When one star chef meets another star chef, it gives way to a unique collaboration. This will be the case this summer at the Odyssey Restaurant that overlooks the Hotel Métropole swimming pool; everyday at 4pm, the Heinz Beck crew will switch with Joël Robuchon’s team and will seasonally offer a dinner concocted by the German maestro of Italian cooking.
At 54 years of age, Heinz Beck chef is an internationally renowned cooking star – his restaurant ‘La Pergola’ in Rome, in the very chic Hotel Cavalieri, boasts three Michelin stars since 2005, with its Mediterranean products and healthy cuisine. He has a lot of similarities with Joël Robuchon, which is why it is unsurprising that they will be collaborating with one another for 4 months at the Monaco-based restaurant.
Heinz Beck and his wife, Teresa Maltese, own 12 restaurants spread across the world, from Tokyo to Portugal, which impressively have a total of 5 Michelin stars. Restaurants where he cultivates his glorious, roman-style cooking, one that he will bring to the Principality this summer.
Heinz Beck shared with journalists details on who was behind the whole idea and how the dinner menu has been chosen.
Who came up with the idea to invite you to the Principality?
Heinz Beck: It was Joël Robuchon’s idea. I was asked whether I was interested in sharing the restaurants kitchen for the summer season, and said yes straight away! But honestly, could I have said no? (laughs) I am very happy, it is a superb location and Joël is a great maestro, he really is formidable. I first met him a long time ago at his restaurant on rue Poincaré in Paris, where he earned his first three Michelin stars.
What is the philosophy behind the dishes you have concocted for this collaboration?
Heinz Beck: We started off with the concept of a relaxed, elegant dinner. The dishes need to be healthy, balanced and good for your well-being, so they are created for people that pay attention to what they eat and want to feel good. In the Métropole, the clientele is used to an impeccable service and divine food, so we need to meet their high expectations.
A theme that closely matches Joël Robuchon. Did he ask you to take this direction?
Heinz Beck: I’ll be working with the same products that I use in my restaurant in Rome, and am very interested in the medical research that is being done on the health benefits that derive from food. My goal is to create a cuisine that is tasty and easy to digest, not diet-style food, people go to restaurants to have a good time and feel good. But for each dish, I asked myself, ‘what can we do to make it more healthy, without losing its main characteristics?”. For a while now, I cook while trying to understand the impact of food on our body and choosing beneficial combinations.
Do you feel like sort of a doctor?
Heinz Beck: No, I am not a doctor. I am just a cook that knows a little about médicine! (laughs)
What do you like to eat in the summertime?
Heinz Beck: Lots of fruits, vegetables and salads, and mainly quick to cook, simple fish – in my opinion, that is what a summery cuisine should look like.
You’re German, why did you choose to settle in Italy?
Heinz Beck: Italy chose me! (laughs) No, I’m just kidding. 23 years ago I had the opportunity to open a restaurant in Rome, I thought I’d stay for two years… and yet I am still there. Also, I met my Sicilian wife in Rome, and she now manages all my professional affairs.
Would you ever want to open a restaurant in the Principality?
Heinz Beck: Who knows what could happen, why not! There are always interesting concepts to develop…