“The visuals must trigger something in your mind, condition you to what you experience is. It’s not just putting food on a plate. It’s also storytelling.”
Dominique Crenn is an insanely talented chef that every food lover should know. The French chef’s creations at her San Francisco restaurant Atelier Crenn earned her the title of World’s Best Female Chef 2016 at the World’s 50 Best Restaurant awards. 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.
Before attending college, Crenn traveled extensively through Europe to learn the endless styles of cooking and possibilities of using ingredients from each culture. 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 three-star review in the annual Access San Francisco book during her one-year stint there.
Named a “chef to watch” in 2007 and Best Chef of the Year 2008 by John Mariani in Esquire Magazine, Chef Crenn’s vision at Luce is to create a menu that emphasizes high-end artisanal, sustainable, and seasonal New American cuisine with wonderfully unexpected and diverse influences. Showcasing her own unique brand of inventive, market-driven fare, the chef de cuisine firmly stands by her belief that imagination and originality are the most important aspects of cooking and applies that directly to her culinary offerings at Luce. “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.
Crenn is also a passionate advocate of using organic, sustainable local produce and ingredients in her food. She is the founder and driving force behind “A Moveable Feast,” a series of six dinners over six months pairing two prominent local chefs with the produce from a local farm, and honoring CUESA (Center for Urban Education about Sustainable Agriculture. The launch event was held at Luce, and a percentage of proceeds from the dinners were donated to CUESA.