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The Ritz Restaurant London
Online hotel reservations for The Ritz London
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Article added on March 9, 2004
 
Since May 2, 2003 Dominique Blais is the new chef at The Ritz Restaurant. He does not aim to win a Michelin star, but with the help of his staff of forty cooks, he tries to satisfy the culinary whishes of his clientele. His success proves him right. With the exception of Monday, it is advisable to book a table in advance.

Dominique Blais describes his cooking philosophy with the words "simple is beautiful" and "beautiful is simple", modern, light, with the best and freshest produce. The carte changes four times a year, according to the season. The Menu du jour or Daily menu changes on a weekly basis. In comparison with menus à la carte, it is a more modern and creative dish.

The Ritz Restaurant offers French, European and modern British cuisine. There is always at least one traditional English dish on the menu. Since October 2003, this is the Lancashire Hotpot, which happened to be so successful that chef Blais has not removed it from the carte.

Blais' French cuisine is influenced by Georges Auguste Escoffier (1846-1935), the father of modern fine dining. His style has been adapted to modern taste. For instance, today the meals are lighter. Heavy sauces are out of fashion. At The Ritz Restaurant, a dish based on Escoffier is the Lobster bisque flambé with Armagnac.

The French chef puts emphasis on healthy, organic produce and invests time in the research of ingredients of quality with excellent taste. He always has at least one vegetarian dish for each course on his carte (starter, soup, intermediate and main course, dessert).

The Ritz Restaurant is currently London's only five star hotel that offers micro-vegetables, organic products with a certificate of the Soil Association: "The Ritz has satisfied the requirements of the Soil Association standards for organic farming and production and regulation (EEC) No. 2092/91 for..." (a large number of products listed).

The Ritz is also endorsed by His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales, a supplier of The Ritz. Prince Charles has created the brand Duchy Originals, which offers a large variety of organic products.

The hotel's and restaurant's strict dress code (jacket and tie) attracts a certain clientele. Among the regular guests are politicians, film stars, members of the English aristocracy and American tycoons. The hotel is very discrete, names are not revealed.

At The Palm Court at The Ritz, the traditional English afternoon tea is served. For hotel guests, a few tables are always reserved, whereas for guests from outside the hotel, there was a three weeks waiting list in January 2004.

A vegetarian dinner at The Ritz Restaurant
Tested by Louis Gerber in January 2004
 
The evening started well with chamber music and a glass of Veuve-Cliquot Champagne. Sometimes, you try to be too smart: against the waiters advice and the logic of the carte, I took the soup before the starter - and I was wrong. Therefore, here my impressions in the order as intended by the chef:

As a starter, I had braised baby leeks with potato and truffle shavings laced with a vinaigrette (for non-vegetarians a foie gras vinaigrette). It was a perfect, well seasoned appetizer which made you long for more.

The soup of pumpkin purée in a truffle broth with cracked roast hazelnuts and pumpkin oil was a well-studied, refined combination, only the truffles left no lasting impression.

Instead of a main course such as a Carnarolli risotto with black Perigord truffle, I opted for another intermediate course and did not regret my choice of an excellent tian of provençale vegetables with tomato coulis.
 
My first dessert, fine leaves of bitter chocolate with custard cream and praline sauce was rich and creamy, nothing for people on a diet. The Crêpes "Suzette" with vanilla ice and orange peal, prepared on the table with the help of a Hennessy, brought the evening of fine dining  to a memorable end. Dominique Blais and his team offer the traditional, solid cuisine requested by The Ritz clientele.

Biography of Dominique Blais

Dominique Blais was born in Nantes in 1958. He is a Diplômé de l'Ecole hôtelière de Saint-Nazaire. He then went on to an international career in Asia for seventeen years. He opened an hotel school in Singapore and worked for the Westin Group at the Stamford Plaza for three years, which subsequently sent him to South Korea, to the Philippines and to Hong Kong before returning to Singapore, where he found the love of his life, his wife. Since May 2003, Dominique Blais is the new chef at The Ritz Restaurant.

Every year, Dominique Blais and his team go on a quest and visit other famous chefs to learn from them. Blais for instance has already visited Alain Ducasse and, in April 2004, he will learn from Michel Troisgros.
 
Book your room or suite at The Ritz London online.
 




Added on August 5, 2004
After nine years as Maître Chef des Cuisines at Claridge’, John Williams has joined The Ritz in August 2004 as the new Executive Chef.


The Ritz Restaurant. Photo © The Ritz London.


The Terrace. Photo ©  The Ritz London.
 

Afternoon tea at The Palm Court. A fashionable pastime.
Photo ©  The Ritz London.

Check our hotel review of The Ritz London.

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