Close
Conde Nast Traveler Concierge.com

« Getting a Lift From Carnival | Main | Flex Mussels Serves Oysters with Integrity »

February 24, 2009

Chef Dominique Crenn Gets Down on the Farm

Crenn
Chef Dominique Crenn of Luce
in San Francisco's InterContinental.

by Julia Bainbridge

Yesterday, the folks at the new InterContinental San Francisco stopped in New York to talk about the property, the plans, and, of course, the food. The 32-story InterContinental--expected to be the last major hotel to debut in the hilly city for the next seven years or so--was built with the future in mind: It is registered with the U.S. Green Building Council to pursue LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification.

You can read our U.K. sister magazine Condé Nast Traveller's Hot List entry on the hotel, which opened last February, here. I want to talk about Monday's real star, Luce chef Dominique Crenn.

French-born Crenn first worked with the InterContinental family in 1997 in Jakarta, where she took the helm at the hotel's restaurant, as well as the title of first female executive chef in Indonesia. From what I saw yesterday, Crenn has made herself at home again in San Francisco--she was there in the 90s, working at the celebrated Stars and Campton Place, among others--and feels particularly happy about the relationships she is able to have with local farmers there. Luce, her restaurant at the InterContinental San Francisco, features a supper menu with new American instruments, Italian baselines, and notes from all the other places Crenn has traveled over the years: Hawaiian butterfish gets baby carrots, mango purée, pickled Savoy cabbage, and a smoked pancetta gastrique; lamb and lamb cheeks from Sonoma Farm Lamb are served with a date tagine, slow-cooked Gigante beans, basil "soil" and garlic purée.

Crenn landscapes her plates like she might a garden, too; there are more literal takes on this, like her root vegetables that "grow" out of "soil" (dehydrated black olives or basil mixed with Panko bread crumbs), but even the carrot cake is placed in such a way that you want to walk through it and pick from it. For yesterday's meal, Crenn flew in her ingredients from the West Coast overnight, including some gorgeous Niman Ranch beef she topped with crunchy, almost pebble-size sea salt (well, that was from Brittany). Crenn clearly has farmers in mind from start to finish. Whether you can tell or not, you'll certainly wonder just what it is that makes her food so darn good.

Further reading:
* Esquire thinks Crenn is pretty hot, too. The magazine just named her its chef of the year
* Catch of the Day: International noshables

Comments

click to post a comment >

About this blog
The editors at Conde Nast Traveler answer questions and share travel secrets, tips, and dispatches

Twitter: CNTraveler
RSS: RSS Feed
Email: Daily updates

WEEKLY TOPICS
RECENT COMMENTS


UPDATES ON TWITTER

TRAVEL BLOGS
Featured in Alltop

Prices and other information were accurate at press time, but are subject to change. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.

EXPRESS SIGN-UP Sign up for one of our exciting panels and receive the latest news, travel offers, and event invitations from Condé Nast Traveler and our valued advertising partners.

http://www.cntpromo.com/ex.asp
Traveler Magazine

My Concierge.com

Advertisement

Advertisement

I understand and agree that registration on or use of this site constitutes agreement to its User Agreement, Privacy Policy, and Mobile Terms and Conditions.

 
iPhone App:

Create personalized postcards out of your favorite travel photos!

Learn More ›
Subscribe to our free RSS feeds:

Get the latest destinations picks, hot hotel lists, travel deals and blog posts automatically added to your newsreader or your personalized homepage.

Learn More ›

Special Advertisement

Contests, Sweepstakes & Promotions