Culinary Pleasures in Tenerife with TUI & JRE
TUI & JRE
Gastronomic travel is on the rise and Tour operator TUI is responding to this trend by pampering travellers from start to finish during their travels. For the real gourmet lovers, there is the formula ‘VIP Selection‘, where guests enjoy VIP service on board (a glass of champagne & culinary meals on the flights), a direct transfer from and to the hotel, 25 kg of luggage, and a VIP-Drive (a private chauffeur to and from the airport (valid for a selection of hotels).
To emphasise the link with (top) gastronomy, the travel organization initiated collaborations with respected organizations such as restaurant guide Gault&Millau and the association Jeunes Restaurateurs d’Europe.
The cooperation with Jeunes Restaurateurs d’Europe, or JRE, is situated on both the flight and the travel destination. On the flight, travellers with the ‘VIP Selection’ will enjoy an exclusive menu created by one of the JRE chefs. During a recent trip to Tenerife we tasted the menu of Paul-Luc Meesen from restaurant De Fakkels in Sint-Truiden. We started with a smooth panna cotta of tomato with a salad of gray shrimps, pieces of crispy cucumber and marinated tomberries. As a main course followed an excellent interpretation on the Caesar salad, with freekeh, parmesan, white cabbage and slowly cooked farm chicken. Our taste buds work differently at high altitudes, but both seasoning and texture were good in these dishes. Moreover, they were not too heavy so we could maintain a light feeling in the stomach during the flight. The dessert was also light and creamy: a panna cotta made of white chocolate with coconut cream, mango and small balls of crispy white chocolate.
TUI takes it further with the gastronomy offer and allows gastronomes to enjoy culinary art at their travel destination as well. There are, for example, hotels where the chefs received training from a Belgian JRE chef to pamper guests in their own restaurant. In other hotels you can even choose for a “Cuisine à quatre mains” menu, compiled by the local chef together with a JRE chef. We went to taste such a menu at Hotel Jardines de Nivaria in Tenerife.
Hotel Jardines de Nivaria & Restaurant La Cúpula
Hotel Jardines de Nivaria is a 5-star luxury hotel located on the sunny Adeje coast in the south of Tenerife. The hotel is focused on an older audience that appreciates elegance, art and tranquillity during their stay.
Gastronomy is important here and guest can choose between several on-site restaurants. At La Cascada restaurant, located just next to the swimming pool, guest can enjoy local dishes such as the famous ‘Pappas Arrugados’ or local potatoes cooked in lots of seasalt. These are served with green and red ‘mojos’, dip sauces based on herbs and garlic.
Do not forget to try the Cherne as well, a large deep-sea fish with a firm, fleshy structure.
The culinary flagship of the hotel is restaurant La Cúpula, where guests come to enjoy refined preparations in a unique setting. The restaurant is located on the former roof terrace and is the work of the son of the owner of the hotel, Julian Adrian Ruera. It is, in contrast to the rest of the hotel, designed in a modern, innovative design with bright colours. Those colours mainly come from the spectacular ceiling that refers to the explosion of a star. Dark red tones turn into fiery yellow and come together in a blue center. Dining under the stars gets a new meaning here!
The view from the tables, which opens up to the bay of the Costa Adeje and the beautiful gardens of the hotel, is unique and sets the mood for a romantic dinner.
The chefs : Chef Rubén Cabrera (restaurant La Cúpula, Tenerife) & Chef Gilles Joye (restaurant Marcus, Deerlijk, Belgium)
Chef in the kitchen of La Cúpula is Rubén Cabrera, who previously gained experience in the famous kitchens of Arzak and Mugaritz. In La Cúpula the chef cooks creatively, with remarkable combinations and mainly local products supplemented with international accents. A good example is his dish with cherry tomatoes from Guía de Isora in Dashí, combined with green tea and spicy avocado.
TUI started a few years ago with a first JRE activation in this hotel, at the time with Chef Benoit Neusy of restaurant L’impératif in Roucourt. A few years later, they set up second JRE menu, this time together with Chef Gilles Joye of restaurant Marcus in Deerlijk. Given the many Belgian guests of the hotel, this cooperation is certainly not a bad choice!
The tasting menu “Cuisine à quatre mains”, composed by Rubén Cabrera and Gilles Joye, combines the best of two worlds and shows the creative nature of both chefs. Some of the highlights of our menu:
A delicious “Rancho Canario”, a typical Canarian soup
Meagre fish grilled with lime, black Venere rice risotto, sesame and Ramallo seaweed
Smoked beef with puréed potatoes, tender spring onions and cabbage
Mandarin sorbet with orange, lemon, mint, rice and vanilla
A culinary pleasure in Tenerife!