Andreas Krolik of Restaurant Lafleur (right) has said of Léa Linster (left) that they share a similar philosophy of dining when it comes to purity of ingredients.
Luxembourg chef Léa Linster is teaming up with Andreas Krolik of Restaurant Lafleur in Frankfurt to host what just might be one of the world’s finest dinners with cider pairings.
The cider gourmet dinner will be held for one night only on 30 March in the Hessian city as part of the Cider World event, which celebrates cider and stone fruit drinks. For the dinner, Linster and Krolik are splitting the six-course menu between them, pairing their dishes with ciders from around the world, including Luxembourg. Renowned ciderologist Gabe Cook will be present to provide insights during the dinner.
A shared philosophy
Linster, a Michelin-starred chef and the only female gold winner of the “Bocuse d’Or” world cooking competition, is preparing her goose liver for the event with a special cider gelee, plus a salmon dish and the desserts, one of which is her beloved madeleines which she will pair with the Nelchesbirne Drëpp by Luxembourg distillery Georges Schilz.
Linster's goose liver is served with a gelee made from a Ramborn cider. Photo: MM
“Apples fascinate me,” Linster said in a recent interview, adding that her personal favourite is the Boskoop apple.
“Apples are the most basic fruit, and potatoes [‘pommes de terre’, or ‘apples of the earth’] are the most basic vegetable,” Linster says. “I love working with them to show what they are able to do.”
Linster has been pleased working with Krolik. Given the two are professionals, “when we talk about something we know straight away what we mean.” She also says the team at Restaurant “know how to host in a beautiful way.”
Krolik has enjoyed the experience too. “Léa is a wonderful chef…she is a very open person, so it is totally easy to talk with her,” he says.
For his part, he is preparing a dish with artichokes and mushroom ravioli, a scampi dish with a crustacean bisque, plus a course with beef as the main focus, with red wine butter, truffle juice, and roasted vegetables. He has decided to pair the crustacean with a perry and the beef course with a bourbon barrel-aged still cider to play with the smokiness of the dish, both drinks made by Luxembourg’s award-winning Ramborn.
He says of Linster: “Our philosophy is not so different. I might add a little bit more detail on the plate, but the philosophy that you can see and smell the pure taste from the ingredient is my opinion, too.”
Both chefs have enjoyed the experience of playing with regional flavours. When asked about Luxembourg ciders, Linster replies that “Luxembourg is a small country, but when we have something and are able to do something really good with it, then we should go for it.”
And Krolik, who isn’t originally from Frankfurt, says he likes to pay “respect for the region, since cider is a big tradition in Frankfurt and in Hesse”. Although he has used cider mainly in the fall for some of his desserts, he says it is possible that in the future he might be using it a bit more.
The two chefs will share the experience when the approximately 85 guests dine with them in March. Linster hopes that those diners “will be surprised that cider exists in this quality”.