Brought to you by: Monaco Life
The World Society of Interdisciplinary Anti-Aging Medicine conference has been held in Monaco providing a forum to stimulate ideas, educate, share expertise and extend networking opportunities.
Under the High Patronage of H.S.H. Prince Albert II the 17th AMWC congress was held from April 4th to 6th at the Grimaldi Forum. Honorary Doctors Thierry Besins and Claude Dalle brought together prominent international thought leaders to discuss the latest innovations and trends. During the three-day congress participants found a perfect fusion of practical training, live-demonstrations, plenary sessions and an opportunity to purchase beauty products from the numerous exhibitor stands. The congress was so large that we could only cover all the of it by dividing the sectors between our small group of passionate healthcare professionals.
The aesthetic section was visited by our leading specialists in facial rejuvenation, both general practitioners: Dr Suzana Miniconi, whose second qualification is dermatology, and founder of the AMMA Association Dr Roland Marquet, who gives his expertise on various approaches to face lifting threads.
A highlight was the pre-congress on April 3rd dedicated to the emerging field of genital rejuvenation and cosmetic gynaecology. This was attended by gynaecologist Horst Bongard, who is famous for his holistic approach and profound understanding of the microbiota’s and neurotransmitter importance. “I admire different genital rejuvenating procedures that are used to reconstruct existing defects and cater to the rising demand for this kind of beauty and comfort procedures. Breakthrough techniques in sensitive areas are no longer taboo, so I’m learning more and more about how to help my patients regain self-confidence and improve their sexual relationships and emotional life,” said the Beausoleil-based doctor.
The scientific section of the congress was covered by Marina Matkova, the first biohacker in Monaco. “Thrilled by well-known researcher discoveries, I’m absorbing every drop of knowledge about the precious long-living science. It’s truly a unique chance to have world-class professors sharing with the audience here in Monaco,” said Marina Matkova.
“I’m a big fan of human qualitative longevity and the only way to achieve it is via personalised biomarker screening. Followed by precise data we can create lifestyle recommendations. For this reason I’m representing the BIOVIS laboratory that offers premium diagnostics and enables tailored advice for the clients to perform better on their daily basis by rising their vital energy level and overall contentment. My wish is to add as many P’s as possible to Preventative medicine: Predictive, Personalised, Precision, Practical, Patient-centric, Performing, Productive, Participatory in Principality of Monaco,” said Ms Matkova, a Master in Health and Nutrition Science.
The famous Dr Aleks Letnikovs and his discussion about osteoarthritis prevention was particularly enthralling. The young and talented doctor, who also specialises in genetic testing and stem cell therapy, is like detective Sherlock Holmes in health investigation for VIP’s around the globe, flying on their private jets and consulting with the ultra-wealthy on their yachts. He is adding life to the billionaires’ years, not only years to their lives.
The next conference of interest is at the CHPG on May 16th titled ‘Adult stem cells in clinical applications’. Entrance is free.
A second person has died from Covid-19 in Monaco. Meanwhile, the Principality’s Minister of State has fully recovered from the virus.
Now more than ever, health is at the forefront of everyone’s minds. On 7th April, we have an opportunity to thank the nurses and midwives of the Principality during World Health Day 2020.
Monaco’s support workers caring for the most vulnerable in the community are making heroic efforts to maintain vital ties to the elderly and disabled, whilst trying to remain safe themselves during the crisis.
Since confinement began on 18th March, the Monaco police force has made 11,000 traffic checks on drivers entering the Principality.
Perched on a high chair at the chef’s table in his Hotel Metropole gastronomic flagship, Joël Robuchon speaks French so softly that I have to lean in to catch his words. This unassuming man was named Gault Millau’s “Chef of the Century”, while his first Parisian restaurant, Jamin, was voted “Best Restaurant in the World” by the International Herald Tribune (now published as the International NYT). With more Michelin stars than any other chef in history and a culinary empire of 16 restaurants, Robuchon is probably the world’s greatest chef. You’d think this 71-year-old would be taking things a little easier at last. Instead, he’s opening three new restaurants abroad: two in the US, one in Shanghai..[ihc-hide-content ihc_mb_type="block" ihc_mb_who="reg" ihc_mb_template="" ] SIGN IN TO YOUR PREMIUM ACCOUNT TO READ MORE (click Sign In at the top of the page) [/ihc-hide-content] [ihc-hide-content ihc_mb_type="show" ihc_mb_who="reg" ihc_mb_template="" ]
Robuchon enthuses about his recent visit to Shanghai: “This is my first foray into continental China. I expected everyone to be dressed in Communist blue overalls, but the first thing I saw upon leaving the airport was a Rolls Royce. China is the clientele of tomorrow.”
His connection to Asia dates back many years. After winning the contest to be “Meilleur Ouvrier de France” in 1976, he was sent to a hotel school in Tokyo by the legendary chef Paul Bocuse. He explains: “I fell in love with Japanese cuisine, with their respect for the seasons and with their respect for products.”
Asia became a cornerstone of his culinary empire with restaurants across the continent: in Tokyo, Nagoya, Hong Kong, Macau, Taipei, Singapore, Bangkok and now Shanghai. He also brought his love of Asia back to Europe with the opening of Yoshi, which became France’s only Michelin-starred Japanese restaurant in 2010.
“It’s a Japanese restaurant with a French twist,” says Robuchon. “Sourcing a chef from Japan didn’t work, so I hired a Japanese chef from France and sent him to train with my favourite Japanese chefs. Now he makes authentic Japanese cuisine adapted for Western taste buds.”
Yoshi is Robuchon’s newest Monaco-based success story. Since his arrival into the principality over a decade ago, Robuchon has quietly asserted his culinary presence. His Jacques Garcia-designed self-titled restaurant is now widely seen as Monaco’s de-facto gastronomic place to dine, while his poolside Odyssey restaurant has been booked out since its spectacular Karl Lagerfeld-designed facelift in 2015. Even the hotel bar section has morphed from serving a couple of diners to almost 70 covers daily. As I delve into a quinoa ball from his new vegetarian menu at Joël Robuchon, I wonder where the secret to his Monegasque success lies.
“The golden word is kindness,” he says. “I know it’s not a very French concept.”
He berates the cold academic formality of fine French dining where the focus is “less on treating diners kindly and more on whether the silver fork is to the right or left of the plate”. For the record, Robuchon doesn’t use silverware at all as his cutlery is inox. I smile in my realisation that behind his gentle, grandfatherly façade lies a revolutionary.
“You have to question yourself constantly,” says Robuchon. “You can never be too attached to the past.”
Robuchon has been as good as his words in forging culinary history. He was the first French chef to champion open-plan, teppanyaki-style kitchens with induction hobs. His atelier restaurant concept recreated the cooking-in-front-of-clients informality that he had enjoyed for decades in Japanese sushi bars and Spanish tapas bars.
“I wanted to combine chic-et-pas-cher with luxury,” he says, “So I developed a bistro combined with an open-plan kitchen and Michelin-starred cooking.”
At the same time, he became the first chef to dress his kitchen staff in black. He recalls: “I felt that white uniforms would attract too much diners’ attention in my new ateliers, so I decided on black instead.”
The problem was that the kitchen uniforms only came in one colour: white. Moreover his usual kitchen manufacturer told him that black uniforms weren’t allowed. Undeterred, Robuchon hired a kitchen hygienist to confirm that as long as kitchen overalls were clean, they could be any colour. Nowadays black-clad chefs have become the norm for the open concept kitchens.
Robuchon also revolutionised gastronomic French cuisine. His time in Japan influenced his approach both in his introduction of Asian ingredients (such as wasabi and soya) and in the deceptive simplicity of his cuisine. Unlike the eye-wateringly rich cuisine of some of his Michelin-starred competitors, Robuchon pioneered an almost instantaneous “cuisine minute” that is neither rich nor heavy. Often no more than three ingredients are used.
“I like dishes that you can eat daily,” says Robuchon. “In some gastronomic restaurants: the first time is amazing; the second time, a little less so; the third time makes you nauseous. Sometimes the simple stuff can be hardest to do.”
Robuchon’s interest in healthy eating dates back to 2012, when he was asked to cater for an oncology conference across the Atlantic. Listening to the speeches, he realised the enormous impact of food upon life-threatening illnesses. Since then, he has become an advocate for a medicinal approach to cuisine speaking at conferences and collaborating with the medical industry to research the therapeutic qualities of food. He joined forces with neuropharmacologist Dr Nadia Volf to produce the book Food & Life (Assouline Books), melding nutritional advice with recipes to treat common ailments. While Robuchon describes a new detox broth on his Odyssey menu and other dishes that are sprinkled with anti-oxidants, a smiling waitress arrives with a beetroot-and-apple duo that looks healthy enough to extend my life by another decade.
“This healthy eating suits the pretty women of Monaco who like to look after their figures,” says Robuchon.
Over our main course of quail and truffled mashed potato, Robuchon remembers his teenage years at a strict Roman-Catholic school where he was top of the class in every subject except languages (to this day, he speaks only French). His first culinary experience came from helping the nuns to prepare meals. He recalls: “Pupils had to eat in silence. I chopped up vegetables and cleared the plates.”
It was a modest beginning for one of the world’s most successful chefs. With characteristic generosity, he is keen to credit mentors such as Charles Barrier and Frédy Girardet, as well as loyal members of his team who have helped him along the way. His complicity with Monaco’s head chef and his right-hand-man Christophe Cussac dates back four decades. He says: “Our DNA is shared. We share ideas, reflections. It’s teamwork.”
Indeed Robuchon drove his whole team 200 kilometres to Cussac’s family restaurant in Burgundy to celebrate winning his first three Michelin stars for his Parisian restaurant Jamin.
The Michelin guide has been the leitmotif in Robuchon’s rags-to-riches tale. His restaurant in Las Vegas teetered on the brink of bankruptcy with five to ten covers per night for several years until the Michelin guide arrived: “Once the restaurant had been awarded three Michelin stars, it became chock-a-block overnight.”
The financial and emotional pressure of running Michelin-starred restaurants was highlighted by the recent suicide of one of Europe’s top chefs. Benoit Violier, who ran a three Michelin-starred restaurant in Switzerland, had been one of his protégés. Robuchon concedes sadly: “The stress of earning three Michelin stars is nothing compared to the fear of losing them. Top chefs are under constant pressure.”
For a man who works every day of the week, Robuchon looks remarkably calm. In his rare time off each summer, he heads home to southern Spain. One of his greatest pleasures is dining with his French wife, two adult children and four grandchildren. His best-loved restaurant in the world is in nearby Alicante: a tapas bar called Nou Manolin where he loves gorging on langoustines that are brought in fresh every evening.
“My favourite meal has more to do with whom I eat,” he says. “It could simply be potatoes.”
Spooning his legendary butter-lashed, truffle-infused potato purée into my mouth, I couldn’t agree more.[/ihc-hide-content]