Like Tet, some special events require more than the few official days allocated to them, and this year the Hotel Metropole Hanoi’s Les Arômes Festival 2016 is one such celebration.
What was last year but a four-day culinary festival at the country’s most storied hotel is this year a six-week run of wine dinners, bread-baking workshops and other special events.
Headlining this year’s event is Chef Christophe Grilo, a 38-year-old executive pastry chef and baker who has cooked for such Hollywood stars as Brad Pitt, Arnold Schwarzenegger and singer Barbra Streisand.
At the Metropole, Grilo will conduct a ‘Bread Master Class’ on May 19 by invitation only. On May 20, the Metropole will introduce Grilo’s new bread collection throughout the hotel’s dining venues, and will begin retailing the collection at L’Epicerie. And one night later, Grilo will help ‘Uncork the Summer’ in Les Arômes’ signature dinner at La Veranda, featuring wines by Chateau Grand Verdus.
The Chateau Grand Verdus vintages hail from hilly terroir about 20 kilometers east of Bordeaux, and are bottled by a family that’s been minding those vineyards through four generations. Famous for its reds, whites and rosés, its wines have won superior ratings in recent years in wine-centric media from Decanter to the Wine Enthusiast.
Grilo, meanwhile, has worked at a succession of Michelin-star establishments, and literally climbed the rungs from one-star to three-star restaurants, winning renown as one of France’s most promising young bakers.
He relocated to Asia in 2004, working for two major hotel brands before assuming a leadership position in the Canele Patisserie Chocolaterie. In 2013, Grilo started up the Bakery Artisan Original, the B.A.O., where they resort to traditional methods to produce breads with deeper flavours and textures.
This year’s festival, the 9th annual at the Metropole, kicks off April 29 at La Veranda with a wine dinner featuring Craggy Wines from New Zealand, and concludes June 4 with a wine dinner featuring Bordeaux’s famous Domaine de Chevalier at L’Orangerie.