Le French Café and Its Four Hand Menus
AUTHOR: Dagmar Reinhard
PHOTOS: Adrian Peña
Crafting a four-handed menu is an art that fuses two chefs' talents, ideas, concepts, and passions. A local chef invites a professional colleague to his kitchen to prepare unique dishes for a single occasion with great respect for the area's produce, traditions, and innovation.
On the evening of June 11, 2022, Kevin Chaves of Le French Café and Kevin Charpentier, the guest chef from San José, delighted us with their creative four-hand seven-course menu at the select French restaurant in Uvita. The intention was to recreate the gastronomy of the South of Costa Rica with unique dishes combining traditional and ancestral ingredients, using modern cuisine techniques, giving it a sophisticated touch.
And they achieved it! A glass of Jamaican Flower Kombucha spritz garnished with a slice of dried pitahaya welcomed us. What an explosion of flavors never experienced before!
The crowning of the BRA dinner (BRA in Borucan language Conservation) was a chocolate sphere, fruit ferment in kombucha, mint biscuit, cocoa crumble, and carao honey ganache.
We tasted a sea bass wrapped in a holy herb leaf (Piper auritum) with mincemeat of chayote root, sauce of smoked fishbones, and seaweed, and a pork cheek in an achiote and coffee marinade and the reduction of its juices. It was a unique pleasure for the palate.
Kevin Chaves is from Cartago. He is a born pastry chef from a family of bakers and an empirical chef with a lot of experience in establishments such as the Hotel Rio or the Steakhouse Doris Metropolitano. At the creative cuisine EnBoca restaurant in San José, he had the opportunity to collaborate with the well-known chef Diego Mondragón Victoria. In Guadalajara (Mexico), he worked at the avant-garde Bruna Restaurant and Art Gallery.
Kevin Charpentier is from Puriscal and combines his practical knowledge of biodynamic agriculture based on ancient rhythms and his twelve years- of experience as a chef. He defines himself as a farmer cook, and, knowing the farmer's effort, he never wastes anything in his kitchen. He is the owner of Katuk Pop Up for gastronomic events.
The first time Kevin Chaves and Kevin Charpentier worked together was at the opening of the Santa Ana Country Club restaurant.
Thanks to the initiative of the young gastronome and owner of Le French Café, Simon Michel-x, new exciting experiences are available in the South of Costa Rica. They will hold 4-hand events regularly, inviting colleagues from the culinary arts.
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