This month 2-star super-chef Alain Llorca takes over the kitchens of the hotels Belles Rives and Juana, fabulous flag-ships of Groupe Belles Rives headed by Marianne Esténe-Chauvin. When in 2006, Mme Estéve-Chauvin, already owner of the Belles Rives, acquired the Juana, her concept of building on its' gastronomic heritage was made clear from the start.
Over the years, the Juana had been home to some of France's greatest names in cuisine, from Alain Ducasse to Christian Morisset (who now has his own restaurant, Le Figuier de Saint-Esprit, old Antibes) And guess what? Alain Llorca was a Juana chef, at the beginning of his brilliant career. "From Morisset I learned precision, from Jacques Maximin the extravagance and art of cuisine à la minute, from Alain Ducasse, la grand cuisine bourgeoise
", explains Llorca.
Llorca, born in Cannes, with Spanish origins, took over the legendary Moulin de Mougins, when Roger Verge retired. He transformed Verge's concept into a contemporary mill for the millenium, with young décor and sculpture gardens, always keeping the soul of Verge's maison intact. But it's now time for a change, and Llorca's heading for another setting, romantic and historic. The Belles Rives, on the beach, a magnificent 1930's art-deco listed building, once home to Francis and Scott Fitzgerald. The Juana, facing the Lerins Islands, of the same epoch, which once welcomed The Duke and Duchess of Windsor, Sir Winston Churchill and to-day they reveal no celebrity names, but you can guess!
Llorca is joined by Jean-Michel, uber-patissier and his brother. They have always worked in tandem, Yin and Yang peaches and cream: one is salt, the other sugar, motivating each other into a creative culinary dream- team.
At the Hotel Belles Rives the gastronomic restaurant "La Passagere" faces the Mediterranean, is near Port Gallice and Port de l'Olivettea for the daily catch. "That's why we'll put the sea on your plate, the emphasis is on fish and sea-food. I'm thinking in terms of a summer and winter bouillabaisse
", Llorca reveals. "The general idea is to create the menu as a couturier designs a collection: short precise, changing at the turn of each season
". Other dishes include the fisherman's local roast fish and seafood "chaudree", cooked in lemon broth, spiked with fresh herbs. Seared sea-scallops, cooked and raw apples. Chocolate desserts with Guatemala cocoa beans, salty praline crisp, chocolate caramel.
At the Hotel Juana, the "Cafe Juana" is open 7/7 with an authentic cafe-terrace menu, changing weekly. Wines by the glass, and lots of fabulousmouthwatering desserts and pastries, available to take away for picnics and parties. Jean-Michel will be supervising both hotels' patisseries.
These concepts are the brothers' vision of cuisine as moments of supreme pleasure. "We are as thrilled to taste a good home-made paté, as trying El Bulli's Horchata and truffles!
" they say. So try them both, Cafe Llorca, the chic and urban cantine. La Passagere, a glamourous Cap d'Antibes address worthy of modern day Scott Fitzgeralds in search of tender days and nights.
Hotel Belles Rives
T: 04 93 61 02 79
Voir le site de l'hôtel Belles Rives.
Hotel & Cafe Juana/Llorca
T: 04 93 61 08 70
Voir le site de l'hôtel Juana.