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Published on : Friday, November 29, 2013
W Verbier will open its doors at the foot of the resort’s magnificent ski slopes, introducing both the W brand and the outstanding cuisine of renowned Catalan chef Sergi Arola to Switzerland. Ideally located right next to the main Médran gondola, W Verbier will be the first alpine and ski retreat from the global design powerhouse. The appointment of Sergi Arola as the hotel’s Culinary Director will bring his Michelin-starred culinary expertise to the heart of the Swiss Alps.
In his role as Culinary Director, Arola will oversee all of the hotel’s dining and lounge venues, including the signature Restaurant Arola. He will work closely with Executive Head Chef, Torsten Sallstrom, a Swedish-born chef with broad international experience who was formerly in charge of the kitchen at Arola’s Gastro restaurant in Madrid, as well having worked in Arola at W Paris – Opéra. The two chefs have spent many months visiting local producers and artisans, taking inspiration from the abundance of Swiss ingredients and quality of the produce in the Alps.
Restaurant Arola will feature two contrasting venues: Arola and Eat-Hola. Incorporating a spacious outdoor terrace offering spectacular panoramic views of the surrounding mountains, diners at Arola will enjoy their food against a backdrop of floor-to-ceiling backlit cabinets filled with an impressive display of cooking essentials, including bottles of olive oil and vinegar. Combining Chef Arola’s contemporary “pica pica” concept of sharing plates with his interpretation of Swiss classics, the creative menu will include Swiss Cured Meat with Raclette Cheese and Lemon Vinaigrette, Braised Pork Cheeks Stuffed with Local Goat’s Cheese, Pearl Barley Risotto with Gruyere Cheese and a dessert of Beignets with Willamine pear liqueur and sorbet.
A more casual and intimate space, Eat-Hola, will offer a 25 metre-long tapas bar facing the open, marble-clad kitchen from which diners can enjoy a daily-changing tapas menu and innovative cocktails. Permanent tapas dishes include Spanish classics such as Tortilla Española and Spanish ham and blue cheese croquettes, as well as more substantial dishes, such as Ribs of Iberian Milk-fed Lamb and Gambas with Black Pudding and Apple.
Sergi Arola cannot wait to introduce his inspirational cuisine to Switzerland. “When I first visited Verbier, I instantly fell in love with the landscape of the Alps, the alpine way of life and, above all, the Swiss people and their pride in the terroir,” said Chef Arola. “It was therefore incredibly important to me that we should put high quality produce, including Swiss ingredients produced and prepared by local artisans, at the heart of the Arola and Eat-Hola menus. The ‘pica pica’ concept menu that we have created, inspired by Barcelona’s La Boqueria market, includes signature dishes of mine such as patatas bravas which showcase my roots.”
Pierre-Henri Bovsovers, General Manager, W Verbier, is certain Chef Arola’s cuisine will appeal to W Verbier’s trendsetting guests and local residents alike. “We are delighted to welcome Sergi Arola to our team,” said Bovsovers. “Sergi’s extensive international experience, understanding of local culinary traditions and creative approach make him the ideal chef for W Verbier. For Arola, he has designed a truly inventive menu which brilliantly combines his Catalan heritage with his new-found love for the artisanal produce of the Swiss Alps.”
Regarded as one of the most creative minds in Spanish haute cuisine, Arola was born in Barcelona and currently lives in Madrid. He trained under prestigious chefs such as Ferran Adrià at El Bulli in Spain and Pierre Gagnaire in Paris. Following his training, he returned to Madrid to head up La Broche, for which he earned two Michelin stars after three years. He has since opened his eponymous Sergi Arola Gastro in Madrid, where he was again awarded with two Michelin stars. There are now a number of Arola restaurants around the world, including his first French venture which opened in W Paris – Opéra in 2012.
W Verbier will also offer international jetsetters and alpine enthusiasts vibrant beverage and culinary experiences in four other venues:
Carve – The hotel’s exclusive destination bar will be the place to see and be seen in Verbier. With a striking, red curved entrance leading through to an intimate bar area, party goers can choose from a menu of cocktails, Champagne and bottles, all set to a backdrop of live DJ music from one of W Verbier’s resident DJs. The signature cocktail, Royal Framboise, will offer a luscious blend of raspberries, ginger, raspberry liqueur, Champagne and raspberry eau de vie.
W Living Room – The W brand’s take on the traditional lobby space, Living Room is where guests can relax, mix and mingle in an intimate ambiance, surrounded by roaring fires and with spectacular views of the valley below. Quick bites, from a club sandwich or local cheeses to caviar and oysters will be on the menu. The Living Room will offer an extensive list of cocktails, including its signature drink, W Fever, of fresh basil leaves muddled with vodka, peach liqueur and pear juice.
Off Piste – The place to be for après-ski refreshments, Off Piste will serve up shots, Champagne, local wines and ice-cold beer to alpine revellers right at the bottom of the Verbier slopes. With a sizzling DJ on the decks and a unique signature sWiss Mojito cocktail, featuring Williamine pear eau de vie, and pear sorbet, Off Piste will warm up the crowd, whether at the end of a hard day’s skiing or at the start of a happening night out in Verbier.
W Café – Located directly in front of the Médran gondola, W Café will be the ideal alpine refreshment stop with oversized windows looking out onto the buzzing social scene. With eat-in and take-away options, the menu will feature hot and cold sandwiches, pastries and heart-warming soups, perfect for a quick pre-slope bite or post-ski snack. Guests can enjoy uniquely-flavoured coffees and W Café signature hot chocolate concoctions, including the grown-ups-only Chocolate GSB, consisting of rich hot chocolate, Grand St-Bernard Jaune (a Swiss liqueur made with alpine plants and honey), honey and whipped cream.
Source:- Starwood Hotels