The chef in the pistachio-green jacket is well in the history of the Hotel Martinez. Born in Cannes, a lover and defender of his Provencal terroir, he has worked at the establishment since 2001; in 2007, he became the chef at the La Palme d’Or restaurant, now boasting two Michelin stars and earning four Toques and 18/20 in the Gault & Millau guide. As Executive Chef of the Hotel Martinez , he channels his creativity and style into culinary artistry of La Palme d’Or and all the hotel’s other dining establishments.
AN EPICUREAN JOURNEY
The story of chef Christian Sinicropi and the Hotel Martinez dates back to the 1980s. After earning a French vocational training certificate (CAP) as a cook in 1989, he took his first position as an apprentice chef (commis de cuisine) alongside Christian Willer. He then joined Sylvain Duprac’s staff at the restaurant La Cote* at the one Michelin – star Hotel Carlton as second commis.
In 1993, he left the Biarritz and the city’s jewel of luxury hospitality, the hotel du Palais, where he joined the staff of Meilleur Ouvrier de France Jean-Marie Gauthier. The period that followed would rocket him into the culinary constellations. First came Cannes, at the La Belle Otero* restaurant (two Michelin star); then Strasborg at Antoine Westermann’s Buerehiesel (Three Michelin star , then Alan Ducasse’s restaurant, the Louis XV in Monaco (three Michelin stars). He returned to Cannes in 2001, joining the Martinez staff under chef Christian Willer, Who Would name his as his successor. For several years, the two chefs worked in tandem before chef Sinicropi took the helm in 2007* now closed.
AUTHENTICITY AND EXCELLENCE
From his mother, a woman with Tuscan roots who had a small business selling wood-fired pizzas, he inherited the culture of good cooking and good eating. Christian Sinicropi is a local chef, proud to be Mediterranean and defender of his land. What he hold most dearly is the excellence of his ingredients, choosing them from the selected farmers, producer and breeder in the region. Taste, too, is paramount: genuine, rustic , something that stirs our primitive instincts . This focus is framed by an artistic and poetic vision, an invitation to taste cuisine that is original, utterly authentic, an ode to Provence and the cultures of the world.
CHEF AND CERAMIST
At La Palme d’Or restaurant, the tableware from e=sc2 is designed by Christian Sinicropi and crafted by his wife , Catherine. Several years ago, having mastered the secret of ceramics, the couple began creating plates and other utensils to hold the chef ‘s entire culinary composition,. having studied the art alongside his wife at the Ecole des Beaux- arts in nearby vallaris, this tableware is another tangible embodiment of his overall vision of cuisine that includes producers , breeders, farmers, markets gardeners, cooks as well as artists and ceramist.
Beyond working on their own designs Christian and Catty Sinicropi collaborate with other contemporary artists . The first such project began in 2011 with painter and plastic artist Patrick Moya. more alliance followed, such as with Steph Kop, a sculptor- artist from Morvan in central France, French urban artist Shaka Marshal, and , in 2018 Alexone , another street artist and urban poet who , creative complicity with the chef, designed a penguin serving cloche revealing a plate of langoustine.
My vision of Mackerel and Escabeche – Executive Chef Christian Sinicropi
Serve 10 people
250 g Cherries (very red and juicy)
50 pc of hulls
50 g Alcohol aniseed (Pastis
10 pc of mackerel 250/300
5 pc mini fennel
¼ l dry white wine
Pm olive oil
Pm fleur de sel
Remove mackerel fillets, discard and reserve in a cool place (2 fillets per person)
Using a hot frying pan with a drizzle of olive oil, place the cotépeau fillets to catch them and cook for 2 minutes without turning them over.
Place the skin fillets on a plate with a grating and arrange the fennel sticks previously seasoned with a drizzle of olive oil, fleur de sel and saffron
Pre-empty the hulls preferably the day before, in a casserole with a drizzle of olive oil, discard the hulls when the oil is hot, roll them in the oil.
Then add the white wine and cover immediately, cook during 2/3 min (the hulls must open by itself) then get rid of them taking care to keep the liquid cooking, Once cold, shell them out and then pick only the languages
For the flesh, detail them in sections of 0,5 cm it approximately 4 sections per person
Wash and pit the cherries. Mix them in a Blender until the device is smooth and syrupy, Filter it in a Chinese stamen and reserve.
Cut the shallot into rolls, peel the garlic clove and sweat in a pan with a drizzle of olive oil.
Add the thyme, rosemary and anchovy heads. Deglaze lightly with the pastis . Reduce to dry, wet with cherry juice, bring to a boil and simmer for about 20 minutes. Add the reserve cherry syrup, correct the seasoning and keep cold.
Add a spoonful of cherry sauce then place the mackerel at the last moment and serve immediately
Prawns are quick and easy to prepare and, with a little know-how, you can enjoy them at their best.
20 gamberoni shrimps (8/10)
10 live langoustines (7/9)
10 mini yellow carrots
10 mini purple carrots
10 mini orange carrots
10 mini fennels
10 fennel plant
10 baby squids
3 leaves of chard
3 Spanish octopus tentacles cooked
1 tsp of pastis
black olive powder
fleur de sel
wash all the mini vegetables and the chard leaves and cut the latter in to squares of 3 cm. Set them aside on some paper towel. Peel the carrots and keep 1 cm of the carrot tops. Make an incision lengthwise in their centre. Cut their sides with a knife to give them a triangular shape. Do the same with the mini-fennels. Thinly cut the base of the fennel plants and wash them. Set them aside on paper towel.
Remove the langoustines heads, peel their tails, remove the black guts and refrigerate. Separate the head from the body and tail of 10 gamberoni shrimps.
Keep the head of the 10-remaining choosing the ones with the largest spurs. Peel all the tails and keep the last ring of the tails only. Roll each of the whole gamberoni shrimps on itself and skewer the tail end under the head to hold it together.
Refrigerate. Remove the head from the body of the baby squid and also the beak from inside the head and keep the tentacles whole.
Remove the cartilage and innards from the bodies. Wipe them thoroughly to remove all impurities. Cut the tentacles of the octopus into 10 chunks of 10 cm long and refrigerate.
Fry the chard leaves in skillet with a drizzle of olive oil and a pinch of fleur de sel. At the same time cook the mini vegetables in salted boiling water.
Fry the fennel plants in a very hot pan with a drizzle of olive oil for 3 to 5 seconds and deglaze with the Pastis and put them to one side immediately after. Fry all the gamberoni shrimps in a pan with a drizzle of olive oil over a high heat for about 1 minute and season with some fleur de sel.
Quickly fry the heads and bodies of the baby squid in another pan with a drizzle of olive oil, put them to one side and season with the Espelette pepper. Warm the octopus tentacles under a grill with a drizzle of olive oil.
Use the spurs of each gamberoni shrimp to skewer one octopus tentacle and one head and body of the baby squid. Fry the tails of the langoustine for 1 minute in a pan with olive oil. Season with fleur de sel.
The day before, wash, dry and crush the riquette finely. Mix it in a pothole with the ricotta. Season with a drizzle of olive oil, fleur de sel and freshly ground pepper. Spread the mixture between two sheets of parchment paper to a thickness of 3 mm and block in the cold. Cut squares of 13 cm aside, reserve them in the cold Process
Scale and empty the sardines. Cut the heads and set aside for the sauce. Open at the belly remove the ridge, taking care to keep the tail so that the two parts are held together. Place them on the skin on a plate and stuff them with a dash of lemon purée, fleur de sel and freshly ground pepper. Close them gently without damaging them.
Using an electric slicer, cut 40 thin slices of bread into 2 mm thick cuttlefish ink. Place them on a sheet of parchment paper and cut them into strips (2 x 8 cm); adjust the length according to the thickness of the sardine. Roll a slice of bread at the end of each sardine to form a ring. Oil an oven dish, put the sardines, cook them in an oven at 180 ° C for about 2 minutes. Beware of handling at the exit of the oven because the ring of bread becomes brittle.
Sardine sauce with red wine
Cut the shallot into rolls, peel the garlic clove and sweat without in a pan with a drizzle of olive oil. Add the thyme, rosemary and sardine heads, color everything, deglaze with the pastis reduce to dry then wet with the red wine. Bring to a boil and cook slowly until the liquid becomes syrupy. Strain using a chinois, correct seasoning and reserve cold.
Wash and peel the tomatoes, cut four 5 mm thick rouelles, place them in an oven dish. Add a few grains of fleur de sel, a drizzle of olive oil and confit in an oven at 85 ° C for 15 to 20 minutes.
Finishing and presentation
In a plate, put a square of cheese by sardines and let it return to temperature. Dress on 3 sardines
The tale of Thai chef Khun Jirapa Kaosarang or khun Benz as she is more famously known is a remarkable one of fate and good fortune
She was working in a remote 1 star hotel near Phuket when a couple stopped to enquire about the local amenities. After a friendly exchange, she invited them to sample a meal she had cooked herself. It was a random slice of gastronomic exquisiteness that marked the start of an amazing journey. The couple were none other than Soneva owners Sonu and Eva Shivdasani who were on a project site trip for a potential resort project in Thailand.
So enthralled were they with khun Benz’ food they promptly offered her a job at their flagship resort Soneva Fushi. “Our expectations were low when we went for dinner, but we were blown away by Benz – she cooked the best Thai meal Eva and I ever had”, said Sonu. That was back in 1999 but she seized her opportunity and worked as a chef there for ten years, developing her skills and expertise exponentially as the Soneva resort grew in influence and significance.
Having become an accomplished gourmet chef over those ten years, she then put in a heartfelt request to return home to Thailand. Sonu and Eva gave her their blessing – on condition she opened her own restaurant at their Thai resort Soneva Kiri! Aptly she and her restaurant are called Benz. Why? Because that was her nickname after a cousin drove her home from hospital in a Mercedes for the first time after her birth.
The new restaurant is located deep in the mangrove, a short boat ride down the small river Klong, which was once described as a “steaming upstream into a very green Heart of Darkness”. From the outset, she decided she would rely exclusively on fish caught by local fishermen and on ingredients grown either in the resort’s organic garden or on nearby Koh Chang. So at the start of the day, she has little idea what will be on the menu that night but shapes it after her twice weekly visit to the local fishing market ‘Ao Salat’ to see what kind of a morning her fishermen have enjoyed.
Her menu, featuring anything up to nine courses, depends entirely on the exotic pickings her suppliers are able to offer. On the fish menu (there is some meat on the menu too) will be principally fresh squid, crabs and scallops. Guests can now see for themselves what khun Benz is looking for each morning and how she makes her selection by accompanying her to the market, helping her to select her fish then learning how to cook it, a la khun Benz. For guests who want to eat rather than learn, Benz’ Restaurant is a veritable food temple offering up selection of dishes from Benz’ spectacular repertoire, the crispy sweet corn in chilli sauce, stir fried morning glory and wok seared prawns earning her more acclaim and elevation to lofty heights as a contender in the best restaurant in all of Thailand league.
Her signature dishes, invariably accompanied by an ensemble of fireflies on neighbouring trees, include Gai Thord, Kanum Wan, Sweet pea shooter, Mieng Kam, Panaeng Gai and Yum Phak Boong.