Monday, April 19, 2010
General Manager Rick Segal, Executive Chef Christophe David*
SPRINGTIME ELEGANCE “IN THE PARK”
On a crisp April evening our chapter was treated to a spectacular Dîner Du Printemps at the Park Hyatt Chicago. Maître Hôtelier Rick Segal and his team once again proved to us that Chicago’s Park Hyatt is a destination of great class and taste, both gastronomically and otherwise. The exquisite hors d’oeuvres served at the reception included foie gras torchon with pepper pineapple, smoked salmon caviar blini, eggplant with quail egg and jamon, cucumber gazpacho, served in chilled shot glasses, gougère and braised rabbit pastille. Champagne Montaudon, NV accompanied the hors d’oeuvres pairing nicely with their multitude of flavors and textures.
The ballroom greeted guests with elegance and style. White diaphanous sheers draped over each of the three beautifully set tables with crystal chandeliers illuminating each table symbolized Maître de Table Hôtelier Paul Cardona’s vision of a romantic “Alice in Wonderland” fantasy table for the evening. Executive Chef, Chef Rôtisseur Christophe David’s spring-inspired menu was received with great enthusiasm after a long Chicago winter. Chef David grew up in the cradle of French gastronomy – Lyon, France – and as a resident of Collonges found himself inevitably working for Paul Bocuse himself. This experience, coupled with his inherent talent, became the springboard which propelled him forward through a series of international assignments and promotions that included working with Lucas Carton and Taillevent in Paris as well as stints in Italy and South America.
The menu beautifully combined classic dishes with a modern twist and the creativity of the Chef. Dinner began with an introduction by Bailli Jane Tracy and the traditional Chaîne toast, proposed by Chevalier John Gross, ended with “Let’s eat, drink and be merry, because tomorrow we may… diet”.
The dinner began with a foie gras consommé with puff pastry, oxtail and diced black truffle, with raisins added for sweetness. Served with the consommé was a 2007 François Chidaine Vouvray Clos de Baudoin. The next course was sashimi of Australian hiramasa with daikon salad, shiso and ponzu. Hiramasa is a fish new to Chicago, and was used by Executive Chef David in his menus when he worked in Australia. Its light fresh taste was in keeping with the spring-inspired menu. The hiramasa was paired with Fukucho Sake “Moon on the Water”, a sake from the Hiroshima region made by Miho Imada, one of the few female tojis (master brewers) of sake in Japan. The next course was a contemporary interpretation of a classic dish. It consisted of spring vegetables: asparagus, fava beans, peas and morels with bay scallops and chive butter steamed in an envelope which was cut open in front of each guest. A 2006 Dupont-Fahn Puligny-Montrachet ‘Les Charmes’ accompanied this course. Next was a beautifully prepared rabbit in a butter crust with foie gras, braised onions and mustard seeds. It was served with a spring salad, cipollini and mushroom confit and accompanied by a 1988 Léoville Las Cases, Saint Julien. The cheese course followed with “Explorateur” cheese, which was created by the French in 1958 in honor the first U.S. satellite, Explorer One. It was served with shallot marmalade and paired with 2006 Domaine Faury St. Joseph Rouge. The evening concluded with a stunning dessert: “l’Exotique” – a chocolate mousse, resembling a golden ingot, mango passion fruit sorbet and passion fruit cream. Accompanying the dessert we came full circle with a second Champagne, this time a Charles Heidseick Brut Réserve NV.
The menu presented a true showcase of the best of what spring has to offer with its fresh flavors, colors and textures. Accolades were vigorous as the Park Hyatt Chicago team entered the dining room and the Chicago Chapter was able to express its thanks for a most beautiful evening.
It has now been ten full years since a new Park Hyatt in Chicago opened its doors. During those ten years this property has been deftly and successfully managed by Chicago Chaîne friend and member Maître Hôtelier Rick Segal, General Manager. Rick’s unwavering support of our Chapter has meant a great deal to us having welcomed us seven times; 5 Chaine black tie dinners, 1 luncheon for national officers and Chicago member General Managers, and a large Mondiale wine tasting.
It has also now been three full years since Park Hyatt’s Executive Chef, Chef Rôtisseur Christophe David came to Chicago from Park Hyatt, Paris‐Vendôme, and during this time we have deepened our friendship and knowledge of Chef David’s culinary philosophy. Christophe grew up in the cradle of French gastronomy – Lyon, France – and as a resident of Collonges found himself inevitably working for Paul Bocuse himself. This experience, coupled with his inherent talent, became the springboard which propelled him forward through a series of international assignments and promotions that included working with Lucas Carton and Taillevent in Paris as well as stints in Italy and South America.
Chef David has been highly supportive of our chapter and participated at the national grand gala dinner that we hosted during the Grand Chapitre in Chicago in 2007. You can look forward to a cleverly nuanced menu that will have been crafted with subtle elegance and a trove of ingredients all put together in Christophe’s inimitable style. Our dinner will take place in the Grand Salon and promises an ambience of sophistication that epitomizes the intrinsic nature of a Chaîne des Rôtisseurs evening.
Please note that there is a capacity of 65 for this dinner, so be sure to send in your reservation and payment promptly. We are promised a refined and urbane experience.