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Review

Martinique meets Singapore in Monaco: chef Marcel Ravin kicks off Festival des Étoilés

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Marcel Ravin welcomed chefs Adam and Xiong from the Odette restaurant in Singapore - © Monte-Carlo SBM

On the menu: a dinner combining Caribbean flavours and Asian delicacies courtesy of two chefs from Singapore’s three-star Odette restaurant.

Overlooking the sea, on the terrace of the Las Brisas restaurant at Monte-Carlo Bay, two-star chef Marcel Ravin kicked off the third edition of the prestigious Festival des Étoilés organised by the Monte-Carlo Société des Bains de Mer on 29 and 30 September.

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Unfortunately, chef Julien Royer was unable to make the trip due to unforeseen circumstances. Instead he was represented by his two chefs from the three-star Odette restaurant in Singapore for this dinner for four (well, six) hands.

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The four six-handed dinner was part of the Festival des Etoilés de Monte-Carlo – © Monte-Carlo SBM

Ladies and gentlemen, your journey is about to begin,” introduced the maître d’. And the different flavours throughout the meal, accompanied by soft lounge music, were certainly an invitation to cross the oceans.

Julien Royer’s chefs, Adam and Xiong, started us off with a gamberoni taco, adding a local speciality: Menton lemon. Chef Marcel Ravin, meanwhile, provided a delicate plantain banana flour tartlet with chayote and vintage Comté cheese, paying tribute to the Caribbean flavours of his native Martinique.

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There were other notes from the islands with the smoked eel and sweet potato, accompanied by Almas caviar, Malabar spinach and a coconut water emulsion. Chefs Adam and Xiong served langoustine with red tetragonia (a plant that is native to Asia), meadowsweet and verbena.

“From Singapore to Monte Carlo, cuisine without borders”

Chef Ravin took care of the ‘surf’ side with Mediterranean fish, accompanied by a cocoa butter confit, a ‘sauce chien’ sabayon and vegetable floralies, while chefs Adam and Xiong took on the ‘turf’ side with pigeon with Kampot pepper (grown in Cambodia), garnished with black garlic, fig and a confit thigh, as well as an offal ‘Bao’, a little stuffed bun from China and Vietnam.

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Pigeon with Kampot black pepper, black garlic, fig, confit thigh and offal “Bao” – © Monte-Carlo SBM

The dinner was rounded off with a range of sweet treats, from rose and lychee ice lollies to  tomato candy “from our kitchen garden.” Also a mention are “Chocolates from my childhood in Martinique” and figs from the Jardin des Antipodes by Marcel Ravin.

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Variety wasn’t only available on the plate. A food and champagne pairing had been created in partnership with the well-known maison Veuve Cliquot, which suggested its famous Brut Carte Jaune, then La Grande Dame (2015 White and 2012 Rosé).

The meal was as surprising as it was delicious and was a fabulous start to this new edition of the Festival des Étoilés de Monte-Carlo, as chef Julien Royer summed it up very well in these words: “From Singapore to Monte-Carlo, a cuisine without borders where enjoyment, emotion and sharing are the watchwords.”

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