Fine French cuisine may not be the the first thing that comes to mind when you think about Mexico’s Baja Peninsula, but that didn’t stop Chef Jacques Chretien from opening a French restaurant in Cabo San Lucas. As an award-winning master chef, Chretien’s culinary career spans two decades with stints at some of the most renowned restaurants in France and Mexico including several Michelin star-rated venues — Chez Bruneau in Belgium, Le Relais de Bracieux in France and La Tour d’Argent in Paris.
Chretien, one of just five chefs in all of Mexico to have earned the prestigious Maitre Cuisinier de France award, is the chef/owner of French Riviera, a stunning dining venue overlooking the Sea of Cortez and the often-photographed Los Cabos landmark, the Arch at Land’s End.
The culmination of a longtime dream, Chretien personally supervised all aspects of the September 2002 restaurant opening including interior and exterior design and menu development.
“The art of fine cuisine; that is my passion,” said Chretien.
This month, Chretien heads north to California where he’ll participate as an invited chef in the 17th annual Culinary Evening with the California Winemasters. The gala event on the “Streets of New York” back lot at Paramount Pictures benefits the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.
Grilled sea scallops with sauteed mushrooms and wine butter sauce Serves 4
For the sea scallops:
8 sea scallops
8 porcini mushrooms, approximately 2 ounces each, with long tail
1/2 cup shallots, chopped
2 tablespoons garlic, chopped
6 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and pepper, to taste
Prepare the porcini mushrooms by cleaning them with a damp cloth; never directly under water. Heat olive oil in a saute pan that can go into the oven. Add mushrooms, garlic and salt and pepper. Cook for 12 minutes in a 350-degree oven. Cut the scallops in half lengthwise. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Heat olive oil in a saute pan. Sear scallops for one minute on each side.
For the wine butter sauce:
3 tablespoons shallots, chopped
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon thick cream
3/4 cup butter
2 cups white wine
1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
Salt, to taste
Lemon juice, to taste
Chopped chive, for garnish
Combine shallots, white wine and vinegar. Heat over medium heat for five minutes. Add cream and bring to simmer for five minutes. Add butter and stir while sauce thickens. Season with salt and lemon juice.
PRESENTATION: Layer sea scallops alternating with mushrooms. Top with sauce. Garnish with chopped chives.
Pan-seared scallops of foie gras with caramelized grapes, mesclun salad and sherry vinegar Serves 2
6 1/2 ounces fois gras cut into 1-inch slices
2 Anjou pears
3/4 cup red wine
3 tablespoons orange juice
6 tablespoons granulated white sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
5 ounces onion, chopped
1 1/2 tablespoons honey
2/3 cup grapes (white or red)
6 tablespoons sherry vinegar
1 1/4 cup veal sauce
Mesclun lettuce, to plate
Peel the pears. Combine with red wine, orange juice, sugar and cinnamon. Simmer over medium heat for one hour. In another pan combine onion, honey and grapes. Simmer over low heat for 30 minutes until ingredients blend to resemble marmalade or chutney. Add sherry vinegar and continue cooking over low heat for another 30 minutes.
Place foie gras slices in a hot pan without any added fat. Cook on each side until color darkens. Remove cooked foie gras slices from pan and place on an absorbent paper. Add the pear sauce, sherry vinegar sauce and veal sauce to pan. Deglaze. Add salt and pepper to taste.
PRESENTATION: Spoon the sauce onto a plate. Place a foie gras scallop on the sauce. Top with mesclun. Garnish with more sauce.
FRENCH RIVIERA RESTAURANT
Carretera Transpeninsular KM 6.3
Cabo San Lucas
Baja California Sur 23410, Mexico
tel 011 52 624 1043125
Since 1970, Goway Travel has been committed to providing customized travel experiences for world travelers. Few things are better evidence of this commitment than being awarded the 2019 Trazees award for Favorite Tour Operator. Goway Travel heartily thanks the readers of Trazee Travel for this honor and for their confidence in Goway’s work in creating travel memories that’ll last a lifetime.
United Airlines teamed with Timeshifter, a sleep help app, to assist travelers battling jet lag. Timeshifter outlines the best times to see and avoid light, sleep and either enjoy or pass on caffeine to best avoid jet lag when traveling through time zones. The app is specifically targeted to those traveling across three or more time zones and customizes advice for each passenger based on his or her own sleep preferences and normal sleep pattern, as well as their particular flight.
The city took its name from Athena, goddess of wisdom, strategy and war, and protector of the city. The financial, political and administrative center of the country and an all-powerful city-state in antiquity, Athens is a major center of culture. A visit to the first-ever museum dedicated to Byzantium, a stroll around the National Garden and a trip to the Olympeion archaeological site will take you back through time.
Make sure you catch the new pop-up cocktail lounge at Four Seasons Residence Club Aviara in Carlsbad before it’s gone. Starry Nights, located on the Seasons Restaurant veranda, is open through Jan. 31, 2020.
United Airlines’ environmentally friendly efforts lessen the impact on local U.S. communities.