New degustation menu at La Mer

Halekulani’s Chef de Cuisine, Yves Garner, is celebrating his 50th culinary anniversary with a new degustation menu exclusively available at La Mer.

Chef Yves Garnier.
Photo: Courtesy of Halekulani.

Chef Garnier has led as Chef  of La Mer since December 1995. But his culinary journey starts as a youngster growing up in Paris in the 1950’s. He worked with his father after school making the meat products.

Garnier spent 20 years cooking for A-list celebrities and jet setters in Monte Carlo. He was chef de cuisine at La Coupole restaurant in the Mirabeau Hotel where he earned the acclaimed Michelin star. He was also chef de cuisine at Maona restaurant, located in the famous Monte Carlo Sporting Club. In May 1987, Garnier was selected by the Monaco government to be their "Culinary Ambassador" to prepare a dinner in San Francisco to benefit the Princess Grace foundation.

Garnier earned his U.S. executive toque with the Ritz-Carlton Hotels in San Francisco and Florida. Having done so well as chef de cuisine at the Ritz-Carlton, San Francisco, he opened The Dining Room restaurant at Ritz-Carlton, Palm Beach and later the Le Club restaurant in San Francisco.

Yves Garnier’s style is neoclassic with South of France influences, which helped earn him the Membre De L’Académie Culinaire de France; Chevalier de l’ordre du Mérite Agricole Déserné par le Gouvernement Français; Grand Cordon d’Or for French cuisine in Monaco and the Fourchette D’Or de la Cuisine Française. He is a member of such prestigious associations as The Académie Culinaire de France. Garnier calls his cooking "cuisine du soleil," or cuisine of the sun which evolved from years spent in Monte Carlo and the South of France.

Chef Garnier’s 50th Anniversary Degustation Menu

Each of the nine courses are reflective of Chef Garnier’s culinary ingenuity and he notes that while the presentations are different, the taste is the classically celebrated. Chef Garnier reflected on his journey and shares a little of why he selected each dish.

The Spiny Lobster in Aspic with Salad Victoria was a favorite of a guest who spent his entire winter at the Hôtel de Crillon. The guest ordered that particular dish every day at noon with a side order of truffles.

At the age of 18, because he successfully prepared the Sweetbread à la King for Hôtel de Crillon’s Grand Chef, Francis Camarou, Chef Garnier was promoted to “premier commis” which was quite an accomplishment for his young age.

The menu ideas for Dorade “Meunière” and Oyster in Thermidor Sauce and the Fillet of Sole with Tomato and Mushroom Hollandaise originated from his years at the Hôtel de Crillon.

At La Coupole restaurant in Monte Carlo, he was asked to prepare an original Pot au Feu Royal for lunch for twelve visiting dignitaries. His created Foie Gras Poached with Vegetables in Aromatic Bouillon which was a tremendous hit.

La Mer Dining Room. Photo: Courtesy of Halekulani

The classic Squab on Braised Savoy Cabbage and Pork Belly is a popular menu item in La Mer, which was added to La Mer’s menu several years ago.

Tournedos of Beef Arlésienne Style with Classic Châteaubriand Sauce has its historical roots in Arles, Provence, France. It is also the name of a famous French play, L’Arlésienne (The Girl from Arles).

 French Cheese Selection is Chef Garnier’s favorite way of ending a meal – with cheese and a glass of red wine.

Chef selected the Poached Peach on Pistachio Ice Cream because he always thought of this dessert whenever he prepared the menus of Escoffier and because he loves pistachio ice cream and peaches.

See the full menu.

This anniversary Degustation Menu is available until November 30, 2009 for $150 per person. Champagne pairing is available for an additional $120 per person and wine pairing at $72 per person.  Available until 9 p.m. nightly. Elegant evening attire for the ladies and long sleeved collared shirt or jacket for the gentlemen with dress slacks and dress shoes is required.

Please call 808.923.2311 for Dining Reservations.