Jean Georges Vongerichten
The show is on the plate! This is what cooking is like for three Michelin star chef Jean Georges Vongerichten. The charisma of the chef-entertainer, as he describes himself, lights up a room. His passion for food is contagious. Indeed, the menus at both Suviche and Seared are a great performance.
With 35 restaurants in eight different countries, Jean Georges schedules his time so he can travel one week each month. Traveling is his source of inspiration. He also recognizes the importance of balance to keep things together.
“When I was very young I was always an entertainer. I love to please people. This is what I do and is what a chef must do. You perform every day. People come to see you and the show is on the plate.”
“I need to travel. My food is inspired by my travels. Even if I stay just one day, I get inspired by the food I taste, people I meet, lighting, farms or markets that I visit or anything I see.”
He likes to get involved in every aspect of his restaurants. From the concept, architectural design, staff selection, to the menu. But still his favorite place is the kitchen, cooking for at least six hours a day as therapy.
“My best friend is a light designer. It is very important to have the perfect ambiance to delight and enjoy your meal. Good service start with the people.”
“For me every day is a challenge. I love my work. I love feeding people. The challenge is raising the bar. I want the first bite to be as exciting as the last. Make each dish a unique experience that you wouldn’t want to end.”
Jean Georges is a fan of Japanese food, but he also likes to occasionally indulge in a big steak. Hence his desire to make Suviche a simple and fresh option for dinner, using local produce from the sea around Los Cabos. Seared was meant to be a steak house where you can find elaborate dishes but also less complicated options.
“Visitors are more demanding, however they always come back. This has lured different chefs from around the world. I think every chef has a different style, so there is something for every taste. People in Los Cabos see their work as a career. This is what I like the best about working in this destination. Each time I come back, I can work with the same team. There’s also the beautiful setting. Working in a beach location is amazing.”
Chef Larbi Dahrouch has been working at the magnificent One & Only Palmilla Los Cabos for 14 years and was recently appointed Executive Chef of the resort. He shared the secrets behind one of the best fine dining hotel restaurants in this destination.
“One & Only Palmilla has been considered the pioneer in luxury tourism in Los Cabos. Most hotels worldwide are beautiful but people still leave for dinner. Our goal was to present a menu and concept, designed in such a way that our guests don’t need nor want to leave the hotel. We achieve this by serving different options each day.”
One & Only Palmilla has maintained high standards and glamour from the very beginning. Chef Larbi explains one of the keys is the cordial staff. They know each guest so well, they will be one step ahead of your thoughts. They treat you warmly and welcome you from the heart.
“When I began working here I understood what the guest wanted. We have become like a family. They are on vacation and should just relax and enjoy. We will take care of the rest as if they where invited to our own home. Aqua by Larbi, Seared and Suviche gives them variety in both ambiance and type of cuisine.”
Another distinctive element of One & Only Palmilla is the exclusive gastronomic offering, which continues to expand. Aqua by Larbi serves Mexican specialties with an eastern fusion using local seasonal produce and the catch of the day.
Local ingredients such as jalapeño and Serrano peppers, tomatoes, hoja santa and epazote are exceptionally combined with Larbi’s Mediterranean cuisine creating exciting dishes. Some of these recipes, as well as Chef Larbi’s experiences from his journey from Morroco to Los Cabos, will be included in his upcoming Cook Book!
“Writing a book is certainly a challenge. I want to leave a footprint of my experiences and overall career. I like working in One & Only Palmilla Los Cabos, welcoming the guests, getting to know what they like, cooking for them. I like to come out of the kitchen to show them the produce and enjoy talking with them. For me, if you are about to do something you must do it happily and do it from your heart!”