ARNAUD DONCKELE AND MAXIME FRÉDÉRIC AT THE HEAD OF LOUIS VUITTON’S TROPEZIAN RESTAURANT
This summer, Louis Vuitton turns over the helm of its Saint Tropez restaurant at the White 1921 Hotel to Michelin-starred chef Arnaud Donckele and pastry chef Maxime Frédéric.
Arnaud Donckele (also chef of the restaurant La Vague d’Or at Cheval Blanc St-Tropez) and Maxime Frédéric (head of the Louis Vuitton café and chocolate shop for the LV DREAM exhibition) are not only culinary colleagues at Cheval Blanc Paris, they are also real-life friends. Beyond their common Normandy roots, they have long shared
a perspective on gastronomy that focuses on flavour, simplicity and authenticity. Donckele and Frédéric are committed to sourcing high-quality, in-season ingredients from local producers. Both, too, unfailingly respect the artisanal excellence with exceptional raw materials that is the very essence of the Louis Vuitton tradition. Like the craftspeople exercising their skills in the Maison’s workshops, these gentlemen are equally devoted
to celebrating handcraftsmanship, as much in the kitchens as in the dining room.
This summer, the two chefs are heading south, with the legendary French coastal village as their destination. Between the Vieux Port and the Place des Lices, they have put their hands and heads together to design a gourmet journey born of the local terroir, a menu of Mediterranean flavours presented with relaxed, welcoming, elegant spirit, a reflection of their unshakeable friendship and the summer lifestyle that Louis Vuitton enthusiastically embraces. Starting at 3pm, enjoy a sweet snack, with treats ranging from desserts
to chocolate bars to a tarte tropézienne. The famous soft brioche flavoured with orange blossom has a crispy coating graced with the Louis Vuitton Monogram motif, contrasting with the welcome coolness of a scoop of sorbet, while the sculptural Dolce Vita cup combines the taste of three ice creams that are atypically unsweet.
The journey continues at dinner with a streamlined menu crafted from the finest regional ingredients. Sushi made with Camargue rice unfurls unique umami experiences across the tongue, served beside a ceviche of sea bream, John Dory and other fish from small- scale, local, eco-friendly fishing. The entire region – land and sea – is in the spotlight, whether the stars are mackerel, sardines and Genoese gamberoni (caramote prawns)
or artichokes, aubergines, hazelnuts and beefsteak tomatoes grown by Provençal market gardeners and picked that very morning before being simply and precisely prepared and seasoned. The menu then takes an authentic, joyous culinary trip that stays true
to Louis Vuitton’s spirit of travel. Truffle-stuffed Italian zitone pasta, finely-flavoured shrimp tartare and Moroccan-spiced lamb chops are some of the palate’s ports of call in this exploration of the pure tastes and sun-drenched textures of the Mediterranean basin.
The décor, also inspired by the world of Louis Vuitton, incorporates the blue-and-white
tile pattern seen in the Maison’s new “By The Pool” resort collection, a motif appearing on everything from the tableware to the comfortable cushions at the bar in the garden. The liberal use of stone, wood and ceramic is in keeping with the naturalness prized
by Louis Vuitton, enlivened here and there by pieces from the Objets Nomades collection, including the Zanellato/Bortotto Lanterns and the Origami Flowers by atelier oï.