Four Seasons Hotel Hampshire, England
- Dogmersfield Park, Chalky Lane, Dogmersfield, Hampshire RG27 8TD, England
Four Seasons Tenure
- Since 1994
- First Four Seasons Assignment: Sous Chef, Four Seasons Hotel London
- Four Seasons Resort Nevis, West Indies; Four Seasons Resort and Club Dallas at Las Colinas; Four Seasons Resort Palm Beach; Four Seasons Hotel Austin; Four Seasons Hotel London; private chef to Mohammad Al Fayed, owner of Harrods, in London; various establishments in London, France and Bahrain, including The Hyde Park Hotel London, one-Michelin-star La Dariole de Viry, Viry-Châtillon, France, and one-Michelin-star Auberge des Mattfeux, Amage, France
- Le Mans, France
- Apprenticeship, Auberge des Mattfeux, Amage, France
- French and English
Cyrille Pannier collects old cookery books from the 18th and 19th century and can often be found concocting weird and wonderful ancient recipes, most recently one for brewing beer from nettles. “It has a very distinct flavour,” he laughs. “It’ll be a refreshing drink for the summer.”
Pannier’s hobbies revolve around exploring and nature-based activities, including gardening, walking and, when in sunny climates, scuba diving. The Hampshire countryside is a haven for one of his favourite pastimes of all – foraging: “In the fall, I head into the woods in the early morning, hunting for wild mushrooms. Wild garlic season only lasts a few precious weeks in April and May, and by then it’s nearly time to start looking for berries.”
Pannier grew up on a farmstead in Arnage, France. His three-year apprenticeship there in one-Michelin-star restaurant Auberge des Mattfeux gave him as good a grounding in the rudiments of cooking as he could have hoped for.
His kitchen is run according to the same “basic appreciations,” which involve taking his team on road trips to meet with the Hotel’s close network of local suppliers: “It’s the best way to develop their passion for discovering new ingredients and suppliers. We are fortunate here in that we can follow the production process first-hand from plot to plate.”
Intent on using local produce wherever possible, Pannier enjoys the creative opportunities of cooking with native plants and flowers. He oversees the produce grown on the Hotel’s 500-acre estate, including apples, pears and plums, plus 25 different herbs, including lavender. “We infuse the local lavender with honey. Our chef patissier uses it a lot with chocolate. We even make drinks with it,” he says.
But his favourite is the cheese. “Barkham Blue, Winchester, Wigmore, Tunworth, Basing …” he reels off a seemingly endless list. “All local and all exceptional.” From a Frenchman, it’s as strong an endorsement as any.