The Ingredients Transforming Michelin Star Menus

4662 Views |  Like

Michelin-starred restaurants need no introduction. If you are lucky enough to be dining at one this winter, here are 5 of the key ingredients you can expect to be on the menu.

1. Organic produce

At Lucknam Park Hotel near Bath, chef Hywel Jones has held a Michelin star at The Park restaurant since 2006. He uses organic ingredients, and herbs from his own garden.

Further afield is the two Michelin star restaurant, Maaemo, in Oslo, Norway. Again, it uses completely organic produce, and rare herbs and berries. Maaemo was the first restaurant to receive Michelin stars, but it has been followed by a few others, including Ylajali, which has no menu as such, but tries to focus on the meal as a complete and comprehensive experience.

2. Seafood

In Paris, peppered with more Michelin stars than almost anywhere else in the world, seafood seems to be the order of the day. At Alain Ducasse au Plaza Athénée, Breton lobster is served in a sauce of apple, quince and spiced wine. For lunch, the amuse-bouches at Pierre Gagnaire consists of delicacies such as an egg ‘raviole’, ricotta with apple, fish in a cauliflower jelly, and glazed monkfish. Meanwhile, at Senderens, monkfish steak with Spanish mussels and green curry sauce is served.

3. The finest wines

Many Michelin star restaurants include luxurious Champagne or a great Prosecco on their wine list, as well as classics such as a crisp French Sauvignon Blanc, or an aromatic German Riesling from the Moselle. Reds are often a leafy New World Pinot Noir from Argentina or a perfumed dark cherry Valpolicella from Verona, Italy. These days, rosé wine has found a place on the wine list, and might include a French Bordeaux, where the grapes were harvested during cover of darkness and pressed straight away. But the wine list must be ever-changing, as will be the menu in any restaurant worth its salt – or Michelin star, whichever the case may be.

4. Locally sourced produce

If you find yourself in Barcelona, you will be at the centre of cutting edge foodism, and be spoilt for choice; if you are able to book a table, that is. Go to Hislop, and you can eat squid with fried egg and truffle, octopus with calçotaca, rack of lamb, or scallops with caviar. An eclectic array, as you’d expect from a michelin star restaurant, with emphasis on ‘local’.

The Kitchin, found in Edinburgh’s Leith waterfront district presents modern British seasonal cuisine influenced by French cooking techniques. It has the best quality ingredients available from Scotland’s fantastic natural larder. It serves hare from a nearby farm, North Sea squid, seared North Sea cod cheeks wrapped in pancetta – the list goes on…

5. Chocolate

© Moyan Brenn

© Moyan Brenn

As ever, chocolate is still a firm favourite. At The Old Vicarage near Sheffield, baked chocolate pudding with chocolate fudge sauce and English custard is a must. At The Lebua Hotel, Mezzaluna, Bangkok, the Dome’s Truffle Ice consists of Perigord truffle ice cream layered with gelée and Manjaree chocolate, suffused in gold leaves, berry compote and a rare cognac.