By Nicole Schubert | May 6, 2019 | Food & Drink
A taste of the Swiss Alps is arriving in Miami with a new modern concept—Haute Cuisine—that will transform the exclusive Bal Harbour Village into an unparalleled four-day gastronomic destination.
“Haute Cuisine is the ultimate gastronomic experience,” said Pierre-Henri Bovsovers, General Manager of W Verbier. “A yearly event at W Verbier, the festival takes places across four days every April featuring chefs across Europe participating in themed dinners and cooking classes. Thus far, we’ve featured chefs with a total of more than 50 Michelin stars.”
Welcoming guests into an undeniably fruitful world of “Haute Cuisine,” local gourmet connoisseurs will be given the inaugural opportunity to taste the seductive allure of six European chefs—including prodigious names such as Jacques Pourcel, Sergi Arola, Thierry Drapeau, Joël Cesari, Jean-Baptiste Natali, and Alain Caron—who together have garnered nine Michelin stars, each boasting their own unique personality and powerful note of creativity. “They really know how to bring the experience forward,” said Bovsovers. “They love sharing their passion for gastronomy, excelling in creating delicious and memorable dishes, and creating a warm and friendly atmosphere for foodies.”
Eager to strut their culinary artistry to a new crowd of North American critics, these six globally renowned chefs are scheduled to lead a synthesis of interactive cooking classes and intimate theme-based dinners from May 8 to May 11 inside Bal Harbour Shops, Oceana Bal Harbour, The Ritz-Carlton Bal Harbour, and The St. Regis Bal Harbour.
But this new to the block Swiss symphony of kitchen players and harmonious flavors isn’t a rookie in the world of food and wine, but rather an indigenous veteran, originally establishing itself in Switzerland at W Verbier in 2015. “Our team wanted to showcase W Verbier as a gastronomic destination, and we leveraged our connections with some of the world’s most talented chefs to create a culinary festival that launched in December 2015,” said Bovsovers.
Haute Cuisine has now evolved into a can’t-be-missed annual event and Bovsovers and his team are thrilled to have Bal Harbour Village be the backdrop for the U.S. debut.
And if you ask him what he most revels in at this theater of gourmet performance, it’s simple. The interactions the chefs have with their onlookers, coming out from the kitchen and introducing their dishes, while finalizing each plate with a personalized twist. “During each evening, different flavorful theme-based dinners will bring emotions to guests’ palates and the festival’s friendly atmosphere will take participants on a journey of flavors, tastes and exceptional culinary discoveries,” said Bovsovers alluding to the live fashion shows, art exhibits, and cocktail demonstrations that will be synchronized with the chef’s culinary choice of fancy.
More than a gastronomic flight of exquisite savors, guests are meant to enjoy themselves while in the company of friends and family, allowing exotic ingredients to permeate their palates and alter how they perceive gastronomy.
Chefs Sergi Arola, Thierry Drapeau, and Alain Caron, hailing from Spain, France, and the Netherlands, respectively, are hoping to achieve just that with their upcoming fashion-themed dinner at Bal Harbour Shops’ Le Zoo and design-focused dinner at Oceana Bal Harbour. “Guests will discover new culinary techniques as well as seasoning with original textures within the traditional French cuisine they’re familiar with,” said Chef Thierry Drapeau. “I am looking forward to preparing a strawberry sphere with lemon basil. A classic at my home.”
The fourth time Drapeau will be participating in Haute Cuisine, he has garnered a kaleidoscope of knowledge and originality over the years that has transformed him into the top notch chef he is today. “I’ve been in this profession for 36 years now and it never gets old,” said Drapeau who honed his culinary skills as a child, alongside his father, visiting the nearby seaside fishing port during summers.
Outside of the dining room, guests will be given the chance to immerse themselves in culinary school. “I’m looking forward to meeting the group and teaching them my techniques,” said Chef Sergi Arola who has participated in Haute Cuisine since its first edition. “I’d be happy if after my class, they can understand a little bit of my philosophy, attitude and passion when it comes to my job.”
Chef Alain Caron, who was a judge on the internationally recognized TV show MasterChef Holland and restaurant owner in Amsterdam, will also be leading cooking classes, showing locals the French Provencal way of cooking, after spending 16 years in Nice. “I want to simplify gourmet meals and allow guests to easily recreate these dishes at home,” he says.
But teaching hard work and passion is the consistent key behind the culinary success of these European star chefs.
Photography courtesy of Bal Harbour Village