Is 9 a.m. too early for Champagne? Not for this crowd. W Hotel’s global brand leader, Eve Ziegler made sure that the drinks were flowing at W Hotel’s Fashion Next breakfast: “We’re more about the beverage than the food versus food and beverage, which doesn’t mean we only want to get you drunk, but the idea is more about mix and mingle among cocktails. It doesn’t only have to be cocktails, can also be mocktails like the blueberry thyme water.” My personal fave drink was bourbon and coke with a crispy bacon stirrer — delectable (pictured left).
Mixing and mingling were aplenty on the balcony of the W hotel as the seven new designers ate a variety of small bites from chef Jack Yoss of W Bali. The selection included crab and caviar toast atop East Coast oyster bisque (pictured below); Maine lobster salad with preserved lemon, chiogga beets, micro arugula and chorizo (pictured right); and Cotija cheese frittatas with jalapeño and coriander crema.
Chef Yoss’ menu clearly reflected his love for pan-Asian cuisine and the influence of his current hometown of Bali. Chef Yoss tries to bring his philosophy of using as much sustainable produce as possible to Starfish Bloo, his new restaurant at W Bali:
"We created our own organic farm out there, so if it means that I don’t use oranges in my food, not a problem," he says. "If I don’t use lemons and I use limes, then that’s it." The misconception that hotel food is boring, bland fare is one chef Yoss hopes to do away with, "We’re not safe, we’re not cutting it safe, in a hotel you have to have something for everyone, that’s room service. We try and push the envelope a little bit. We have created a stand out restaurant, Starfish Bloo, that just happens to be inside a hotel. We have 80 percent outside guests so it’s doing quite well."
The designers weren’t shy either when sharing their thoughts on how cuisine mimics their design aesthetic. Joshua Cooper and Laurence Chandler Rochambeau thought that Miss Lily’s in downtown Manhattan was a cool and unique Jamaican spot that was doing something different and that paralleled what they were doing with menswear.
Designer Juan Carlos Obando felt that, "Making a collection is like making a great cake, it has to be beautiful looking enough and it has to taste just right but it can’t have too much sugar. It’s about taking the fundamentals and adding to that."
The lady of the hour, Jenne Lombardo, W Hotel’s new global fashion director revealed that food and fashion go hand-in-hand. “Every industry borrows and is inspired by the other so...the more we act as a creative collective, the better the product we have.” She also talked about her love for cooking minimalist food like white fish with salt and pepper and her favorite places to eat, which include, The Crow’s Nest in Montauk, Miss Lily’s, Omen, and Indochine.
Well before lunchtime, a happy, fashionable crowd buzzed out of the W, filled with the best of modern cuisine and drink and hopefully as global brand leader Eve Ziegler would say, something to sparkle them up.
(Photos courtesy of Jeanette Awai)