This month Wimbledon champion Andy Murray will open a five-star hotel three miles from his hometown of Dunblane, Scotland
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Whisk Around the World: April 2014

Julie Mautner - April 2014

SWITZERLAND
The five-star, 104 room Chedi Andermatt opened in the heart of the Swiss Alps in December, with exec chef Mansour Memarian heading the hotel’s f&b operation. Memarian earned his first Michelin star at Jagdhof Glashütte (Bad Laaspe, Germany) and a second at Der Pavillion (Innsbruck, Austria). He came to the hotel from Dubai, where he worked most recently at the Shangri-La Abu Dhabi and the Burj al Arab. The restaurant showcases four open “atelier kitchens” specializing in Western and Asian cuisines, while The Japanese Restaurant by Hide Yamamoto offers authentic dishes and an open tempura and sushi bar. Other f&b offerings include a 16-foot high cheese cellar, where local varieties from Gotthard take center stage. The hotel was designed by Jean-Michel Gathy of Denniston International Architects & Planners, based in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, and incorporates an Asian theme with contemporary Swiss architecture. It’s the first General Hotel Management Ltd. property in Switzerland, home of the group co-founder Hans R. Jenni. The gm is Alain Bachmann, most recently at the Grand Hotel Park (Gstaad). The Chedi, 90 minutes by car from Zurich Airport, is one of the few Alpine resorts to remain open year-round. In the summer, the town is considered a paradise for hikers, bikers, and nature lovers. An 18 hole golf course will open just minutes away this summer. Rates begin at $720.

UNITED KINGDOM
This month Wimbledon champion Andy Murray will open a five-star hotel three miles from his hometown of Dunblane, Scotland. Called Cromlix, it’s set in a Victorian mansion on 34 acres of secluded woodland, just a short drive from Gleneagles, where the Ryder Cup will be held in September. Murray purchased the mansion in February 2013 and began an extensive refurbishment. Cromlix has 10 bedrooms and five suites, each named after a famous Scot (William Wallace, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Sean Connery, etc.). Exec chef Darin Campbell (who hails from the nearby town of Doune) comes from One Devonshire Gardens at the Hotel Dun VIN (Glasgow) and was previously head chef at Gordon Ramsay’s Petrus (London). The restaurant Chez Roux features locally sourced products and a reasonably priced menu aimed at drawing locals. Cromlix is managed by Inverlochy Castle Management International, which already runs eight properties around Scotland, including Inverlochy Castle. The culinary consultant is Michelin three-star chef Albert Roux, formerly of Le Gavroche (London). At press time, there was no news on the f&b director or gm. But we can tell you that, yes, Cromlix has tennis courts. Rates begin at $320.

Simon Mullins and chef/director Ben Tish of Salt Yard Group opened their fourth London restaurant, the 100 seat Ember Yard. They also have Salt Yard, Opera Tavern, and Dehesa. Jacques Fourie, who’s been cooking at Salt Yard for five years, is head chef. Ember Yard, on Berwick Street in Soho, serves Spanish- and Northern Italian–style tapas cooked almost entirely on a custom charcoal grill in an open kitchen. The team is hot- and cold-smoking ingredients, using various woods such as oak, apple, and silver birch. Menu highlights: smoked bream carpaccio with blood oranges and bottarga; hot-smoked Old Spot pork belly with Basque cider glaze; free-range chicken thighs with fig glaze, roasted figs, and sprouting broccoli. Desserts include hot chocolate ganache with salted caramel ice cream and grilled pineapple with yogurt mousse and pistachio praline. In the basement, guests find exposed wine vaults, a 20 seat private room, and a bar/lounge where they can watch charcuterie being prepared. The cocktail list mirrors the restaurant’s smoking/grilling theme: Bar manager/mixologist Alejandro Gimenez Tarquini uses ingredients such as smoked Maldon salt, grilled fruit, and smoked ice to whip up drinks such as the Il Promo Di Maria (gin, elderflower, Prosecco, cassis, edible flowers, and strawberry smoke).

MONACO
Nobu opened at the 602 room Fairmont Monte-Carlo in December, serving dinner only. This is the 27th Nobu worldwide, and it replaces the hotel’s former restaurant, L’Argentin. It has a main dining room, a sushi bar, two private lounges, and a terrace overlooking the Mediterranean. Nobu’s chef de cuisine is Jérôme Lorvellec, a longtime Nobu vet who was last with the company in Australia but comes originally from Manosque, France, two and a half hours from Monte-Carlo. The restaurant manager is Luca Fametti. The hotel also has the Horizon Deck Restaurant and Champagne Bar, the all-day bistro/bar lounge Saphir 24, and a wildly successful catering division handling high-profile society events, the Monaco Yacht Show, and tennis’ Rolex Masters. Overseeing the hotel’s team of 70 chefs and cooks is exec chef Philippe Joannès, who earned his Meilleur Ouvrier de France stripes in the year 2000.

COSTA RICA
Hyatt opened the Andaz Peninsula Papagayo in December on the northwest Pacific coast of the country, with sweeping views of the Bay of Culebra. Costa Rican architect Ronald Zürcher did the pre-colonial design. Sitting on 28 oceanfront acres, the resort features 153 rooms, 8,200 square feet of meeting space, and an 11,000-square-foot spa. Dining options include three restaurants, under the preserve of exec chef Juan Carlos Salgar, who was previously at Grand Hyatt (Santiago, Chile). The f&b director is Frederic Cappello, formerly of Lux Island Resort (Mauritius). The gm, Michael Schmid, was last at Grand Hyatt (São Paulo, Brazil). The Andaz is located near a variety of ecotourism attractions and offers guests help planning activities at nearby historical sites and national parks, including birdwatching and cave excursions. The hotel’s Costa Rican–inspired soundtrack is downloadable for guests to enjoy back at home. Rates begin at $450.

JAPAN
The Ritz-Carlton Kyoto opened February 7, melding luxurious Western-style accommodations with omotenashi (traditional Japanese hospitality) in this sophisticated, 1,200 year old city. The 134 room hotel sits on the banks of the Kamogawa River, on a prime site with expansive views of the famous Higashiyama Mountain Range. With a beautiful spa (where one signature treatment is based on green tea leaves sun-dried for 20 days), management calls the hotel “Japan’s first urban resort.” The two restaurants are Italian and Japanese, and there’s also the Lobby Lounge, where tea and Pierre Hermé pastries are served. The exec chef is Shigeru Murayama, who came from the Mandarin Oriental Tokyo, where he was also exec chef. The f&b director and director of operations is Go Kondo, former assistant manager at the Hilton Adelaide (Australia). The gm is Yuji Tanaka, previously interim gm at The Ritz-Carlton Osaka.  

Edited by Julie Mautner. Send your international f&b news to her at WhiskNews@aol.com.