After an extensive renovation, The Langham Huntington’s former Dining Room opens tonight as The Royce, with celebrated chef David Fau heading up the kitchen.
True to his roots, Fau’s inaugural menu (click to view, at left) is full of classically inspired dishes prepared in refined French technique and built using fresh, locally grown produce and sustainable products. He even includes on the printed menu a thoughtful dedication to the farmers and fishermen who cultivate his ingredients.
Fau’s rise to culinary prominence began after he worked under the guidance of famed chef Guy Savoy in Paris. He served as executive chef at several Parisian restaurants, before making his way to Manhattan to run the kitchen at Lutce. Fau joined the Patina Group in 2006, stepping first into the role of executive chef for Caf Pinot in downtown L.A. and then moving up as head of Patina Restaurant Group’s West Coast culinary operation.
The new look of the Langham restaurant space is the work of Atlanta-based architecture and design firm, The Johnson Studio. The firm’s principal Bill Johnson told Rose Magazine in June that he wanted to bring the design of the restaurant forward, while respecting the tradition of the historic building.
Celebrity chef Michael Voltaggio is leaving The Langham Huntington in July, but the renovation of the hotel’s Michelin-star restaurant is going ahead as scheduled, said Langham spokeswoman Elsa Schelin.
These renderings, the “latest sketches” provided by The Langham, give a glimpse into the future look of the as-yet-unnamed restaurant.
The Dining Room will close July 18 and is slated to reopen in early October — now, with a new chef at its helm.
It’s not the first time the kitchen’s leadership has changed since the hotel began planning the renovations. Bill Johnson, head of the design firm, noted in an e-mailed statement that the restaurant redesign project started when chef Craig Strong was still in The Dining Room’s top spot.
“The arrival of Michael Voltaggio with his success on ‘Top Chef’ brought new energy, and we had a great time working with his ideas and tweaking the design to reflect his style and his cooking,” Johnson said. “While we are sad to see him go, we are excited about the space that we are creating and look forward to working with the new chef through the construction and the finishing touches. We are confident that our design reflects the forward thinking vision and direction of the Langham brand and we are eager for the city of Pasadena to experience this exciting new restaurant.”
“Top Chef” Michael Voltaggio will be leaving The Dining Room at The Langham Huntington Hotel & Spa when the restaurant closes for renovation on July 18, spokeswoman Elsa Schelin confirmed.
Voltaggio is leaving “to work on new projects.” Schelin said no further details about his departure were yet available.
Atlanta-based architecture firm The Johnson Studio will still manage the upcoming renovation of The Dining Room.
Here’s the full statement from Schelin:
“The Langham Huntington, Pasadena is grateful for our partnership with Chef Voltaggio this past year and wish him great success in his future endeavors. The Dining Room will close on July 18 to undergo a renovation, with an expected re-opening at the end of September. The restaurant will re-open with a new name and a more modern and stylish look and feel, designed by The Johnson Studio. Exact details regarding the restaurant’s name, design details, menu and launch date will be disclosed in the coming months.”
I have a line into Schelin asking for more details.
It was less than a month ago when I sat down with Voltaggio in The Dining Room and talked about plans to reinvent the restaurant. He was still very much at the center of the project, working with hotel officials and Bill Johnson of the architecture firm The Johnson Studio to bring the design of the space into alignment with his cutting-edge cuisine.