Chef Sang Hoon Dejeimbre

Nespresso has rewarded hotel partners, key Melbourne chefs and VIP guests with a night of luxury and gastronomy at Crown’s Club23 last Monday night (Mar 19).

Chef Sang Hoon Degeimbre – owner of twice awarded Michelin Star restaurant, L’Air du Temps in Belgium and supporter of Nespresso business-to-business solutions – hosted the evening by treating key Nespresso partners to his unique way of cooking that defies convention.

“I’m delighted to be able to bring my cooking to such a discerning group of tastemakers in Melbourne,” Degeimbre said.

“Australians understand what’s important when it comes to selecting the best. For me, cooking is about dazzling ideas and understanding ingredients to their fullest potential.

“It’s a pleasure to be here and it’s an opportunity for me to showcase the natural link between Nespresso and gastronomy,” he said.

Renowned for meddling with molecules in ingredients to extract the best taste in his restaurant, the chef offered an array of dishes on the night using different structures, textures and temperatures.

Degeimbre’s restaurant is one in a long list of Michelin Star venues around the world including Noma in Copenhagen and The Fat Duck in London who have chosen to partner with Nespresso and join the quest to consistently deliver the highest quality coffee to their customers. 

Eva Caprile, Nespresso Business Solutions Manager added: “We have a single minded focus on providing the highest quality coffee and best service to our business partners which is why we are thrilled we can treat our guests to an evening of modern day molecular cuisine from such an awarded chef.

“Together we share a passion for perfection and as we set ourselves up for a big 2012, the evening will be a great way to honour and thank our guests,” she said.

To get an insight into his experimental cuisine, HM exclusively sat down with Degeimbre at the event to talk gastronomy and more.

HM: Chef Sang Hoon, what are some of the ways you’re treating diners to a gastronomic experience?
Degeimbre: Every chef has a certain style and I always like to have an in-depth understanding of my ingredients. This is how I have learned to improve my techniques, which in turn have increased my creative possibilities. To me, cooking is like painting and the best way I can describe what the diners will experience on the night is to introduce them to new colours for my paintings.  Cooking with coffee has been amazing as it’s given me so much inspiration.

HM: What are some of the top food trends to watch for in 2012?
Degeimbre: For me, it’s Nordic food.  The fusion of exotic herbs and spices as well as the creativity and way it is presented is what makes Nordic cuisine so unique.  We’re increasingly looking for fresher ingredients that are simple to use – and that’s exactly what Nordic culture is all about.  Another reason I like it is because it encourages people who enjoy food to become more aware of quality ingredients they can purchase locally.
The Gastronomy food phenomenon is what a lot of chefs are using today, which I think is a positive thing as it keeps evolving and encourages chefs to become more and more creative.  People know a lot more about food than they used to and they are not afraid to go and find out more about it.  This means that everyone will know a lot more about food in the future, which I think is good for the industry as it makes it more of a challenge each time you are trying to come up with something new.

HM: Why is good coffee so important when you’re pushing the boundaries with molecular gastronomy?
Degeimbre: The fragrance, texture and depth of coffee makes it an inspirational ingredient to create marvelous new dishes.  A few months ago we analysed different Nespresso coffee blends to understand the flavours of their various Grand Cru.  The findings confirmed everything we’d hoped for and as such, Nespresso coffee will be a key base ingredient in all of the dishes I will be treating guests to in Melbourne at the Nespresso event.

HM: Why Nespresso? 
Degeimbre: I have been a fan of Nespresso for many years.  The first thing I do when I return from travelling and after I’ve put my suitcases down is make a Nespresso.  It has the scent and sweetness of home.  I’ve worked with them on many exciting projects including The Bocuse d’Or competition; there has also been the Nespresso Creative Workshops in France where we develop unique food pairings such as Salmon “Sea and Coffee”! For me, cooking is about dazzling ideas and understanding ingredients to their fullest potential, which is why it’s always such a pleasure to work with a company that has strong links to gastronomy and provides me with opportunities to introduce new ways of cooking all over the world.
I also love coffee carry it with me all the time.  Nespresso coffee is so refined and meets the high quality standards I always use when selecting ingredients for any of my recipes.  I have a Nespresso machine in my restaurant. I strongly believe that it’s important to offer the perfect Grand Cru at the end of every meal, which I know my customers can expect from Nespresso.

James Wilkinson

Editor-In-Chief, Hotel Management