Orient-Express plans to reopen Santa Barbaras historic El Encanto hotel in March after beaucoup millions of total redo and restoration. Located on seven hilltop acres in the Riviera neighborhood, the hotel's restoration and relaunch hopes to capture all the romance that made it a favorite getaway of Hollywoods smart set in the ancient days, while tapping Patrice Martineau as executive chef.
Martineau hails from Troyes in the heart of Champagne country and earned his chops with notable Michelin men, including Christophe Cussac, chef de cuisine at the Abbaye de Saint Michel, and Jean Michel Lorain, chef-owner of La Côte Saint Jacques, both in Burgundy, before becoming chef de cuisine at Daniel in New York, a position he occupied until his move to the executive chef post at the Savoy in London.
More recently, Martineau opened a restaurant named Peter for the Peninsula Tokyo, telling Grub Street he is a believer in straightforward French classic cookery with international influences, executed using only seasonal elements. His approach at El Encanto will be California coastal with a French flair and Japanese notes when the property reopens in March.
Earlier: Portrait of the Daniel Chef As a Young Man [GS]