September saw the introduction of a new menu at the Pierre Gagnaire Reflets restaurant in Dubai, including a new olive oil-centered starter, featuring specially selected extra virgin oils from Spain, France and Italy.
Despite the French influence at Reflets, and France not traditionally associated with the use of olive oil, many of the dishes on the menu feature the Mediterranean favorite — even to the extent of having a complete starter based around European olive oils. The, Huiles D’olive D’Origine- Homard Bleu De Bretagne features three extra virgin olive oils which Chef Gagnaire considers among the best in the world.
Diners selecting this starter will receive three components, each based on a different olive oil. The French representative is a single-varietal extra virgin oil from the Château d’Estoublon Estate under the Vallée de Baux de Provence designation of origin. The chosen oil is made from hand-picked olives of the Grossane variety, described as a delicate olive oil oil, with mild citrus flavors. The oil will be presented to diners in the form of an olive oil ice cream, accompanied with artichoke cream, lamb lettuce and green celery.
The Spanish oil is the Mallorcan Treurer extra virgin, a high quality, unfiltered oil obtained from Arbequina olives. The oil is said to be balanced and well flavored, with medium fruitiness, and appears on the menu in a dish of vegetable cannelloni of cod.
The third olive oil on offer is Gonnelli 1585s’ Frantonio Di Santa Téa from the Reggello region of Italy. Described as fruity with hints of fresh grass, this extra virgin olive oil was created in 1983, and is produced from Frantoio olives. This oil is used as a dressing in combination with passion fruit, lemon and honey flower, served with blue poached lobster.
Diners selecting this starter are presented with a display of the three elite oils, so they can see which one was used in each part of the dish.
Pierre Gagnaire remains one of the most influential French chefs of the era. A front runner in the fusion cuisine movement, he focuses on bringing French classics into the modern era with twists on flavors, textures and ingredients, including the use of olive oil in dishes where butter may have been the more traditional choice.
Gagnaire is head chef at the three Michelin starred restaurant taking his own name in Paris as well as at the acclaimed Sketch in London. Aside from this, he owns a host of restaurants in the United States, in Asia, and Reflets in the Middle East.
Based at the Intercontinental hotel in Dubai, Reflets by Pierre Gagnaire has twice been awarded the prestigious title of best restaurant in Dubai, by Dubai Timeout magazine and the best restaurant in the middle east by Esquire magazine. Under the guidance of head chef Oliver Bile, the restaurant produces high class cuisine, leaning towards French influences, but also employing modern molecular gastronomy techniques.