MICHELIN-STAR CHEF, CHRISTOPHER HACHE BRINGS HIS CULINARY CREATIVITY TO BEIRUT
Paris met ‘The Paris of the Middle East’ today when celebrated Michelin-star chef of Hôtel de Crillon joined Beirut’s French cuisine master, Chef Youssef Akiki of Burgundy, to create an illustrious menu for the world-renowned fashion designer, Elie Saab
The 36-year-old executive chef of the recently revamped Hôtel de Crillon in Paris had arrived in Beirut only a few days ago to prepare his menu for a private dinner hosted by Saab at his home (September 19). At Burgundy, he prepped with the restaurant’s executive chef, who is no stranger to high-profile guests and celebrities. Asked why he came to Beirut, the chef said, “We decided to come to Lebanon to meet with people in their own country and present the hotel’s ‘le luxe à la francaise’ experience. We were searching for someone who would be the closest fit and it was clear that Elie Saab is the indisputable representation of luxury and style.”
“For the menu we were approached to work with Chef Youssef Akiki and Burgundy restaurant. Youssef has acquired a great deal of knowledge about the product and is always searching for the best quality ingredients and fine Lebanese producers.”
The menu for the evening included:
• Champignons de Paris
• La Tourtatouille
• Carré d’agneau enroullé avec la Katayeif
• Quinoa au thym sauvage
• Amuse bouche tomate verte et menthe sauvage
“We used katayeif to role the rack of lamb and included the amuse bouche from Burgundy’s menu,” he said to incorporate Lebanese flavors.
The Lebanese ‘joie de vivre’ is no secret to Parisians, especially at the Hôtel de Crillon. Beirut-born Aline Asmar was a relative newcomer in 2011, when the Saudi owner of the hotel tapped her as artistic director for an interior renovation of the grand 1753 building overlooking the Place de la Concorde.
When the hotel closed for a year and half for renovation, he traveled the world in search of culinary inspiration. He visited the best chefs for inspiration and reflection and worked on the concept of the hotel, creating and personalizing all of the details from the tableware to the design. He sourced the best products and formed his team (65 chefs and 380 collaborators). After the hotel’s reopening a year ago in July, Christopher was awarded a Michelin star in February.
His culinary philosophy is: first, quality of the product; second, seasonality – choosing the best time, not only for fruit and vegetables, but also for fish and meat; and third, creativity – a perpetual thirst to move forward and, most importantly, combine it with emotion.