Fairmont Chefs Get Saucy

Fairmont Chefs are getting back to the basics by crafting as much as they can in house, right down to the smallest culinary accents. By preserving their own produce and curing their own meats, chefs can be sure every bite tastes exactly the way they want it to, utilizing the freshest products and minimizing processing to deliver flavors that are clean, clear and full of flavor.  Diners can enjoy these flavors while traveling, and even beyond as many of the products can be purchased to grace travelers’ tables at home.

In Vancouver, Fairmont Pacific Rim operates a full scratch kitchen and makes a slew of products in-house, including all of their own pickling and various condiments and sauces including mustard, ketchup, Sake Kasu Cream Cheese Aioli, hot sauces, dips, all salad dressings, compotes, and salsa. They even smoke their own salmon and make their own bacon for discerning diners. On nearby Vancouver Island, colleagues at The Fairmont Empress decided that a food as simple and beloved as peanut butter could be elevated with culinary care. Executive Pastry Chef D’oyen Christie got busy and created the hotel’s Empress Peanut Butter <Click Here>  using their own honey and milk chocolate to spruce up this North American favorite.

The humble french fry is the perfect vehicle for an outstanding house-made condiment, whether it’s ketchup, mustard, mayonnaise, or mayo’s classy cousin: aioli. Diners go wild for the amuse trio of fries at BOURBON STEAK at Fairmont Scottsdale Princess, where Executive Chef Daniel Patino makes his own ever-changing line up of sauces as accompaniment, which currently includes Onion Ketchup, Roasted Garlic Aioli, and slow smoked, house made Barbeque Sauce. Executive Chef Brad Parsons at the Fairmont Chicago, Millennium Park, pairs his house-made Garlic Rosemary Aioli with fries, while Executive Chef Andrew Ihasz at The Fairmont Hotel Macdonald makes a unique Beet Root Ketchup to complement the restaurant’s delectable sweet potato fries.  Local reigns supreme at Fairmont Pittsburgh, where Chef Andrew Morrison has taken the helm of Habitat restaurant and brought his longstanding commitment to scratch cooking with him. He says he cooks “according to the ingredients I find – a deceptively simple approach that bolsters the essence of each ingredient and creates layers of flavor,” and features homemade condiments such as Roasted Garlic Baconaise <Click here>  and Dijonaise on the menu as a result. Across the continent, Executive Chef Dana Hauser is taking advantage of her onsite garden to roll out delicious scratch offerings such as Herons Rooftop Herb Dip at The Fairmont Waterfront in Vancouver.

While ketchup may be a popular palate pleaser, a delicious homemade tartar sauce is another simple addition that can make an already delicious fish shine. At New York’s famed The Plaza, the hotel’s culinary team whips up their very Tarragon Tartar for Fish and Chips, and in California Chef jW Foster at The Fairmont San Francisco is a big fan of craft condiments, offering a House Tartar Sauce in addition to Tomato/Apricot Chutney, House Ketchup, and a House Honey and Dijon Aioli.

Speaking of chutney, many chefs are trying their hand at this South Asian favorite, pairing it with delicious meats and adding their own twists. House-made condiments are on the menu at The Fairmont Copley Plaza’s new OAK Long Bar + Kitchen in Boston, with highlights including a Fruit Chutney which will change seasonally and be served with the restaurant’s Charcuterie tray – which also features house-made pickles. In Cairo, Executive Chef Alistair Carter prepares Tomato Chutney in the kitchens of Fairmont Heliopolis & Towers to popular acclaim, while South Africa’s Cape Malay cuisine takes center stage in Chef Dean Uren’s Tomato Mango Chutney at Fairmont Zimbali.  Kenya’s Fairmont The Norfolk serves an array of chutneys in its signature restaurant, Tatu, such as tangy Beetroot Chutney, spiced with chili and cumin, or the popular Tomato & Garlic Chutney with freshly crushed coriander seeds. Group Executive Chef Karan Suri, originally from India, experiments with flavor combinations such as Raw Papaya & Saffron and Spiced Mango Chutney. Confit, a close cousin to chutney, is made in Switzerland at Fairmont Le Montreux Palace, where Chef Frederic Breuil makes condiments such as Red Wine Onions Confit, which can be served with cold cuts, cheese or foie gras.

Fairmont Singapore spices things up with Szechuan Court’s authentic house made XO Sauce, which recently came in the top three in a blind taste test of sauces from various hotels and restaurants conducted by a local restaurant critic and food editor. The condiment has its roots in Hong Kong when XO (‘extra old’) Cognac was the preferred premium liquor. Although cognac is not used in the sauce, the term ‘XO’ was used to convey the prestige and luxury-status of the condiment. A potent combination of chilies, shrimp paste, onions, and garlic topped with premium dried scallop, the XO sauce adds flavor and punch to just about any stir-fried dish, from seafood to fried rice.

Custom-cured meats are another popular addition to the menu at Fairmont. At The Fairmont Orchid on Hawaii’s Big Island, new Executive Chef Hubert Des Marais has already started using 30-day aged Hawaiian grass fed beef and Chinese-style sausage, along with Cured & Dried Ono & Ahi, Peppered & Cured Wild Hawaiian Boar Loin, Pineapple Vinegar, Cucumber Kim Chee and more.  Preserving and dry aging meats, whether it be fish or beef raised in the islands, seemed like a natural fit to Chef Hubert, who wanted to let the rich local flavors speak for themselves. In California The Fairmont San Francisco and The Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn are supporting local agricultural studies by purchasing two student-raised hogs from the Sonoma Valley High School Agriculture Department so that they can make their own sausages, bacon and dried meats, as well as support local schools and help strengthen the regional farming community.

Preserving has also become a delicious pastime of industrious chefs, with hotels like The Fairmont Acapulco Princess making their own jams in addition to items like red wine vinegar and marinades.  The culinary team at Calgary’s The Fairmont Palliser creates preserves from local ingredients such as Preserved Lapin Cherries and Preserved Sweet Bell Peppers so they can take advantage of the region’s seasonal bounty year-round. It’s “waste not, want not” at The Fairmont Chateau Whistler where the culinary team is transforming orange, lemon and lime peels into fresh marmalades to be used with their Afternoon Tea offering, along with homemade strawberry and raspberry jams.  Alberta’s Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge takes local inspiration for condiments such as Rhubarb Compote, Broxburn Farm Pepper Relish and more.

For something savory, Chef Ian Bens at Fairmont Washington, D.C., Georgetown is working on a Peanut Miso that is aged for one year, consisting of ground Virginia peanuts and koji (rice inoculated with a special fungus for making miso).  The miso is not yet on the menu, but diners who want a taste of his signature flavors now can try his aged steak sauce or vinaigrette with rockfish – made with 2-year aged pickled walnuts gathered in Maryland. From the kitchens of Fairmont Vancouver Airport comes Executive Chef Carkner’s delicious Tomato Chili Jam <http://www.everyonesanoriginal.com/recipe_detail/?contentid=7262353390412672910> , which is served with Salt & Pepper Calamari.

Some combinations simply provide the perfect extra touch for chefs looking to create tempting flavors that surprise and delight guests. Executive Chef Tylun Pang serves hand crafted Maui-Style Sweet Chili Sauce <http://www.everyonesanoriginal.com/recipe_detail/?contentid=7125319809610965181>  at The Fairmont Kea Lani’s award-wining restaurant Kō, while Chef Gavin Stephenson at The Fairmont Olympic in Seattle ages his whiskey-infused maple syrup for 6 months to a year in-house using oak barrels.  This decadent topping for breakfast has became so popular it recently had to be taken off the menu due to overwhelming demand—a new batch is currently being aged and will return to the menu later this year.

As more Fairmont hotels expand their rooftop beehive programs, they’re finding many ways to put their honey surplus to good use. In Toronto, The Fairmont Royal York was the first Fairmont property to commission their very own craft beer, the Royal Stinger, and is now joined by The Fairmont San Francisco’s Honey Saison, The Fairmont Olympic’s Olympic Honey Ale and the Summer Haze Honey Hefe <http://www.everyonesanoriginal.com/post_detail/?contentid=5501948690020236497>  from The Fairmont Empress.  So no matter what Fairmont hotel hungry diners visit, they are sure to be delighted by the fresh, innovative cuisine coming out of the kitchen.

Recipe: Mango Chili Sauce <http://www.everyonesanoriginal.com/recipe_detail/?contentid=7497110612231619894> – The Fairmont Orchid, Hawaii

Makes 1 Cup

Mango                                                 2 each

Hawaiian Chili Pepper                      2 pieces (Can Substitute with birds eye chili or Thai chili)

Ginger, cleaned and peeled              1/2 inch slice

Thai Basil                                            2 leaves

Cilantro                                                1 stem

Sea Salt                                                To taste

Black Pepper, cracked                      To taste

– Peel and pit both mangos, place all but 1/2 of one mango in a blender with a splash of water and puree

– Place Mango puree in a bowl

– Pull the stems off the chili peppers and quickly toast in a pan or roast in the oven

– After the chilies cool, mince and add to mango puree

– Dice the remaining piece of mango into 1/4″ dices and add to puree

– Chop basil and cilantro and fold into the puree

– Season with salt and pepper

* Serve as a dip with Vegetable Chips such as Taro, Sweet Potato, and Plantain

Fairmont Hotels & Resorts, which will arrive in destinations as diverse as Jaipur, Kyiv and Manila in 2012, is a celebrated collection of more than 60 luxury properties around the globe, including Shanghai’s Fairmont Peace Hotel, The Plaza in New York, and Makkah Clock Royal Tower in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The luxury brand’s distinctive hotels offer a sense of heritage and sophistication, warm, engaging service and culturally rich experiences. A community and environmental leader, Fairmont is also recognized internationally for its responsible tourism practices and award-winning Green Partnership program. Fairmont is owned by FRHI Holdings Limited, a leading global hotel company with over 100 hotels under the Fairmont, Raffles, and Swissôtel brands. The company also manages Fairmont, Raffles and Swissôtel branded luxury private residences club, whole-ownership residences and serviced residences properties. For more information or reservations, please call 1-800-441-1414, visit fairmont.com <http://www.fairmont.com/> , or contact your local travel professional.