The Chef and his team
Chef de l'Excelsior
Born in 1966 in the Vosges region of France, Jacques Hildenbrand discovered the magic of cookery through his grandmother's recipes. Determined to one day become a chef, he enrolled himself in the Gerardmer Hotel School.
With his studies completed, Jacques began to explore different regions and domains, gathering experience as he went. His quest took him to Alsace, the Gerardmer Grand Hotel, a Road House and Chateaux in Brittany, before he returned to his native Lorraine, enriched by his new culinary discoveries.
It was in 1987 that he pushed opened the door to the Excelsior in Nancy, where he found a whole new world awaiting him. It was the world of the top brigades, with Chefs who were able to help him progress. Always attracted by a new journey or a new discovery, he nevertheless left the Excelsior to open a brasserie in Beijing.
Upon his return to France, his dream became reality: he became Head Chef at the Excelsior.
An avid fan of game and with a passion for pastry, Jacques Hildenbrand invented many delicious recipes, including the iconic dessert, "Le Tout Nancy».
Recipe from the Chef
Iced dessert, "Le Tout Nancy"
This dessert is everything that the Excelsior symbolises and is a tribute to the art of living Nancy style.
Iced dessert, "Le Tout Nancy"
Ingredients for 8 people :
- - 2 meringues 20/22 cm in diameter and 1 cm thick (ask your baker)
- - 50 g Bergamot sweets
- - 5 cl plum brandy
- - 8 whole eggs
- - 300 g caster sugar
- - 50 g caster sugar for the syrup
- - 0.5 L heavy cream
- (at least 35% fat content to facilitate overrun)
- -1 kg of mirabelle plums (fresh or in syrup)
- Start by crushing the bergamots. Separate the egg yolks from the whites and set aside. Beat the egg whites until fairly firm and add 150 g of the caster sugar.
- Creating the sabayon. Mix the egg yolks and the remaining 150 g of sugar, then beat for 10 minutes with a small whisk. You need to obtain a mixture that is very pale yellow in colour, with a creamy texture. Refrigerate.
- Whip the cream with the whisk until it is firm in texture.
- Taking your sabayon, carefully incorporate the whipped cream, then add the plum alcohol and a crushed meringue.
- Take a mould 6 - 7 cm in height and around 20 cm in diameter (bottomless or with a removable bottom). Put your meringue disc in place (adjusting if necessary) and fill the mould with the mixture made previously. Smooth the top of the dessert and store in the freezer for 24 hours.
- Finishing touches. Make a syrup with the 50 g sugar and 10 cl water, simmer gently for 5 minutes. Prepare the plums (ensuring that they are fully yellow in colour), then blend them with the syrup.
- Remove the dessert 10 minutes before serving, turn it out of the mould and cut it into equal parts. Pour a little coulis over the bottom of the plate and arrange the dessert on top.
- As decoration: set aside a few plums, or purchase a few macaroons.
- Before whipping the cream, put the whisking bowl and the whisk in the freezer for 20 minutes
- Add a pinch of salt to ensure that your egg whites are firm.