet.
, Arnaud Thulliez,
From left to right: Fabio Ciervo, Michael Nizzero
Michel Roux, Bento
For more information about the Ritz-Carlton, Millenia
Singapore visit
Chef Alain adopts a school
hen the charity Chefs Adopt a School offered
the Alain Roux the opportunity to assist in local
schools he was happy to help. The charity,
founded by the Academy of Culinary Arts
is endorsed by chefs such as Brian Turner
CBE, Richard Shepherd CBE and Sara Jayne Stanes OBE. Chefs
Adopt a School supports food
education and practical cookery
in schools all over the country.
The Adopt a School programme
sees acclaimed chefs
work with their adopted
school three times a
year (once a term) to
help educate students
on the importance and
enjoyment that comes
from good food and cooking.
As well as supporting the syllabus
of ‘plant to plate’, food hygiene
and practical food skills such as basic chopping techniques and
combining different ingredients, the chefs involved work together
with the schools to talk with the students about the food industry
and why their love of food has become their chosen profession.
September 2011 will see Alain Roux visit Manor Green
School in Maidenhead to work with two classes – one of
11-12 year olds and the other 13-14 year olds. As well as
working with students from Manor Green School, Alain
has also joined students at Holyport Special School on a
previous Adopt a School visits.
For more information about Chefs Adopt a School visit
Alain Roux says ‘cheese’ at Beaconsfield Cheese Market
National Catering butcher of the year 2010
lavoursome Stilton, fruity Wensleydale
or a creamy Cheddar – for those who
love cheese nothing is more appealing
than a cheese market and on the 9th
April 2011 Beaconsfield
cheese-makers market attracted
cheese lovers from all over
Berkshire and Buckinghamshire.
Chef patron Alain Roux opened
the event that celebrates
cheese from all over the world
including cheese makers such
as Cropwell Bishop Creamery,
Thornby Moor Dairy, Green’s of
Glastonbury and many more.
Cheese company Premier
Cheese, founded by cheese
makers Amnon Paldi and Eric
Charriaux, organised the event to celebrate
British artisan cheese. Premier Cheese, which
also owns specialist cheese shop La Cave à
Fromage, offers a range of over 400 cheeses
and supplies many Michelin-starred restaurants,
including The Waterside Inn.
As well as offering a wide range of delicious
artisan cheeses, Eric Charriaux invited The
Waterside Inn chef patron Alain
Roux to open the event. “I was
delighted to be invited to attend,”
enthuses Alain, “I love cheese so
I was very excited to be involved
– it was great to see cheese
lovers coming together to enjoy
fantastic produce.” Eric Charriaux
continues; “one of the meanings
in French for ‘marche’ is where
producers meet their clients – as
an acclaimed chef in the local
area we asked Alain to open the
event and to share our mutual
love of cheese with others.”
For more information about Premier Cheese and
the Beaconsfield cheese market visit
‘One of the secrets of
exceptional cooking
is to use exceptional
ingredients. We
have found that the
unrivalled quality of
the beef we receive from
Aubrey Allen helps us to
maintain our reputation
as one of the best
restaurants in the UK.’
Alain Roux,
The Waterside Inn, Bray.
To enjoy the same fantastic meat as The Waterside Inn, delivered to your door, go to
For all your traditional cuts call 01926
Tel: (01628) 624446 Fax: (01628) 622443 Email: [email protected] k
Veterans of pâtisserie
Power in reserve, composure in any conditions
ummer 2011 saw Michel Roux
join forces with 45 well-known
master pastry chefs as he
visited Pays Basque in France
for the 30th anniversary of the
Relais Dessert Association. It was here
that the association delegates enjoyed
three days of activities together with
delegates attending from all over
Europe with ages ranging from 60-80.
The event was organised by close
friends of ours Monique Mandion and
husband André Mandion who are well
respected veterans themselves in the
pastry industry. Unfortunately André
passed away just a few weeks before,
however the event still went ahead and
as usual was a terrific success thanks to
all the hard work the pair put in.
The piece Montée revealed at the
gala evening was prepared by Lucien
Gautier, Chef Pâtissier at Georges V
in Paris, creating this cake especially
for the evening held at Hôtel du Palais
Biarritz. Lucien had visited especially for
this occasion and worked together with
Cédric Lejeune, Chef Pâtissier du Palais
and all his team. A fantastic surprise,
this was a superb present to all that
For more information about Relais
Desserts International please visit
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Event organiser Monique Mandion with Chef Pâtissier Lucien Gautier
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