The Dining Room at The Langham Huntington, Pasadena is set to become The Royce under its new Chef de Cuisine David Fau.
Fau honed his culinary skills under famed Parisian chef Guy Savoy.
“The Royce will be accessible fine dining at its best, and I want guests to feel completely at home when they walk through the doors,” Fau said in a statement. “We will showcase the beauty and complex flavors of local produce and pure ingredients, and invite guests to experience the gastronomic wonders of true cooking.”
Guiltinan: I watched cooking shows growing up. I started cooking at home, then I started working at a restaurant at 16 or 17 years old. I’ve worked from bartender to pizza delivery to management. I spent a year and a haIf as a prep cook and that was really good. It shaped who I am as a cook. I’m able to teach the new cooks coming out of school. I don’t do good following people, I gotta be at the top of the line. I worked at big corporation restaurants and they’re good for learning but not good for creativity. It’s very stressful and not rewarding. If you don’t get to reward yourself with the creativity side, you might as well sit in an office.
Before Onil Chibs became a chef, he worked for more than a decade in animation with film studios like Disney, Sony and DreamWorks.
And at Elements Kitchen — the newest, fine-dining extension of Chibs’ already-established Pasadena catering and caf branches — Wednesday-night “sketches” are the culinary version of an artist’s extemporaneous doodle.
“There’s this whole idea of sketching and everybody having their pads out and translating it in a certain way,” Chibs said. “As food artists, chefs are doing the same thing.”
The kitchen staff is given a single ingredient — goat or curry or maize, as examples — and about a week to come up with a creative use for it in small-plate appetizers that are served for $5 in the Elements Bar. (On Thursdays, the bartenders do liquid sketches, creating $5 cocktails around an ingredient.)
When it opened in August last year, Noir Food & Wine Bar was Claud Beltran’s first stab at shaping a small-plates menu for one of his eateries. (The chef said he now loves the portioned approach.)
“I always had a dream of doing a menu with hamburger, foie gras, chile verde and gumbo — so here it is,” he said.
Beltran, who built his culinary career in Pasadena at restaurants like the recently-shuttered Madeleines, said he and partner Mike Farwell envisioned Noir as a casual place, serving straight-forward food with a touch of Big Easy style.
“There’s no food trickery,” Beltran said. “It’s not West L.A., and we don’t do foams. … We’re just trying to be very fair, honest — you know, French-, Mediterranean-, California-style food with our little New Orleans craziness.”