FIREWORKS Urban Kitchen @ JW Marriott Absheron Baku, Azerbaijan

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    Eurasia… Caucasus…Azerbaijan – throughout the world, myths, legends and facts about Fire are often lost in the smoke of Time and History… only to be mixed, edited and retold for new generations.

    In Azerbaijan, fire has shaped the culinary and cultural landscapes for centuries: whether hunting dragons like the hero Bayram Gur, burning natural gas vents at the Zoroastrian Ateshga, collecting embers at Yanar Dag, preparing smoky tea samovar with coals or grilling aromatic kebabs. Today, the memory of this vast shared heritage of fire has been assembled in the city of Baku at the JW Marriott Absheron and re-imagined as “FIREWORKS”, a dining destination for the 21st Century, created by the acclaimed international restaurant designer Henry Chebaane and his team from Blue Sky Hospitality studio. A place high in symbolism, aesthetic drama, kinetic stimulations and taste sensations: fireworks for the senses!

    Guarding and protecting the guests at the entrance is an imposing life-size wild bull cast in shimmering molten bronze, celebrating the raw power of fire and sheer life energy that it enables, providing mankind with a warm home and tasty steaks.

    Also at the entrance are two dragon skulls: one male and one female represent the mythology of fire: opposite but complementary natural forces (yin/yang, heat/oxygen) that starts fire and sustain the full life cycle on Earth.

    “FIREWORKS” is entered via a ceremonial canopy of glowing metal rods, translucent bricks and wooden blocks symbolising the ritualistic elements of grilling and roasting with live fire. These elements are repeated throughout the space on walls and ceilings in different compositions of light, shadow and textures imbuing the whole dining space with a distinctive halo of comforting warmth and sophisticated drama.

    The fireworks canopy acting as an inverted red carpet leads guests onto an experiential discovery of the features and facilities to try: the Private Dining Room, the Fireworks kitchen, the Whisky & Brandy library and the Wine bar, itself part of the dramatic dining area and finally the large outdoor terrace with its wide fire bowls, interactive display kitchen and commanding views over the city.

    “Born of fire” is an exclusive piece of 4-Dimensional conceptual art that covers most of the ceiling above the dining area. Inspired by the legend of Prometheus bringing the original fire to mankind from the Caucasus mountains, it is a composition of several hundreds walnut bricks. The surface area is cracked open by a massive lighting bolt, revealing a metalised glass surface that softly glows in a myriad of red and amber tones, evolving throughout the day and night.

    Caucasian walnut and European oak are used for all furniture, carpentry and floors combined with full aniline leather upholstery in various tones of burnt earth, recalling the pigments used in classical paintings and wool-dyeing for local rugs.

    The multi-cultural restaurant team provides a confident, friendly, intuitive and knowledgeable service that is fast, competent and informal.

    The culinary team, also multi-cultural produce a menu that is easy to remember and execute, quick to prepare and deliver, with some dishes starting at prices attractive to a relatively wide audience and others that provide status-affirming opportunities.

    Land of fire – kitchen works – urban style: experience it all at Fireworks Urban Kitchen.

    Daniel Fountain / 16.05.2015

    Editor, Hotel Designs


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