Louis Vuitton is celebrating summer by turning over its Saint-Tropez restaurant at the White 1921 hotel to Michelin-starred chef Arnaud Donckele and pastry chef Maxime Frédéric.
Trained alongside Michel Guérard and Alain Ducasse, Donckele became the youngest chef to be awarded three stars by the Michelin Guide, while he was head chef of La Vague d'Or at the Cheval Blanc St-Tropez hotel, where he has remained since. In 2022, he also won three Michelin stars only a year after opening Plénitude, located in the Cheval Blanc Paris.
At both locations, Donckele is known for his profound knowledge of French terroirs and creating dishes that celebrate their distinctive flavours. The same can be said of Frédéric, who is head chef of the Louis Vuitton café. The two friends share an approach to gastronomy that focuses on simplicity and authenticity, using the highest-quality, in-season ingredients from local producers.
For Louis Vuttion, the two chefs have designed a menu that embodies the flavours and relaxed attitude of the French Riviera. Starting at 3pm, visitors can enjoy a sweet afternoon pick-me-up with decadent desserts such as a soft brioche flavoured with orange blossom and with a crispy coating bearing the Louis Vuitton monogram, or a sculptural ‘Dolce Vita’ cup combining the taste of three ice creams.
Next up, a dinner course that puts an inventive twist on regional ingredients. There is sushi made with Camargue rice and sea bream ceviche, truffle-stuffed Italian zitone pasta, shrimp tartare and Moroccan-spiced lamb chops, as well as artichokes, aubergines, hazelnuts and beefsteak tomatoes grown by Provençal market gardeners and picked the morning before.
The café is styled as a blue-and-white Louis Vuitton wonderland, with the brand’s signature Damier Ebene pattern decorating almost every surface. Inspired by the maison’s new ‘By The Pool’ resort collection, the motif appears on everything from the tableware to the comfortable cushions at the bar in the garden. Meanwhile, the liberal use of stone, wood and ceramic further cements the summertime feel of the space.
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Mary Cleary is a writer based in London and New York. Previously beauty & grooming editor at Wallpaper*, she is now a contributing editor, alongside writing for various publications on all aspects of culture.
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