Monday, April 07, 2003
Executive Chef Robert Sulatycky
A Man For All “Seasons” - Executive Chef Robert Sulatycky
You may, quite unaided, have sauntered many times into a Four Seasons formal dining room, weighing the pros and cons of the titillating menu choices. The Chicago Chapter’s April dinner took place in “Seasons” the sumptuously decorated restaurant. Chicago’s hospitality scions were all there. The Four Seasons Chicago was introducing its new and coveted Executive Chef - Robert Sulatycky. Hailing from The Four Seasons in Toronto, Chef Sulatycky comes to Chicago with acclaim. His quest to become the first North American chef to break into the upper echelons of the 1999 Bocuse d’Or in Lyon, France resulted in winning the Top Prize for “Prix Viande” and finishing fourth overall in this most prestigious competition.
Chef Sulatycky touted a high-powered and sophisticated shopping basket for our exciting dinner. The finest salmon in the world emanating from Scotland or the Norwegian Fjords purchased and smoked in Switzerland by the Balik Company was served for the very first time in Chicago. Vice-Conseiller Culinaire Heinz Kern actually called the smokehouse in Switzerland and related his fascinating conversation with the owner to us. Fresh langoustine and its “bouillabaisse” comprised the hot fish course followed by the squab’s sous-vide preparation together with Foie Gras from Quebec leading us into the reds.
This menu was a conscious intellectual manuscript and the power of it was building. It said that each course and wine pairing was woven together in an attempt to unite and reconcile each diner as much with his or her own tasting experience as well as with one another. By the time we got to the saddle of veal, its crispy sweetbreads, bright green pea coulis and the 1983 Hospices de Beaune, we were having fun savoring one of the city’s most recognizable and respected dining treasures. Bailli Roger Tracy gave the wine commentary and accentuated the different styles of wines, encouraging us to compare the classical French Viognier in the form of the Condrieu La Doriane with a Californian single vineyard Viognier.
A warm Bleu d’Auvergne soufflé paired with a ripe easy-going Zinfandel took us through the cheese course and the light springtime dessert of roasted wild strawberries anointed with a lavender essence and paired with the low yield Canadian sparkling Ice Wine Inniskillin 2001 closed the dinner.
Vice-Chargé de Missions Honoraire and Four Seasons General Manager Hans Willimann introduced his high quality team including Chef Dan Olson who represented our Chapter and came in second at the Mid-West Jeune Commis Competition in St. Louis in March. Chef Sulatycky, Chef Keegan Gerhard his Pastry Chef, and Maitre de Table Hotelier /F & B Director Felix Murillo were well felicitated -powerfully validating the establishment’s lively dedication. They had displayed a wondrous cache of dishes that had been put pertinently on show and ultimately consumed.