Ametsa With Arzak Instruction At The Halkin By COMO, London
Ametsa with Arzak Instruction is a group gastronomy venture between Elena Arzak, voted Veuve Clicquot Worlds Best Female Chef in 2012, along with her father Juan Mari Arzak, Mikel Sorazu, Igor Zalakain and Xabier Gutierrez. Elena and her father hold three Michelin stars at the original Arzak restaurant in San Sebastian, Spain. Luxurious Magazine learns a little more about the leading culinary lady and the latest three AA Rosette and one Michelin star awarded project at The Halkin Hotel in London.
LM: So tell us, why have you chosen the restaurant name of Ametsa with Arzak Instruction?
EA: Ametsa means Dream in Basque. The dream of a kitchen beyond our frontiers, in the middle of London, in the heart of the Halkin Hotel.
LM: What is special about this restaurant compared to Arzak?
EA: At Arzak, the approach is rooted in the traditions of New Basque Cuisine, pairing the earthy flavours and techniques of Spains Basque region with modern, surprising twists. Fresh, locally sourced and organic produce from land and sea are the Ametsa building blocks. Here at Ametsa, we are offering gastronomic consulting, as in we are advising pivotal members of our team to create dishes that are suitably adapted to cater to London taste buds but still hold our San Sebastian flair. We want to reflect the multi cultural values and cosmopolitan diversity in Britain with our dining.
LM: Who is your Head Chef at the restaurant and what dishes can we expect on the menu?
EA: Sergio Sanz Blanco is our Executive Chef. His dishes are Basque inflected and on the menu you can find Del Huevo A La Gallina (From Egg to Hen), Carrillera A La Vainilla (Ox Cheek with Vanilla) and Pichon Con Postas (Pigeon with Shot).
LM: What is your favourite dish that is currently available at the restaurant?
EA: I really like the John Dory fish and the Foie con Pomelo e Higos, foie gras with figs and grapefruit. We pride ourselves on sourcing the finest locally grown ingredients to produce our dishes and also change the menus seasonally, as well as according to customer requests. We have a new tapas menu for lunchtime too that we hope will work well.
LM: Why is your restaurant based at The Halkin Hotel, Knightsbridge and why did you choose London as the location?
EA: We feel that The Halkin fits well with our own brand values. We believe London is a strong city for showcasing gastronomic talent and while it has a high level of gourmet offerings, we are ready to take on the challenge.
LM: What defines luxury for you?
EA: To me, luxury is defined by a special moment. For example, I like to travel and to eat. I travel for professional reasons and also for personal enjoyment and am fascinated by the various dishes you can taste wherever you go.
LM: What do you like to do when you are not working?
EA: My spare time is filled with all things related to my profession, purely because it is not just a job for me but it is more so a way of life. Ever since I was a child, it was my dream to become a chef and at the age of 18, I studied gastronomy. I dedicate a lot of time to my two children and encourage them to experiment with cooking and be with good friends.
By Reena Patel