Award-winning luxury resorts operator Soneva has partnered with Chef Julien Royer to bring Singapore’s acclaimed three Michelin-starred Odette restaurant to the Maldives. The modern French restaurant is guided by Royer’s lifelong respect for seasonality, terroir and artisanal produce. While underpinned by the principles of French cuisine, his years in Asia have infused his approach with a sense of place.
The exclusive 10-week residency at Soneva Fushi’s Flying Sauces will take place from now until April 15, 2022. Flying Sauces was launched in late 2021 and is the only fine dining zipline experience in the world where the evolving multi-course menu is enjoyed from an open treetop kitchen 12 metres above the ground, which boasts exceptional views of the island’s lush jungle and sparkling turquoise ocean.
Flying Sauces featuring Odette’s Chef Julien Royer will showcase produce at its seasonal peak reflective of the Odette experience, with an emphasis on native ingredients – without culinary pretence and handled with an astute, restrained touch.
Taking the helm for the 10-week residency is Odette’s Singaporean Chef de Cuisine, Naka Xiong, who brings his reverence for nature and affinity with seafood to realise a gastronomic experience infused with vibrant tropical flavours and an ingenious Southeast Asian identity, befitting of Soneva Fushi’s idyllic island setting.
The concept will offer both a pescatarian and a vegetarian menu to Soneva Fushi’s guests. Highlights include: the Soneva Garden Salad, featuring foraged or farmed ingredients from Soneva’s own organic gardens or the Maldives; Basmati Donabe, celebrating the importance of the humble grain across Southeast Asia, with herbs sourced from the island, accentuated with pomelo, sakura ebi, shallots and puffed wild rice; and Tuna Flower, with sustainably caught local tuna given a citrus kick from the yuzu kosho, tempered by a refreshing green grape and almond nage.
“We are honoured to welcome Chef Julien Royer and the Odette team to Soneva Fushi,” says Sonu Shivdasani, CEO and Co-founder of Soneva. “Chef Royer’s own culinary philosophy is the perfect complement to Soneva’s Slow Life ethos, which emphasises exquisite yet healthy cuisine, using the highest quality ingredients that are organic, sustainable and as local as possible. Alongside our world-class dining destinations and ongoing Soneva Stars calendar of renowned guest chefs, this new residency by Odette further underlines Soneva Fushi’s status as a gastronomic destination in its own right.”
“It is Odette’s greatest pleasure to share our experience with our friends at Soneva,” adds Julien Royer, Chef-Owner of Odette. “We’re delighted to take the heart of Maldives’ terroir to greater heights, with the show-stopping creativity of our Chef de Cuisine, Xiong.”
Naka Xiong Chef de Cuisine, Odette said “This menu will showcase the nostalgic Southeast Asian flavours that I’m familiar with. Surrounded by fresh produce from Maldivian waters and cooking among the lush treetops of Soneva is a dream come true for me.”
Founded in 1995, Soneva is an award-winning sustainable luxury resorts operator. At Soneva Fushi, Soneva Jani and Soneva in Aqua in the Maldives, and Soneva Kiri in Thailand, true ‘luxury’ is defined by peace, time and space. Each day, guests are encouraged to discover the Slow Life, reconnecting with themselves and the natural world through rare, unforgettable experiences that inspire and enthral.
Soneva is a pioneer for responsible tourism, combining a conscientious, proactive approach to sustainability with exquisite luxury and intuitive personalised service. Carbon neutral since 2012, Soneva launched its Total Impact Assessment in 2016, a first for the hospitality industry, measuring its social and environmental impacts. A mandatory 2% environmental levy is added to every Soneva stay, with proceeds going towards the not-for-profit Soneva Foundation to offset both direct and indirect carbon emissions from resort activities and guest flights. The Foundation funds a range of global projects that have a positive environmental, social and economic impact.