Vegetable sculptures inspire cocktail at London hotel bar

balcon vegetable cocktail laroche sofitel

An exhibition of striking sculptures based on vegetables has inspired a new cocktail at a London hotel bar.

The Vegetables collection by French-Swiss artist Patrick Laroche will be showcased within the Sofitel London St James hotel from September 18 to October 31.

To tie in with the exhibition, the hotel’s restaurant and bar, The Balcon, has created special culinary dishes and cocktails that will also be available from September 18.

The Laroche Cocktail (pictured) combines heirloom tomatoes, fresh basil, celery, soy sauce, apple juice, mushroom syrup and salt and pepper. It is topped off with cucumber juice, rosemary and basil ice cubes and garnished with fresh tomatoes, cucumber, salt and pepper.

Served in a market jar, the bartenders can make it as a mocktail or add gin. It will be priced at £11, or £16 if gin is added.

The bar will also offer a smoothie rich in popular vegetable vitamins and fibre – providing the perfect start to the day for art and vegetable lovers.

The restaurant will offer small plates including braised eggs with spicy chorizo, smoked aubergine and tomato cocotte, and sweet pea sliders in a cornbread madeleine, shallot jam and cucumber mint sauce.

Main courses will include stuffed cabbage with Scottish pheasant and foie gras, sautéed girolles, parsnip purée and octopus basquaise, pine nuts, chick pea and raisin casserole.

The vegetable inspiration extends into dessert with parsnip and maple syrup cake with clotted cream ice cream.

Executive chef Vincent Ménager said: “Each dish is designed to bring to life the flavours of the vegetable, to make the vegetable the star of the plate and to enable diners to experience its flavour at its best because of how we have prepared and accompanied it. It is not a vegetarian menu – instead a celebration of the vegetable in all its glory.”

Patrick Laroche added: “I am a passionate artist with a love for gastronomy. I am delighted to exhibit my Vegetables collection in such magnificent surroundings as the Sofitel London St James hotel and I am thrilled that my work has been such an inspiration to Vincent.

“His culinary creations in The Balcon are the perfect accompaniment to my art: a fusion of tastes and creativity and a worthy homage to my vegetable inspiration.”
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