Below are all the details of the two culinary masterpieces, the wedding dinner and brunch, enjoyed by the royal couple and their guests.
The Fairmont Monte Carlo was the scene for a cocktail reception offered to 6,000 Monegasques to celebrate the civil Wedding of Prince Albert and Charlene Wittstock on Friday July 1.
For the festivities three themes were symbolized in the union: the marriage itself, the use of local talent and environmental preservation. Chefs from the South-African hotel Fairmont Zimbali prepared specialties from their country while the Fairmont Monte Carlo offered some from Monaco.
A nice touch was offered by Les Petits Chefs (a cultural and educational programme run in collaboration with the François d’Assise, Nicolas Barré and Saint-Charles schools) who represented the youth of Monaco, la Brasserie de Monaco which created the beer “Mariage Princier” and the artist Mateo Mornar produced a decorative sculpture that was placed on top of the wedding cake. The crockery and cutlery used for the buffet was biodegradable and eco-friendly.
The wedding in numbers:
250 employees in service on the Place du Palais
2,500 bottles of Champagne
1.3 tonnes of ice-cubes
14,000 bottles of water and soft drinks
180 meters of buffet tables
12 local specialties and 12 South-African specialties
32,000 salty snacks
500kg of meat
400kg of fish
2.4 tonnes of food for the hot dishes
6,000 barbajuans (Monegasque speciality)
30,000 cup cakes
1.4 tonnes of fresh fruit
The menu produced by Alain Ducasse for the Wedding dinner
For the starter, Barbagiuan
It is a traditional prelude to Monacon dinner’s, eaten with the fingers, the Barbagiuan is served warm in a fabric presentation box. Under a silky crust of delicate rissoles stuffed with swisschard, spinach, leeks, onions, parsley, basil, marjoram and chives, blended together with sheep’s milk ricotta, egg and Parmigiano Reggiano, beats a meltingly soft green heart.
Tender Vegetables, Tomatolive and marinated golden mullet, Poutargue (Bottargo)
The dish is large, oval and generous. The food is arranged to portray a landscape typical of the coast of the Riviera.
Roma tomatoes cooked until soft and smooth, slices of beetroot, zucchinis “Trompettes” and raw turnips, just marinated in olive oil, salt and ground pepper, on which stand cooked fennels, flakes of celery heart, radishes and mushrooms, a stick of cucumber, tomato confit and yellow and white semi-dried peaches, all sprinkled with fresh almonds, courgette flowers and borage, sprigs of celery, wild purslane and chervil.
Guérande Fleur de sel, extra virgin olive oil and organic black Sospel olives complete this masterpiece of nature, conceived as a real example of plant architecture.
Then, a thinly sliced filet of golden mullet simply served raw, marinated in olive oil, Guérande sea salt and black Sarawak pepper, capers, lemon thyme from Nice and lemon zest from Menton, all seasoned with flakes of bottarga from Martigues, in translucent, fragrant petals.
A subtle play of layering and the association of softness and crunchiness. Part sea, part hills, a synthesis of local produce and a relaxed lifestyle. The golden mullet, known as the “daurin,” fished by Gérard Rinaldi, a member of the last fishing family in Monaco, is highly migratory and travels along the Nisso-Ligurian coast from east to west from May to July. It is rarely fished. Every year it offers itself for our delectation, like the little seasonal vegetables, which are deliciously tender and naturally sweet.
Small spelt, seasonal vegetables with herb pistou
Small spelt, an ancestor of the wheat grown in Haute Provence, is cooked as a riso with diced carrots, onions, celery and mushrooms sweated in olive oil, mixed with raisins, girolle mushrooms and haricot beans from Lantosque.
Carrots and turnips, artichoke quarters, spring onions and leeks, peas and fava beans, green beans and flat green beans are sautéed and moistened with vegetable stock, then arranged on the spelt. The acidic cooking juices with rocket and basil are pounded in a mortar to make a herb pesto topped with some toasted pine nuts.
Real bounty from the earth, this is a tribute to cooking that is healthy, modest and tasty, from the local terroir. An essential approach, a return to the source of nutritional values. Playing on textures and subtle cooking, this small pale spelt is as tender as could be.
Local fish in a delicate bouillon with marine flavours
On a base of new potatoes cooked in saffron broth, a rich catch of fish is a concentration of the flavours of the Mediterranean. The famous shelled gamberoni “rossi” from San Remo, fillets of rock mullet, calamaretti stuffed with gamberoni meat, cuttlefish and lemons from Menton, filets of capon, sea bream, Saint Pierre, denti and rock octopus tentacle. Everything is moistened with a fish stock made from rock fish, cooked like a fish broth with saffron.
Wrapped in sunshine-coloured spice from the terroirs of Haute Provence, mixed with white onions, garlic, dried fennel, fresh tomatoes, moray and conger, demoiselle, green wrasse, ballan wrasse, goldsinny wrasse, rainbow wrasse, weeverfish, small black and brown rockfish and eriphia crab – local fishing is invited to the feast.
Three mini crostini, one of which sings the praises of the juices from red mullet liver, capon and anchovies; the second of rouille, the third of spider crab meat and coral, complete the bouquet of marine flavours that explodes in the mouth. The whole sea has shaped this amazing dish. Abundance and feasting recall mythical scenes on the ancient shoreline, sparkling with light and saturated with blue. This is an expression of memory, the universal message of a Mediterranean that represents the concepts of mutual exchange and sharing.
Red fruits bursting with sunshine, Rocagel milk ice cream
In an elegant crystal coupe, on a delicate, lightly sweetened strawberry jelly are placed wild strawberries and raspberries picked early in the morning and a velvety scoop of ice cream made with milk from the Rocagel and a spoonful of warm strawberry juice. A flaky palmier biscuit accompanies the exquisite sweetness of this seasonal fantasy.
Refreshing and soft, in symbiosis with the season, this dessert with red berries radiates the colours of the Principality. While banners and flags flutter in the wind in the gaily bedecked streets, the subtle milk ice cream and the flavour of sun-drenched berries are a gentle introduction to the long-awaited moment – the wedding cake.
Redcurrant and vanilla wedding cake
Silky and flowery. On a soft biscuit base with almonds, a delicate redcurrant compote and a light mousse of vanilla, covered in a layer of white chocolate and some gooseberries. Forming a cornucopia of pearly sugar, the wedding cake presentation piece unites the flowers of the Riviera and the majestic Protea, the emblem of South Africa, in tribute to Princess Charlene.
An ephemeral pleasure, the crowning glory of a dinner that is intended to be both simple and precious; jellied fruits with lemon and limoncello to surprise and delight the guests for one last time while the sky over the Principality is lit up with bursts of colour.
The Wedding Brunch In Numbers
1,600 barbagiuan, 150kg of fish of ten different varieties, 100kg of mullet for a delicate carpaccio, 300kg of tomatoes, 50kg of strawberries, 20kg of wild strawberries, 30kg of raspberries in every variation of passionate red, 100 litres of milk for a creamy dessert, 750 delightfully soft limoncello sweets, 2,000 majestic sugar flowers, the crowning glory of 250 hours of work for the seven-tier wedding cake, 1.50 metre in diameter and 2.50 metres high.