La Capitale of the Four Seasons Amman
Tasting quintessential French cuisine is just around the corner, mark your calendars Amman, the Four Seasons Hotel will be opening a French brasserie this fall called “La Capitale”.
Designed to be the perfect spot for discussing business, hanging out with friends, or dinner with family and friends, in an environment designed by AvroKO which promises to set a new standard as Jordan’s best restaurant through timeless elements mixed with modern fashionable details! The décor will show neoclassical details through various floor patterns, wall treatment, ceiling designs, as well as custom furniture and lighting. Where guests can either enjoy dining at an all-season terrace embraced by a vertical herb garden, or in three different zones at the restaurant.
Earlier tonight we got to enjoy a sneak peek of the flavors served during a cocktail reception at the outdoor pool at The Spa of the Four Seasons hotel, before heading down to an exclusive tour of the construction site of La Capitale. The cuisine is influenced with a southern France accent and will include Fruits de Mer, Moules & Frites, a signature Rotisserie dish and more. In sourcing and showcasing ingredients, La Capitale will celebrate Jordan’s rich agricultural tradition and help to raise the profile of its best producers. The menu will include simple all day brasserie fare, with more exclusive items for guests who want to splurge.
While touring the construction site of Le Capitale in hard hats, I managed a quick chat with Chef Arthur Vonderheyden; the Chef de Cuisine at La Capitale.
SIA – Lara: What inspires you to cook?
Chef Arthur: I was not meant to be a chef! I didn’t even dream about it when I was a child, I mean I grew up wanting to be a fire-fighter, and never thought of cooking. I was going to business school; I somehow wanted to go to Russia, open a business there about pastry; so I decided to go to culinary school, and as it turns out, I love cooking! I really loved it, at that time I was only 20 years old and I told my parents to find me a place, with the best chef and the best restaurant and I’ll start working.
I started as a Commis Chef, I was like the last guy with 20 other people ahead of me in rank, it was a hard time, with endless long hours of cooking for Chef Joel Robuchon, like the most famous chef ever with 20 Michelin Stars; and that’s the most awarded stars in the world so far! At that point it was a lot of work and I wasn’t quite sure what would be working from what I learned from business school – somehow everyone was giving up and letting go, and I just kept on going, until three years later I became the chef of the restaurant. So, at some point I love cooking, but I also love to do a good job and be recognized for my efforts. By then I ran the restaurant for another two years and then I moved on to my next journey in Istanbul.
SIA – Lara: So, how was Istanbul?
Chef Arthur: Hard and crazy to say the least. At the end of my journey in Istanbul, I was executive chef and a chef owner of another place that we opened with two partners. I did that for two years as well.
SIA – Lara: Le Capitale?
Chef Arthur: I still love cooking like crazy, and tonight I wanted to give you a little sample of what we will be serving here at Le Capitale; it will be much better when the team is all ready to cook, as we will be having an amazing time preparing and serving it! I still cannot believe that this amazing space is not done, I cannot wait for the construction to be done, everything is done with lots of marble on the floor, the kitchen etc… there will be an open kitchen and behind it is where we will be preparing all of the food and sending off all of the cold starters.
I’m actually going to be navigating among two kitchens, as we will also have a hot kitchen up front, and with the cold out back, out staff will always be in touch to ensure that whatever a table orders, they would get served at the same time.
SIA – Lara: So, you’re French – what’s your favourite cuisine?
Chef Arthur: Italian! I’m not going to lie and stereotype and say that French cuisine is my favourite because I’m French. I love Italian food, and I’m also going to include Fresh pasta on the menu of La Capitale. There will probably be fresh linguine and spaghetti, then after perhaps we will introduce Spaghetti alle vongole with clams, and one with chicken that’s really tasty that is well dressed with ingredients.
I just can’t help it, I love Italian food, it’s delicious, it’s simple, and it’s fresh, you just add garlic, thyme and you’re good to go! I cook only with garlic, thyme, and rosemary. Here at the Four Seasons we have them in the garden, and I love cooking with fresh ingredients – but we will probably run out soon enough.
SIA – Lara: I hear you’re looking to source all of your ingredients locally?
Chef Arthur: Absolutely! Tomorrow morning I’m going to explore this space in Shobak which has this ancient farm that only grows vegetables and has been using seeds for 500 or 600 years ago. What we plan on doing best is actually rent a field and grow our own crops. We will continue to utilize what the farm has to offer, but we just want to add our own plot to grow organic products that will be used for some special plates that we will be introducing at the restaurant. Trust me, it will be delicious!
The best words to describe the atmosphere at La Capitale are vibrant, inspiring, and approachable to accommodate to the eclectic mix of guests that will spend time at the restaurant. Keep a close eye to the official opening announcement by the Four Seasons, this is a promising experience not to be missed.
I’ll make sure to visit as soon as it opens and I’ll follow up with a review then with more details!
June 02, 2017
November 23, 2016
April 26, 2016