Chef Dominique Crenn
The second half of February will see the new InterContinental San Francisco opening at 888 Howard Street; with its arrival will come a new restaurant within called Luce.
888 Howard Street
Headed by chef Dominique Crenn (most recently of Abode in Los Angeles), Luce will be a “casual-elegant Californian-Italian brasserie.”
The dining room will seat 130, plus a private dining room, bar and lounge.
As required by San Francisco law, the fare will emphasize the farm-to-table connection, and she’s already gotten friendly with several local farmers.
Wine will also be a concentration at Luce.
Elsewhere in the InterContinental will be a bar called Bar 888, where Crenn says there will be a focus on grappa, a full cocktail menu, among others.
Raised in Versailles, France, Executive Chef Dominique Crenn developed a keen interest for cooking as a young girl surrounded by a family that celebrated fine dining.
While she credits her mother for her early introduction to the culinary arts, Crenn also attributes her passion for fine fare to her politician father from whom she, “learned to appreciate the subtle nuances and unique flavors of great cuisine,” during their numerous sojourns to the regions best restaurants with his best friend, a well-respected French food critic.
Before attending college, Crenn traveled extensively through Europe to learn the endless styles of cooking and possibilities of using ingredients from each culture.
Following her travels, Crenn graduated from Cours Charlemagne in Paris in 1985 with a Baccalaureate in Economics and earned her bachelor’s degree in International Business from the Academy of International Commerce of Paris.
Crenn moved to San Francisco in 1988, where she began her formal training as a chef, fell madly in love with the city, and remained there for the next nine years.
During this time, she built an impressive resume, working under the tutelage of San Francisco luminaries, Jeremiah Tower and Mark Franz for over two years at the celebrated Stars.
She later heated up the kitchens of lauded restaurants such as Campton Place, 2223 Market and the Park Hyatt Grill.
Crenn was subsequently hired as executive chef of the Yoyo Bistro at the Miyako Hotel where she obtained an impressive 3-star review in the Access San Francisco 96/97 during her one-year stint there.
Following her tenure in Northern California, Crenn moved to Indonesia in 1997, where she made history as the first female executive chef in the country when she took the helm at the Intercontinental Hotel, in Jakarta.
Crenn’s work in Jakarta was abbreviated due to the political turmoil in South East Asia and she returned to California in 1998 to accept the position of executive chef at the Manhattan Country Club, in Manhattan Beach. Club members, celebrities and dignitaries alike recognized her culinary prowess and soon Crenn was catering private events for personalities such as Vice-President Al Gore, Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, Juliette Binoche, Sidney Poitier, Sharon Stone, Cindy Lauper and the Japanese and Egyptian Ambassadors to France.
The executive chef firmly stands by her belief that imagination and originality are the most important aspects of cooking.
“Having had the opportunity to observe and learn from some of the most beautiful cultures in the world throughout my life, I reflect these experiences in my cuisine by marrying diverse flavors and natural ingredients together to please the palate,” asserts Crenn.
With her distinctive French-Moroccan heritage, gastronomic flair and enigmatic personality, Crenn is destined to make her mark on San Francisco’s culinary scene.
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