Seeking Wellness at the Four Seasons Westlake Village
Relaxing by the Pool Promotes Wellness
Executive Chef Jesse Hansen Cooks Well
Wellness in The Tasting Room
Eat Well By Eating Creative Vegetable Dishes
Chef Jess Hansen and Pastry Chef David Couch
Chef Jesse Hansen started working for the Four Seasons in 1997 at The Biltmore Santa Barbara. He acquired a diverse culinary background cooking Tex-Mex for a corporate retreat one day and biryani for an Indian wedding the next day. After Santa Barbara he was promoted to Four Seasons Hotel Toronto; Four Seasons Hotel San Francisco and the Four Seasons Resort Scottsdale.
The Four Seasons Hotel Westlake Village has partnered with Malibu Family Wines to provide a contemporary wine tasting space located within the luxury Hotel. The Tasting Room celebrates the recent Malibu Coast AVA designation with tastes from Malibu Family Wines, complemented by wineries from throughout the Malibu Coast and California.
First Course: Our first dish was an Ahi Poke. Chef Jesse enjoys traveling to Hawaii and eating Poke. His poke plate had raw tuna with seaweed, chili oil, Easter Egg radish, avocado and toasted Macadamia nuts. Most Ahi tuna is sprinkled with sesame seeds, Chef Jesse offers a nuttier essence with Macadamias.
Kristine Bocchino, the Tasting Room Supervisor paired this with a Semler Estate Rose from Malibu. Owned by the couple, Ron and Lisa Semler, their dry Rose is made from 50% Syrah and 50% Grenache blend, the skin of the grapes sits longer to give this Rose structure and more body with a darker color. With a nose of ripe strawberry and scents of fresh rhubarb, it balances well with the chili oil of Hansen's dish. It's an excellent wine with Japanese and Hawaiian cuisine.
Second Course: Since Spring is outside, Hansen gathered asparagus from Rivermaid Farms in Lodi and cooked it perfectly. He poached an egg to decorate the top and bathe the luscious yolk onto the stalks before adding bacon wafers and a dollop of lemon ricotta and micro lemon mint. Hansen's goal was to balance the earthiness from the asparagus with the acidity of the lemon.
Bocchino paired this dish with a Laetitia Estate Chardonnay from Arroyo Grande that is aged in French Oak and offers a richer amount of acidity than other Chardonnays. It was rich and buttery with a nose of honeysuckle and green apple. This wine balanced the earthiness and lemon zing of Hansen's dish.
When asked what temperature should Chardonnay be served? Bocchino said, "White wine doesn't need to be served chilled or resting on ice. When a Chardonnay is too cold, it doesn't let you taste all the nuances. As the chill comes off, you will taste more of the effort the winemaker put into making the bottle.
Third Course: Our third course were heavenly scallops resting on a bed of herbed toasted farro risotto with a tomato chutney. It was paired perfectly with a Pinot Noir from Bien Nacido Vineyards in the Santa Maria Valley.
Red wine with scallops? You bet. The earthiness of the shellfish marries nicely with one of the lightest red wines - Pinot Noir. Scallops hold up well with the structure of a Pinot. This winery has been owned by the Miller family for over 100 years in Santa Maria. There are even the originally adobe buildings still standing from the Spanish Land Grant.
These winemakers keep a small amount of their grapes - about 20% and sell 80% of their fruit to other wineries. Since they only make 200 cases of each varietal, they don't have a tasting room onsite. The Four Seasons Westlake Village is their tasting room and always hosts a launch party.
To make this Pinot, they leave the skin on longer to offer this light red color. Leaving it on for three to four days gives the wine structure, tannins and mouth feel.
Fourth Course: Our main entrée was a Snake River Farms Strip Loin sliced and served with Okinawa purple potatoes, baby turnips and a lovely mushroom Marsala sauce. It was a pretty dish displayed on top of a kale puree.
Bocchino paired this with a red Ridge Vineyards Alexander Valley Estate "Geyersville" field blend of Zinfandel Carignane, Petite Sirah, and Mataro. This blend offers notes of blackberry fruit, ripe plum, rich cherry, and cedar. It's an elegant wine paired with an exceptional dish.
Fifth Course: For dessert, Pastry chef David Couch made an almond brown butter torte decorated with a strawberry rhubarb mousse and drizzled with a port wine caramel. It was served with a scoop of creme fraiche ice cream. It was visually beautiful and not too sweet of a dish.
Bocchino paired this with a sweet late Viognier by Semler in Malibu. It sweetened the dish and was a perfect ending to a fabulous meal.
I was go pleased to walk back to my room for a good night's sleep, versus having to drive home. I slept well and was rejuvenated to go back to work with renewed energy and optimism.
Room With A Waterfall View
After checking into my room overlooking the hotel's waterfalls, I unpacked and took a bath. The luxurious bathroom is filled with marble counter tops and flooring. The room offered high-ceilings and a large window offering in natural light.
My room had a King size bed, large 43-inch screen television, desk with high-speed wi-fi, refrigerator, in-room safe and twice-daily housekeeping.
The Spa Promotes Wellness
- I enjoyed a 45 minute Swedish massage at the Spa. The lavish full-body massage enhanced the benefits of relaxation, reduced my stress, improved my circulation and stimulated my nervous system.
- Through California Health & Longevity Institute, Internationally renowned dermatologist Ronald Moy, MD, and his staff provide professional Dermatology Services are available offering Botox, microdermabrasion and more. Stop in for a treatment and then go back to your room to recover in the comfort and privacy.
Celebrities Who Enjoy The Healthy Lifestyle in Westlake Village
Due to the healthy lifestyle in Westlake Village it attracts a multitude on VIP residents. Here are some current and former residents you may see at the lake, riding around the lake or inside the Longevity and Wellness Institute -
Hockey Hall of Fame Wayne Gretzky, Oscar winning actor Jamie Foxx, celebrity Hulk Hogan, actress Mariel Hemingway, actor Mickey Rooney, musician Eddie Money, voice of the Los Angeles Dodgers Vin Scully, actress and architect Jack White.