Tim and Julie Warburton talk truffles, Jean-Georges and more.
St. Barth’s first annual “Taste of St. Barth” culinary event kicked off last weekend, featuring seven visiting chefs, and seven restaurants from which to choose. Knowing this would be a hot topic amongst clients, we sent some special correspondents to taste, imbibe, and report on all things delicious.
Which dinners did you attend?
TIM: We went to three dinners: Bartolomeo at Hotel Guanahani, which had a six to seven course dinner, including Coquille St. Jacques with an amazing truffle sauce; Taino at Hotel Christopher. Amandine [Chaignot] was the guest chef there—a cool young chef who just published a book. Amazingly good meal…yellowtail hamachi with a watercress coulis and beautiful super light ravioli with slightly candied lemon. It was a fab four-course dinner. And last but not least, Le Gaiac at Le Toiny, which had a Japanese chef [Hideaki Matsuo]. His three hour cooked lobster was a tour de force.
What was the single best thing you ate?
TIM: The Coquille St. Jacques with truffle….or dessert at Taino…a totally incredible “palet croquant au chocolat et aux amandes caramélisées”
JULIE: [Hideaki] Matzo’s signature soup with oysters, mussels, razor clams, and seaweed.
Any dish that you’ve never seen before?
TIM: The Japanese dishes, of which, several were very smokey.
JULIE: Steamed Japanese layered omelet.
How was Jean-Georges?
TIM: He really was making it happen—such a joyful guy, full of life and fun and bonhomie for everyone.
Any good one liners from him?
JULIE: Not that I heard, but I thought up one while watching the judging of the chef cook off: “Here’s a time when too many cooks in the kitchen is a good thing!!”
Chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten, with the owners of Do Brazil
If one of the visiting chefs were to open up a restaurant on St. Barths, who do you think would be best suited?
JULIE: Amandine Chaignot: She arrived barefoot in the Bonito kitchen to judge the young chef cook-off!
Which dinner had the best atmosphere?
JULIE: Hard to choose since all are beautiful. I loved the sound of the ocean and the simple elegance of Taino, poolside at the Christopher.
Talk to us about wine pairings or specialty cocktails.
TIM: We rarely do wine pairings since most tend to be poor quality.. Better to order one good bottle for the dinner
JULIE: I had a delicious variation on a vodka cosmopolitan made with fresh pineapple juice.
Quick! You have to make a dish from….chicken, coconut milk, and one other ingredient. What are you making?
JULIE: Hopefully the amazing surreal looking grilled fish sitting on a bed of lemongrass inside an egg shaped coconut!
TIM: Spinach – chicken Florentine (almost).
You can only drink one bottle of wine for the rest of your life — what do you choose?
TIM: A 2005 Nuit Saint Georges J: A 2005 burgundy.
Anything else we should have asked, but didn’t?
TIM: Yes. There was a sous-chef cook-off judged by the top four chefs! And a waiters’ race from Do Brazil to the main boat quay, and a bartenders contest!
JULIE: How do you feel after a full weekend of dining on exquisitely prepared food and wine?
Tell us: Did you attend Taste of St. Barth? What dishes are you still dreaming about?