Renowned chef brings Azur magic to Beijing
The internationally-famous restaurant Mirazur in the French Riviera run by Italian-Argentinean chef Mauro Colagreco — who has strong professional and personal links to Beijing — moved up one place from fourth to third in the World’s 50 Best Restaurant 2018 rankings, released by the British magazine Restaurant.
Colagreco, who visits China’s capital to bring his own kind of gastronomic inspiration, grew up in a family where fine cuisine always plays a part in the atmosphere.
Having traveled widely to savor various culinary traditions and worked with renowned restaurateurs and chefs, Colagreco established his own Mirazur restaurant in 2006 in Menton, France.
He was awarded his first Michelin star just 10 months after the restaurant opened its door to visitors.
In 2012, he was rewarded with his second Michelin star.
Colagreco chooses to magnify the fragrances and flavors of the south of France in simple and genuine cuisine at Azur in Shangri-La Hotel Beijing.
He says Azur is “the place” where service is a passion and cuisine is precision — balanced to taste or share in a blissful mix of traditions.
This September, Colagreco was back at Azur, introducing his new autumn menu and signature dishes featuring seasonal ingredients, together with his new book Mirazur.
Autumn is a versatile season for ingredients, Colagreco said. It means tables are practically groaning under the weight of fresh produce.
Inspired by the sea, garden and mountains, his new menu features rich ingredients, including oysters, fish and crabs from the sea, fresh vegetables and fruits from the chef’s own garden and the local market, as well as beef and lamb from the mountains.
The dishes are slightly heavier in texture and flavor, he said, because of the cool and crisp autumn weather.
These stewed and baked nutritious dishes — using beef, lamb, seafood, butter and cheese — complement the menu.
The autumn signature menu starts from just 1,088 yuan ($160). Specialties on the newly launched menu include Dover sole fish with citrus butter and braised endives, Veal blanquette, tender Australian veal beef cooked with a tarragon sauce and New Zealand rack of lamb, and stewed sweet potato with nuts and dates.
All-time favorites, such as Quinoa risotto, mushrooms, potato, parsley foam, French Gillardeau oysters, shallots whipped cream and Williams pear declination, remain on the menu.
“Autumn is a harvest time and the weather is getting cold, which is why we add a variety of garden, sea and mountain-fresh produce to the menu so that every diner can not only enjoy the warmth of the season, but also the gifts of nature,” says Colagreco.
Colagreco’s first book Mirazur was released on Sept 17 at Azur. It took him three years to prepare.
“It’s a very personal book, not just a cook book — it’s a journey of a chef’s culinary career starting from 12 years ago,” says Colagreco, who thinks it’s special to launch his first book at his second home in Azur, in China.
“It’s about the restaurant — we try to explain how we were and how special Mirazur is,” Colagreco adds.
Mauro Colagreco, two-star Michelin chef, and some of his signature dishes.