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La Palme d’Or’s – Cannes

On the first floor of the Hôtel Martinez, offering a beautiful balcony over La Croisette, the gourmet restaurant La Palme d’Or, with two Michelin stars and four Gault & Millau Toques, has joined the very exclusive circle of great dining establishments.

It is an enchanted setting on the Bay of Cannes where Chef Christian Sinicropi serves his cuisine for the senses –  ever daring, always inventive. With extensive experience at some of the world’s most renowned gourmet establishments, Guillaume Mantis directs the service in the dining room.

Cinematic décor

La Palme d’Or’s décor, the work of interior decorator Sybille de Margerie, is the ultimate homage to the Cannes Film Festival. From the floor etched with stylized palms to the gold – trimmed cladding, from bronze statues to celebrity portraits, from color to black and white, the restaurant exudes the very soul of Cannes. Beneath subdued lighting, warm shades of red, ocher, and beige enhance the comfortable ambiance. The restaurant’s terrace, the quintessence of dining pleasure, offers views of the palms, La  Croisette, and the Mediterranean, while the lounge and cellar end every meal on a happy note.

 

The  Movement  concept

Chef Sinicropi, innovator of all and imitator of none, brings a new culinary experience to La Palme d’Or restaurant. Starting with the menu in cube form and based on the principle of Movement. A philosophy founded on living things – in which the ingredient is embraced as being in a state of constant change – and the desire to explore new realms in cuisine.

 

As a prelude, his appetizers are utterly southern.

A ceramic drawered creation shelters his personal version of the Barbajuan, fritters stuffed with Swiss chard and grated cheese. Sardines are eaten in marble form and the bottarga as a crisp lollipop wrapped in a crisp olive crust.

Gone is the classic starter/main course/dessert parade : the menu features a Movement on each face, a key ingredient express in three dishes. Depending on the theme and chosen ingredient –lobster, oyster, lamb, farm pigeon, tastes of the sea, vegetables–the chef leads a three -step waltz, interpreting the ingredient’s texture, then its evolution over time, then its surrounding terroir. He creates accords with the sauces the way a “nose” formulates perfumes and crafts the very tableware that allows his compositions freest expression .

 

Local spirit

At La Palme d’Or restaurant, and at all the restaurants of the Hôtel Martinez, the chef insists on working with local fishermen, especially Marius, who delivers the most superb Mediterranean seafood – including John Dory and mullet – directly to the kitchens.The Allaiton lamb is from Aveyron, the pigeon from southwest France .

The vegetables are organic, and Cannes’ Marché Forville is where Christian Sinicropi finds the asparagus, zucchini, and herbs he uses in his compositions.The sole criterion for selecting zucchini blossom : that it be from Jean – CharlesOrso, former rugby player for the French national team, who has made this botanical gem his specialty.

Philippe Auda, down the coast in Fréjus , is the source for the region’s finestturnips, radishes, and chard. Local wins again for the oysters from the Mediterranean Cap Corse, as is the case for the tuna and citron. Shellfish and crustaceans bring the taste of Italy, and the olive oil is made a few fathoms away, by the monks at the island monastery of Saint – Honorat, visible from the shore.

 

Sweet creations

The Jury Menu and the Cannes Film Festival

It is an annual ritual. An electrifying moment. Movie -buff Chef Christian Sinicropi secretly prepares the menu for the first Dinner for Members of the Cannes Film Festival Jury . This elaborate  creative endeavor is an edible homage to the filmography of that year’s President of the Jury, a body of work that is painstakingly studied and interpreted to ultimately dictate the entire menu . The notion of a special menu dedicated to the Members of the Jury first arose in 2010 , an almost instinctive response toTim Burton’s being announced as President .

Each dish is served in a specially designed ceramic vessel on the theme of a movie . Courses of boundless ingenuity came to be that first year, christened with fairytale names, like“ L’Arbre Rêverie ” as a tribute to the movie Big Fish, “La Danse du Haut de Forme ,” a nod to the director’s cult film Alice in Wonderland, with a chocolate hat hiding Alice’s bag filled with wild strawberries .

Every year heralds a new culinary theme, always unusual, ever extraordinary, endlessly offbeat, from Taxi Driver when Robert de Niro was President in 2011, to Jaws for Steven Spielberg in 2013 , to High Heel for Pedro Almodóvar  in 2017 . Other  achievements paid tribute to Jeanne Campion, the Coen brothers, and, more recently, Australian Cate Blanchett, President of the 2018 Jury.

 

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