crown media releases

JUN YUKIMURA BRINGS HIS STAR TEAM TO CROWN FOR STARS OF STARS - 01 February 2012
Normally only a handful of diners can take a seat at the counter of Tokyo’s tiny but illustrious Yukimura restaurant. 
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Normally only a handful of diners can take a seat at the counter of Tokyo’s tiny but illustrious Yukimura restaurant. From 6 – 11 March, however, Melburnians can dine with the triple Michelin Star chef, Jun Yukimura, when he creates a unique ‘Pop Up’ restaurant at Crown’s award-winning Koko restaurant. This 2012 visit follows on from Yukimura’s immensely popular participation in Crown’s 2011 ‘Stars of Spice’ programme.

Yukimura’s remarkable reputation was forged through 25 years cooking in Kyoto, including a decade spent at the famous Kaiseki restaurant, Wakuden. His own eponymous restaurant, popular with the chefs, politicians, locals and celebrities, is hidden away in Azabu-Jūban, a neighbourhood known as Tokyo’s most expensive upscale residential district.

Trained in the kitchens of gifted chefs rather than within the confines of a cookery school Yukimura ships many of his ingredients in from Kyoto. He says he is “obsessed” with Japanese cuisine and particularly likes to work with Pike Conger Sea Eel – “it takes a high level of skill to cut” – and Hana- sansho, the flower of Sichuan pepper.

As part of his Melbourne Food and Wine Festival activities chef Yukimura will treat diners to an exquisite degustation paired with specially selected sake by a visiting Sake Master from Japan.

Jun Yukimura will also join Sang-Hoon Degeimbre and Luisa Valazza to present the Festival’s Masterclass weekend.

This year’s ‘Stars of Stars’ is the fourth instalment in this innovative Michelin Star focused ‘Stars’ series, following on from ‘Stars of Europe’ (2009), ‘Stars of America’ (2010) and 2011’s ‘Stars of Spice’. The other seven guest chefs for 2012 are Belgium’s Sang-Hoon Degeimbre, Italy’s Luisa Valazza, France’s Serge Vieira, Thierry Marx, Stephane Bour and Jacques Marcon, and Hong Kong’s Mok Kit Keung.

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For further information or to obtain high resolution images, please contact:

Melissa Pinder
Media Relations Senior Coordinator Crown Entertainment Complex
T +61 3 9292 8610
M +61 401 182 281
E melissap@crownmelbourne.com.au

Tara Bishop
Media Relations Manager
Crown Entertainment Complex
T +61 3 9292 8673
M +61 422 003 549
E tarab@crownmelbourne.com.au 

ITALY’S FIRST THREE MICHELIN STAR CHEF RETURNS TO CROWN FOR STARS OF STARS - 01 February 2012
Luisa Valazza, the first Italian woman to win three Michelin stars at her restaurant, Al Sorriso, is one of Crown’s exceptional guests.  
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Luisa Valazza, the first Italian woman to win three Michelin stars at her restaurant, Al Sorriso, is one of Crown’s exceptional guests. From 14 to 18 March Valazza will swap her kitchen at the foot of the Alps for the one at Crown’s JJ’s Bar and Grill where she will preside as guest chef-in- residence.

North of Milan, in the Alpine foothills, Al Sorriso is a small restaurant and boutique hotel renowned for its high standards and welcoming atmosphere as overseen by Valazza’s husband, Angelo, who comes from an international restaurant management background.

Valazza grew up in beautiful, cobble-stoned Sorriso, surrounded by majestic mountains and lakes and studied Arts, not cooking, at university. Her first foray into the professional kitchen came when the then chef of Al Sorriso resigned unexpectedly. Armed with cook books and recipes and a love of the local produce and culinary traditions, she went on to become one of the few female chefs in the world to achieve three Michelin stars.

Known for her fresh, delicious and captivating interpretations of regional favourites, Valazza is associated in particular with a certain type of ricotta cheese, her use of violets, berries and nuts from the forest, plus the aromatic herbs that grow wild in the area. Her signature dish is ricotta and wild spinach ravioli; she credits this pasta with making her famous.

Much is made of her love of combining the bounty of the mountains and the sea so it will be fascinating to see how this chef embraces local Australian and international produce for her inspirational seasonal dishes here in Melbourne.

Valazza describes her style as “a combination of Piedmont, Mediterranean and international influences, brought together as a tribute to the mountains where I love to walk”. High-altitude ingredients such as white truffle, Porcini mushrooms and wild herbs are the heroes of her celebrated menus. Luisa Valazza is set to be a hero of the 2012 Melbourne Food and Wine Festival, following on from her success in 2009 as a guest of Crown’s ‘Stars of Europe’ programme.

The ‘Stars of Stars’ is the fourth instalment in Crown’s innovative Michelin Star focused ‘Stars’ series, following on from ‘Stars of Europe’ (2009), ‘Stars of America’ (2010) and 2011’s ‘Stars of Spice’. The other seven guest chefs for 2012 are Belgium’s Sang-Hoon Degeimbre, France’s Thierry Marx, Serge Vieira, Stephane Bour and Jacques Marcon, Tokyo’s Jun Yukimura and Hong Kong’s Mok Kit Keung.

View Media Release

For further information or to obtain high resolution images, please contact:

Melissa Pinder
Media Relations Senior Coordinator Crown Entertainment Complex
T +61 3 9292 8610
M +61 401 182 281
E melissap@crownmelbourne.com.au

Tara Bishop
Media Relations Manager
Crown Entertainment Complex
T +61 3 9292 8673
M +61 422 003 549
E tarab@crownmelbourne.com.au 

MOK KIT KEUNG, MASTER OF THE WOK COMES TO CROWN FOR STARS OF STARS - 01 February 2012
Mok Kit Keung from Hong Kong’s two Michelin- starred Shang Palace is one of Crown’s exceptional guests. 
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Mok Kit Keung from Hong Kong’s two Michelin- starred Shang Palace is one of Crown’s exceptional guests. From a restaurant famous for serving Cantonese specialties that evoke the grandeur of traditional China, Keung will install himself as guest chef in residence at Silks at Crown from 13 to 18 March.

Keung, inspired by his uncle, also a chef, was trained in traditional Cantonese cuisine but spent almost two decades in Singapore working at the prestigious Raffles Hotel among others. The unique style of Singaporean culinary culture has added an artistic and modern touch to his style and repertoire which includes dishes such as braised bird’s nest with pumpkin cream - Japanese style, braised spare rib in chin kiang vinegar with cabbage and oven baked cod fillet with egg white and conpoy.

In his distinguished 35-year career Keung has prepared meals for King Mohammed VI of Morocco, the President of Russia and many other prominent dignitaries and celebrities from around the globe. A thoroughly modern Chinese chef, Keung is an induction aficionado and, during his time at Silks, will present an extraordinary, not-to-be-missed banquet of wok-free Chinese dishes.

The ‘Stars of Stars’ is the fourth instalment in Crown’s innovative Michelin Star focused ‘Stars’ series, following on from ‘Stars of Europe’ (2009), ‘Stars of America’ (2010) and 2011’s ‘Stars of Spice’. The other seven guest chefs for 2012 are Italy’s Luisa Valazza, France’s Thierry Marx, Jacques Marcon and Stephane Bour and Serge Vieira, Tokyo’s Jun Yukimura and Belgium’s Sang-Hoon Degeimbre.

View Media Release

For further information or to obtain high resolution images, please contact:

Melissa Pinder
Media Relations Senior Coordinator Crown Entertainment Complex
T +61 3 9292 8610
M +61 401 182 281
E melissap@crownmelbourne.com.au

Tara Bishop
Media Relations Manager
Crown Entertainment Complex
T +61 3 9292 8673
M +61 422 003 549
E tarab@crownmelbourne.com.au 

CROWN PRESENTS A MICHELIN-RICH MENU THIS MARCH - 01 February 2012
Eight international chefs with 18 Stars between them will cook exclusively for Crown during the 2012 Melbourne Food & Wine Festival. 
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Over 12 consecutive days (6-18 March) diners at Crown Melbourne can enjoy international, Michelin level dishes without bothering their passports. Calling on its exceptional contacts and worldwide reputation, Crown has gathered a truly ‘stellar’ line-up of chefs – from Belgium to Japan – to present the ‘Stars of Stars’ series of unique dinners, celebrating the twentieth anniversary of the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival.

Double Michelin Star chef, Sang-Hoon Degeimbre from Belgium’s renowned L’Air Du Temps, is one of Crown’s exceptional guests. From 13 to 18 March the self-taught Degeimbre will be the guest of Number 8 Restaurant & wine bar. L’Air du Temps restaurant is widely regarded as one of Belgium’s best and is home to Degeimbre’s unique brand of molecular gastronomy, a school of cooking that uses scientific methods to create food with unexpected tastes and textures.

Born in Korea, Degeimbre and his brother were adopted by a large Belgium family and relocated to Belgium by the time he was five-years-old. Enrolled at ‘butcher school’ at the age of 15, Degeimbre, who originally dreamed of becoming a pharmacist, eventually moved into the wine side of the hospitality business, becoming a respected sommelier in some of Belgium’s leading restaurants.

Today wine continues to play a major part in his work, both front and back-of-house at L’Air du Temps. Degeimbre says it forms around two thirds of his menu as he strives to recreate the aromas and structure of specific wines within dishes. One recipe – Le Saint-Pierre aux senteurs de Bourgogne – allows the diner to appreciate all the subtleties of Pinot Noir without drinking one drop of wine.

In 2001 the then sommelier read an article about Spanish cuisine and the work of chemist, Hervé This. From here Degeimbre began exploring the realm of molecular gastronomy, tapping into his earlier interest in pharmacy along with his love of cooking. Four years later, in 1997, L’Air Du Temps opened and a year after he was awarded his first Michelin-star; the second followed in 2009.

Having never done any culinary studies, Degeimbre has spent the past decade understanding the pure essence of cooking and learning about the physico-chemical food transformation process. Local ingredients are vital to his high concept cuisine – he loves scallops, pigeon and beetroot and maintains his own one hectare vegetable garden – and uses technology such as sous vide, ultrasonic devices, immersion heating and even an ultrasound technique of his own invention. “This can extract the aromatic molecules without adding chemicals,” he says.

The ‘Stars of Stars’ is the fourth instalment in Crown’s innovative Michelin Star focused ‘Stars’ series, following on from ‘Stars of Europe’ (2009), ‘Stars of America’ (2010) and 2011’s ‘Stars of Spice’. The other seven guest chefs for 2012 are Italy’s Luisa Valazza, France’s Thierry Marx, Serge Vieira, Stephane Bour and Jacques Marcon, Tokyo’s Jun Yukimura and Hong Kong’s Mok Kit Keung.

View Media Release

For further information or to obtain high resolution images, please contact:

Melissa Pinder
Media Relations Senior Coordinator Crown Entertainment Complex
T +61 3 9292 8610
M +61 401 182 281
E melissap@crownmelbourne.com.au

Tara Bishop
Media Relations Manager
Crown Entertainment Complex
T +61 3 9292 8673
M +61 422 003 549
E tarab@crownmelbourne.com.au 

SERGE VIEIRA, THE RISING CULINARY STAR OF FRANCE COMES TO CROWN FOR STARS OF STARS - 01 February 2012
Michelin-starred Serge Vieira is one of Crown’s exceptional guests.  
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Michelin-starred Serge Vieira is one of Crown’s exceptional guests. From 8 to 11 March Vieira will be resident chef at Crown’s JJ’s Bar and Grill. Vieira has received multiple awards in his young life including the Bocuse d’Or in 2005. He was second chef to Regis Marcon at St Bonnet Le Froid and is well known for his interest in sustainability as well as his passion for seasonal, local produce. “Emotion is not molecular, it is culinary”, he says about his menus.

Restaurant Serge Vieira, in the French spa town of Chaudes-Aigues, received its first star when it had been open for only six months, ensuring the chef’s position as one of the country’s rising culinary stars. The dishes served there are on par with the beauty of the location, the fifteenth century Château de Couffour, a “monument historique” listed with the French Ministry of Culture. A new structure of glass, stone and steel, designed in harmony with the mediaeval structure, houses Vieira’s restaurant and hotel.

In a fascinating and visionary approach to tourism and regional marketing, the renovation of the castle was funded by the township and local groups. The chef and his partner and wife, Marie-Aude, financed the decorating and equipping of the new venue.

Hazelnut and mandarin are two of Vieira’s favourite ingredients and he loves to create “artistic work with flavours that will make people remember the meal”.

In France he is known to order in full lobes of foie gras from Rougié, France’s leading producer, which he de-veins himself, portions and freezes to grill, roast, use in terrines or pair with seasonal fruit such as strawberries and rhubarb.

During the Melbourne Food & Wine Festival diners will have the chance to enjoy regional French dishes prepared by Vieira and fellow chef, Jacques Marcon. These will be matched with Dom Perignon. Vieira will also join Thierry Marx, Jun Yukimura, Sang- Hoon Degeimbre and Luisa Valazza to present the Festival’s Masterclass weekend.

The ‘Stars of Stars’ is the fourth instalment in Crown’s innovative Michelin Star focused ‘Stars’ series, following on from ‘Stars of Europe’ (2009), ‘Stars of America’ (2010) and 2011’s ‘Stars of Spice’. The other seven guest chefs for 2012 are Italy’s Luisa Valazza, France’s Thierry Marx, Jacques Marcon and Stephane Bour, Tokyo’s Jun Yukimura, Hong Kong’s Mok Kit Keung and Belgium’s Sang-Hoon Degeimbre.

View Media Release

For further information or to obtain high resolution images, please contact:

Melissa Pinder
Media Relations Senior Coordinator Crown Entertainment Complex
T +61 3 9292 8610
M +61 401 182 281
E melissap@crownmelbourne.com.au

Tara Bishop
Media Relations Manager
Crown Entertainment Complex
T +61 3 9292 8673
M +61 422 003 549
E tarab@crownmelbourne.com.au 

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