Restaurant Latour at Crystal Springs Resort Names New Chef

ChefJeanPaulLourdes
[photo credit:Geoff Mottram]

Crystal Springs Resort has just named Jean Paul Lourdes as Chef de Latour for its acclaimed Restaurant Latour. Lourdes joins Crystal Springs after more than a decade working in some of the top restaurants in Asia and Europe and has already embarked on an exciting new direction for the restaurant. The restaurant itself is undergoing some changes as well.

Lourdes, who was born in New Zealand and educated in Australia, has worked in three Michelin 3-star kitchens: Pierre Gagnaire (Paris), Maison Pic (Valence, France) and Nihonryori-Ryugin (Tokyo), as well as in some of the top restaurants in the world such as Tetsuya in Sydney, L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon in Tokyo (2 Michelin stars), with renowned patissier Pierre Hermé in Paris, Shangri-La hotels in Asia, and Stephen Starr’s restaurant group in the US. All of these travels and the groundbreaking chefs he has worked under have formed the foundation for an adventurous, creative style of cooking. But under the surface you will find that Lourdes is more than a chef, having been a professional rugby player, a holder of a Master of Science in Food Science and Nutrition, a children’s book author and perfume designer.

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Lourdes’ globally inspired, seasonally focused cooking is a radical new direction for Restaurant Latour. The chef has re-imagined the dining experience to be a tantalizing progression of flavors and techniques. Diners can choose from either the Farmer’s Feast, a vegetable-centered meal, or Grazing, which is protein-driven, as either a 5 or 7 course tasting menu.

The menus change daily as Lourdes does not know what the menu will be until he receives the day’s deliveries. As a result, diners are ensured that only the best ingredients are served at their peak freshness. For both menu options, Lourdes builds a meal starting from raw ingredients then moves on to gently cooked to roasted, always layering flavors in each dish. His techniques are modern and precise, often influenced by the Japanese kaiseki tradition, and always honoring seasonality. Lourdes has a strong culinary point of view, eschewing foie gras and threatened species.

The arrival of the new chef is just one of the elements of Restaurant Latour’s evolution. Now in its tenth year, the restaurant is undergoing a transformation with a new style of cuisine, new custom-fitted Ralph Lauren staff uniforms (debuting later this month, likely the 20th), new tableware and glassware, and soon, an updated interior.

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