There is cooking, and then there is French cooking. Much of the modern Western kitchen was born of the recipes and traditions first developed and codified by the great French chefs of the royal courts and Grand Palais of the 17th and 18th century. It is no wonder then that France is the home to the only cuisine currently recognised by UNESCO as an Intangible Cultural Heritage.
Chef Fabrice Vulin and the team at two Michelin star restaurant Caprice at Four Seasons Hotel Hong Kong carry on this culinary heritage today, interpreting the techniques developed by centuries of French chefs who have come before them to create exquisite dishes for a modern era. For the first time, Caprice will pull back the curtain to reveal the tips, tricks and techniques that go into the creation of exceptional fine dining. In the Secrets of Haute Cuisine experience, guests will have the opportunity for an interactive tour of French food and dining, from learning to make the perfect macaron to sampling fine wines and artisanal cheese in Caprice’s extensive cellar. This one day experience culminates with an exclusive dinner in the Chef’s Table prepared by Chef Vulin himself.
Opening the Curtain
Every fine dining experience involves a bit of theatre. It is not often, however, that guests have the opportunity to go behind the scenes to learn the art and craft that goes into the creation of each magical evening. The Caprice team has developed a one day itinerary allowing a select few guests to delve into the heart of haute cuisine, cooking, tasting and learning along the way.
The day begins with a casual French-style breakfast in the Caprice kitchen. Here guests will be given an introduction to their day, over coffee and croissants with Chef Vulin. Energised from the strong café, guests will enter the kitchen for a workshop with Chef Vulin on the preparation of foie gras. Foie gras, a popular delicacy in France, is considered so essential to the cuisine that it is covered by law as part of the “protected gastronomic and cultural heritage in France.” Guests will learn how to prepare the foie gras in a classical recipe of duck foie gras terrine.
Guests will never again have to wait in line at a patisserie for a box of macarons after they learn from Caprice Pastry Chef Nicolas Lambert how to make these meringue and almond confections by hand. For the more ambitious, home baking may be next after spending time in the bread kitchen with Hotel Pastry Chef Ringo Chanlearning the art of the perfect baguette.
After working up an appetite in the kitchen, guests will travel by Mercedes limousine to a nearby bistro for a casual French lunch. Here guests will have a chance to sample the everyday cooking beloved by French and Francophiles around the world, and the foundation of the elevated form of French cuisine.
Returning to Four Seasons and Caprice, guests will engage in an intimate class with a Caprice sommelierSebastien Allano, learning the fundamentals of French wine from the proper glassware to tips on wine tasting. To pair with the wine, a Caprice manager will walk guests through a selection of fine French cheeses from the Caprice cellar, home to more than three dozen varieties of handcrafted cheese.
The Haute Cuisine Experience
After a rest in their Four Seasons room or suite, guests will return to Caprice for dinner at the Chef’s Table, thepièce de résistance of this day-long tour of French gastronomy. After an aperitif in Caprice Bar, a necessary precursor to the classic French meal, guests will be invited in to the cheese cellar for a relaxed dinner in elegant surroundings.
Flanked by rows of the finest wines from some of the greatest domaines and chateaux in France as well as the famous Caprice cheese selection, the Chef’s Table offers a floor-to-ceiling view into the nightly action of the Caprice open kitchen. Here guests will enjoy a unique dining experience with a menu prepared and presented by Chef Vulin himself, changing daily with the whims of his inspiration and utilising the freshest available ingredients. A succession of courses from appetisers to fish, seafood and rare meats will be served with extreme care and the high style developed from centuries of French fine dining.
Whether already a devoted lover of French cuisine or a recent inductee to this revered gastronomic style, Secrets of Haute Cuisine offers a rare opportunity to learn from the skill and passion practiced by the team at Caprice – some of the most celebrated French chefs, sommeliers, and maître d’s practicing their art today.
Secrets of Haute Cuisine is available only to Hotel-staying guests of Four Seasons Hotel Hong Kong. The experience is limited to one offering per month, a maximum of 4 guests at a time. Prices for the experience are HKD 20,000 for 2 persons. Prices are subject to 10 percent service charge. To enquire about availability, contact the Concierge at Concierge.HongKong@fourseasons.com or +852 3196 8230.