While we are waiting anxiously for our favourite restaurants to open, why not host a virtual dinner party with friends and family. Let Monaco’s award-winning chefs from the finest SBM establishments guide you for the perfect night in.
The Principality’s award-winning collection of chefs have come together to design a five-star, fine dining experience for those at home. With personal tips on setting the right ambiance, to signature recipes including canapés and cocktails and a world-renowned dessert, Société des Bains de Mer offers those at home a step by step guide in hosting the most exquisite dinner party.
Just like holding an ordinary dinner party, setting the right tone is an essential first step in hosting a memorable evening. Chef Philippe Joannes, “Meilleur Ouvrier de France” since 2000 (a personal Holy Grail for French chefs) and Culinary Events Director for Monte-Carlo Société des Bains de Mer, has the following advice:
“Be sure to think about where to host your virtual dinner party – an open kitchen is ideal – especially if the lighting is good, to make sure the meal and your table setting look their best on camera. Also, being near the stove means you won’t have to keep running off to the kitchen to check on the cooking.
As far as the food goes, if you are all creating the same menu, it should be something that each ‘guest’ can cope with – avoid anything too complicated (even when it comes to fine dining). As in our restaurants, it is all about the best ingredients – vegetables are in the spotlight at this time of year, think about their colours and how they will look on screen.
For the table setting, a runner on a beautiful wooden table with stylish plates of food, are always a good combination. If available, now is the time to get out your best tablecloth – plain linen is best – complemented by white candles and white plates, which will serve as the perfect background to the dishes you are serving. You can put flowers on the table, to inject colour, but only if they a discretely scented as you don’t want anything too overpowering.”
THE WELCOME: MUSIC & COCKTAILS
Where else to turn to but the pros at the exotic Buddha Bar Monte-Carlo on the Place du Casino de Monte-Carlo for musical inspiration and a welcome cocktail to kick start the virtual celebrations.
The Buddha Bar stands on the site of the original theatre and concert hall, the Cabaret de Monte-Carlo. Here, Papadia Donato, aka DJ Papa, watches over the Lounge Bar from behind his decks, distilling minimalist musical treats in a subtle fusion of lounge, chill-out and world music, all delicately seasoned with a handful of ethnic beats and electro. Music available here.
The accompanying cocktail is the stylish champagne-based ‘Monte-Carlo Bubble Wrap’, which pays homage, through its colour, not only to the décor of the old theatre, but also to the warm, present day décor of the lounge bar, recipe here.
Home to the largest hotel wine cellar in the world, Hôtel de Paris Monte-Carlo stores around 350,000 bottles with some of the most remarkable wine. Impress your guests by recommending a wine pairing for each course courtesy of Gennaro Lorio, Head Cellar Manager, the gentleman who will help you look like a wine connoisseur. Pairings below.
Monte-Carlo Beach ELSA’s Bagna Cauda
As its name would imply, for pure beachside glamour, the Monte-Carlo Beach Hotel ticks all the boxes. Elsa is the hotel’s 100% organic Michelin-starred restaurant headed up by Chef Benoit Witz – who recommends getting the party started with a peppy Bagna Cauda, a signature dish, with crispy fresh vegetables and flowers. Everyone loves a dip – and the garlic and anchovies are bound to get everyone’s taste buds going and the conversation flowing.
Accompaniments: This is not just any virtual dinner party; this is a fine dining virtual dinner party therefore the bread must be homemade. With seven simple steps and only four ingredients, award-winning Chef Thomas Subrin, Monte-Carlo Societé des Bains de Mer ’s Head Baker, shares an easy to follow recipe. Recipe can be found here.
Monte-Carlo Beach ELSA’s Purple Artichoke salad
Chef Benoit Witz’s Purple Artichoke Salad is an exceptional dish to kick start the main dining extravaganza. In keeping with restaurant Elsa’s ethos, Chef Witz recommends using locally sourced, organic ingredients where possible. This delicious, seasonal dish is an example of the chef’s love for interpreting Southern cuisine with authentic flavours, in an unmistakeable Mediterranean style, filled with generosity, just like this big-hearted chef. Any leftovers, this recipe is highly recommended as a light and easy lunch option. Recipe can be found here.
Wine Pairing by Gennaro Iorio: “The artichoke is one of these delicate vegetables to be combined with wine, it has a high content of mineral elements. We need a white wine that delivers a mineral and saline tension appropriate to the dish. I recommend a Muscadet de Sèvre et Maine from Domaine Jo Landron (certified organic) cuvée Le Fiefs du Breil 2015 (on the menu at the Monte-Carlo Beach Hotel) or a southern white wine from Roussillon, Côtes Catalane from Domaine Olivier Pithon (certified organic) cuvée Macabeu 2015 (on card at Le Louis XV-Alain Ducasse at Hôtel de Paris).”
THE MAIN COURSE
COYA’s Beef Lomo de Res
The the evening hots up with a stunning recipe for spicy beef fillet from COYA, a fabulous Latin American restaurant with sweeping views of the Mediterranean, with Peruvian antiques, lush plants and traditional furniture, immediately transporting diners to South America, with a menu of inspired fusion food from Peru. The Lomo de Res, cooked in the open kitchen by Chef Fabrizzio Fossati and his team, packs a powerful taste punch, whilst being naturally light and healthy. Recipe can be found here.
Wine Pairing by Gennaro Iorio: “I recommend a red wine from the northern Rhône Valley 100% Syrah, Cornas cuvée appellation Les Chailles from Domaine Alain Voge 2013. This cuvée of great concentration will perfectly match this main. Otherwise a Pinot Noir from the Côte d’Or, appellation Beaune 1er cru Les Sizies du Domaine de Montille 2015 (on the menu of ÔMER at the Hôtel de Paris Monte-Carlo), an opulent wine!”
Signature Hôtel de Paris Le Grill Chocolate Soufflé
On the 8th floor of the glamorous, celebrated Hôtel de Paris Monte-Carlo, Le Grill is possibly one of the romantic restaurants in the world, with conversation-stopping panoramic views of the Mediterranean. In warm weather, the famous retractable roof is drawn back for lunch in the sun or dinner under a starlit sky. The legendary soufflés are still on the menu, as they have been since 1898 when the hotel first opened. Today, Chef Olivier Berger’s recipe for feather light chocolate soufflé will bring this gourmet virtual dinner party to a suitably impressive finale. Recipe can be found here.
Wine Pairing by Gennaro Iorio: “A natural sweet red wine, Rasteau appellation (VDN from the southern Rhône valley) vintage 2015 from the Domaine de la Soumade (on the menu of ÔMER at the Hôtel de Paris Monte-Carlo) goes perfectly (fused tannin-chocolate accord).”
Photos provided by SBM