Four Seasons Executive Chef Andrea Accordi Reaches for Another Michelin Star

four seasons food

Photo Courtesy of Four Seasons Hotel

Last year the iconic Four Seasons opened the their first hotel in Russia, the Four Seasons Hotel Lion Palace St. Petersburg, located in a historical palace known as the House with Lions. “Years of meticulous restoration and perfecting of the guest experience are setting the stage for a new era of style and luxury in St. Petersburg,” says Christopher Norton, who is the Executive Vice President of Global Product and Operations. A prime example of “perfecting the guest experience” occurs when dining in any of the hotel’s three international restaurants, under the inspired leadership of their Italian-born Executive Chef, Andrea Accordi.

Accordi has big shoes to fill—his own! After four years as Executive Chef at Four Seasons Hotel Prague, he became the first chef to receive a Michelin star in all of Eastern Europe. And after experiencing an exquisite Chef’s dinner at The Lions, where we were completely blown away by Accordi’s creative interpretations on traditional Russian dishes, we're willing to bet that there’s another star lurking around with his name on it.

four seasons food
Photo Credit: JRN

Standouts from our meal included a "Fabergé" egg with caviar and lemon potato foam, sublime Olivier salad embellished with quail and crayfish, hollowed-out green apples that served as vessels for beet borsch, and finally, commonplace pickled herring was elevated with beetroot foam and grain mustard ice cream.

Not only does Accordi consistently delight guests with his creative, modern spin on traditional favorites, but he is equally passionate about “paying it forward” by training local chefs as he was once trained himself. “It will be a long and enthusiastic process. But by setting high standards and training well, we’ll grow together as a team,” explains Accordi.

Insider tip: During your visit, ask if you can join this engaging chef while he shops for the best, freshest ingredients at the morning farmer's market. 

four seasons food
Photo Credit: JRN

JustLuxe: Who or what inspired you to become a chef?

Andrea Accordi: My family pushed me to go to a cooking school when they saw me helping my mother when she was cooking. My inspiration started the day I stepped into the cooking school. Also, thanks to my father—when I was 14-years-old he pushed me to train in a Michelin-starred restaurant near my hometown.  

JL: What was the first thing you cooked?

AA: Gnocchi with my mother and believe me, they are still the best gnocchi I have ever eaten.

JL: If you weren't a chef, what would you be?  

AA: I would be working in the forest and cutting wood. This was the job of my father.  

JL: What's the most exciting ingredient or cooking trend?

AA: The farmer’s products. I love discovering new local products in the market and working with the local farmers to bring freshness to the table.  

four seasons food
Photo Courtesy of Four Seasons Hotel

JL: Is there an ingredient or food trend that you hate?

AA: When too many gelatins are used in the food.

JL: How would you describe the food at your restaurant?

AA: Traditional with a modern twist, fresh and genuine.  

JL: What is your proudest culinary moment so far?  

AA: To bring more Russian local products to the table and combine them in the Italian restaurant and Asian restaurant.  

JL: Famous people you've cooked for?

AA: I have been cooking for lot of actors, singers, and Presidents, but the most exiting is when I cook for my mother!  

four seasons food
Photo Courtesy of Four Seasons Hotel

JL: If you were going to get a culinary tattoo, what would it be?

AA: This is a great idea! I would do an octopus with different knives on each tentacle.  

JL: For your final supper what would you choose?

AA: One of the best red wines on the menu with the best company.  

JL: If you could spend a month studying the local cuisine in a foreign country, which one would it be?

AA: Japan  

JL: What comfort food do you make for yourself after a bad day?

AA: A nice homemade focaccia with Culatello ham.

four seasons food
Photo Courtesy of Four Seasons Hotel

JL: What is the strangest food you’ve ever eaten?

AA: Iguana in Thailand

JL: If you were a contestant on Top Chef, what would be your winning skill set?

AA: My concentration and belief in my experience. I always take each of my experiences and use them to influence the food I cook and I’ve had some great experiences.

JL: If someone could only order one thing off your menu it should be?  

AA: My homemade pasta.

Janice Nieder

Janice Nieder could be the love child of Indiana Jones and Julia Child. She was a specialty food consultant for 12 years in New York, with a client list that included Tavern on the Green, Dean & Deluca and Sign of the Dove. After being bitten by the travel bug, her culinary adventures took her to over 90 countries, where she shared a smoked monkey dinner with a generous Shuar Indian family deep...(Read More)

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