For the month of May 2015, Chef Fabrice Vulin and Four Seasons Hotel Hong Kong will throw open the ornate doors of Caprice Bar to welcome the cuisine, wine, spirits and fromage of the Midi-Pyrénées. Home of roquefort and Armangac; the birthplace of the malbec grape and bigorre ham; a passage for pilgrims on the Camino de Compostella; and for the world’s elite cyclists on the Tour de France, Midi-Pyrénées is a region steeped in history and rich in culinary tradition. At the two Michelin star restaurant Caprice, Chef Fabrice Vulin will dig into that history to resurrect heritage recipes for a special menu in honour of this unique region in France.
Rich Culinary Tradition
As part of the month-long celebration of French gastronomy known as Le French GourMay happening at Hong Kong’s best restaurants and supported by the French Consulate, the menu at Caprice Bar on the 6th floor of Four Seasons Hotel Hong Kong will be entirely devoted to a celebration of the singular cuisine of the Midi-Pyrénées. After researching the traditional foods and recipes of this rich agricultural region at the base of the Pyrénées, Chef Fabrice Vulin has assembled a menu utilising the deep well of culinary treasures still being produced in the area. Some recipes, like the skillet dish of potatoes and melted cheese known as truffade a la tomme de Laguiole, have nearly been lost to the passage of time and modern cooking. Others dishes may be well known but rarely found prepared by a two-star Michelin chef: the cassoulet for two, here presented with the famous meats of Midi-Pyrénées, is an assemblage of sausage, pork and duck gently stewed with tender flageolet beans and until the casserole is sealed in with a golden brown crust.
Unique Wines and Spirits to Pair with the Finest Cheese
Rocamadour, roquefort, Pyrenean tomme – these pillars of the cheese world are just a few of the treasures that owe their unique characteristics to the lush pastures, steep mountainsides and time honoured traditions of Midi-Pyrénées. Guests can sample these delicacies in Caprice Bar from Hong Kong’s first cheese cellar, replenished weekly with shipments from small artisanal cheese makers. While the cheeses of this region may be renowned, one of the region’s most famous progeny, the malbec grape, is still largely unfamiliar outside of France as produced by the winemakers of Cahors. This powerful wine has an “inky” quality that is as fine to drink as it is to cook with, as it is in Chef Vulin’s L’Aubrac beef braised in Cahors wine. After a meal of rustic French delights, guests are invited to end their Midi-Pyrenees dining experience by lingering over a glass of France’s oldest and finest brandy, Armangac. A 1982 Bas-Armagnac from Baron Gaston Legrande is a suitably rare digestif to swirl and sip while contemplating this culinary journey to parts of France unknown.