Talk about idyllic. David Féau, consulting chef and partner at Le Ka downtown, grew up in Le Mans, in France’s Loire region, cooking alongside his mother in the kitchen, with produce that his father farmed. As a kid, Féau picked and prepared his own vegetables, which set the tone for the way he works now.
Féau attended L’Ecole Hotelière Hélène Boucher in his hometown, worked for Guy Savoy in Paris and as executive chef of Bistrot de L’Etoile. In New York he took over the kitchen at Lutèce, and in L.A., he helmed the stoves at Patina and most recently the Royce at Pasadena’s Langham Hotel. Highlights of his French-twist-meets-California-cuisine menu at Le Ka include burrata with beets and pickled white peaches, marrow with garlic flan and shallots, bruschetta of duck rillettes with saba, yellowtail with watermelon and yuzu crème fraîche, and filet mignon with potato risotto, chanterelles and truffle butter.
What’s coming up next on your menu?
French onion soup.
The one piece of kitchen equipment you can’t live without, other than your knives?
A tank of liquid nitrogen, because what you can do with it always creates an element of surprise for the guest. Eating is entertaining, and this definitely entertains.
What’s your favorite breakfast?
Buckwheat waffles, peanut butter and jam sandwich — the recipe will be featured in the cookbook I am currently writing.
The last cookbook you read — and what inspired you to pick it up?
Alain Chapel — cooking is more than a recipe — a chef who understood everything about nutrition, overfishing, pollution, ecosystems, etc… back 35 years ago. An outstanding chef who also left this world too soon.
What chef has most influenced you?
Guy Savoy has been the chef that influenced me the most by taking a product and doing the best of what you can do with it and without limit. Because of this I have a grounded cooking foundation not only because I cooked in Guy Savoy’s kitchen but because I understand the philosophy of the person behind a product. Guy Savoy has created the cooking machine of David Féau.
Le Ka, 800 W. 6th St., Los Angeles, (213) 688-3000, www.lekarestaurant.com.
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