Galaxy of Michelin stars

By  Ye Jun (China Daily)
Updated: 2010-11-21 10:14
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Galaxy of Michelin stars

Lionel Rigolet, a two-starred Michelin chef with Comme Chez Soi restaurant in Brussels, Belgium, will join five other Michelin chefs to prepare the gourmet extravaganza. Provided to China Daily



Six Michelin chefs are gathering for the ultimate cook-off. Ye Jun reports.

Beijing is getting ready for a feast of epic significance as not one, but six Michelin-starred chefs gather at Hilton Beijing Wangfujing to prepare a one-night only gourmet dinner on Nov 23.

Together with the Hilton's executive chef, they will present seven courses paired with wines.

Pascal Nibaudeau is the one-starred Michelin chef with Le Pressoir D'Argent restaurant in Bordeaux, France. He worked at top restaurants in Brussels, London and Nice before moving to Bordeaux and it will be the chef's third visit to Beijing.

Le Pressoir D'Argent is especially proud of its seafood - from langoustines and caviar from Aquitaine, Belon oysters and Breton blue lobsters.

Chef Christian Sinicropi is the two-starred Michelin chef with La Palme D'Or in Cannes, France. He says he was first inspired to cook by his Italian mother.

"When I was a child she regaled me with her specialties such as ravioli, Swiss chard pie", he says. Sinicropi worked in three Michelin-starred restaurants before now supervising his own. He prefers to buy directly from the growers, and search for unusual flavors for good balance.

"(Good) cooking depends on a perfect knowledge of the products and cooking techniques, after which inspiration will do the rest," he says. "Success of a restaurant is the result of hard work and the commitment of the cuisine and service teams."

Chef Eric Westermann is from three-starred Michelin restaurant Buerehiesel in Strasbourg, France. He will cook something with a "French touch". He believes in cooking with the simplest products and the simplest recipe - a philosophy he follows in his restaurant, an old farmhouse with a modern winter garden.

"My secret is to cook with passion, and to stay honest and sincere," he says.

Chef Lionel Rigolet is the two-starred Michelin chef with Comme Chez Soi restaurant in Brussels, Belgium. He will prepare a dessert with Belgium chocolate, Eau de Ville, coconut, white chocolate ganache, served with olive yoghurt sorbet.

He describes his cooking as "traditional" but evolving, based on seasonal products scattered with spicy touches. He believes the most important thing in cooking is not to denature quality products, but to keep to the season and extract the best taste in preparation.

Peter Knogl, two-starred Michelin chef, comes from Cheval Blanc restaurant in Basel, Switzerland.

He says he is full of respect for Chinese cooking techniques, such as the preparation of Peking duck. Knogl's favorite dish is crab with vichyssoise jelly and caviar, the merging of which crates a very unusual taste. For the coming event, he will prepare a pigeon with artichoke espuma served with Tasmanian pepper gravy.

Chef Alfonso Iaccarino, two-starred Michelin chef with Don Alfonso 1890, Sorrento, Italy, will cook an old and traditional Neapolitan recipe with rice, served with an updated twist. He is the third generation of a family working in the hotel and restaurant industry.

The chef is responsible for an Italian restaurant in Macao, Don Alfonso 1890. He also has been to Hong Kong several times, but this will be his first visit to Beijing. He says he "highly appreciates" Chinese cuisine.

It will be the third time in 18 months the Hilton Beijing Wangfujing has hosted such an event. According to the general manager, Nils-Arne Schroeder, the hotel has already brought 11 world famous Michelin-starred and celebrity chefs to Beijing and introduced them to Chinese epicureans.