Chef Arnaud Faye has left Chantilly, where he proudly earned two Michelin stars, to sign on as executive chef at two-star La Chèvre d’Or, at the eponymous luxury hotel on the Côte d’Azur. He has been in charge of the kitchens since July. His goal? To uphold the culinary reputation of this Relais & Château dining establishment, and perhaps even earn a third star. Aiding him in his quest for the holy Michelin grail is pastry chef, Julien Dugourd.
A rising star of contemporary French cuisine, Arnaud Faye has honed his craft in some of the country’s finest
restaurants, including Arnsbourg, Buerehiesel and Le Relais Bernard Loiseau. In 2007, at the age of 29, he was crowned Chef of l’Espadon at the Ritz Hotel in Paris. Four years later, he joined Thierry Marx at the Mandarin Oriental, and in 2012, he took charge of the kitchens at l’Auberge du Jeu de Paume at Domaine de Chantilly. It was there that Arnaud Faye earned his first prestigious Michelin star in 2013, adding a second in 2014.
CHANGING OF THE GUARD
Faye succeeded Ronan Kervarrec last summer as “shepherd-in-chief” at La Chèvre d’Or (chèvre d’or means golden goat). Lucky for him, he has unpacked his knives in one of the world’s most glorious hotels, located on a mountainside between Nice and Monaco. During the transition period, Chef Faye took time to meet with each supplier, establishing personal relationships and getting to know their products. He dug deep to grasp the best of the region and bring it to the table, and before the first month was out, he had reworked the menu completely. The executive chef and pastry chef have worked together to create a menu of fresh and sophisticated dishes that highlight authentic ingredients and the interplay of tastes and textures. The results are original, creative and very carefully conceived. Faye’s Mediterranean cuisine is built on locally produced olive oil and foods. And local in Côte d’Azur really means local: so far, 800 citrus trees have been planted on the hotel grounds, a large herb garden is being planned for next spring, and all the fish come from local waters.
SERVICE REIGNS SUPREME
For Arnaud Faye, service is as important as the food. He wants his serving staff to know him and his cooking, feel part of the process, and bring it to life for their customers. Interaction with diners is front and centre, which is why Faye has brought back carving and serving at the table, for roast pigeon or hyssop-smoked lobster, for example. Doing so is not merely an attention-grabber; it also involves diners more deeply in the experience. Simple, elegant touches such as these have made La Chèvre d’Or worth the trip on any visit to the Côte d’Azur.