Few were surprised when the Beverly Hilton closed its aging Trader Vic’s outpost, that remnant of mid-century America, and transformed it into chic, über-modern bar210. What continues to surprise is chef Marcel Vigneron’s ambitious menu.
Blending cutting-edge techniques with a globe-spanning range of culinary influences — French, Thai, Italian, Japanese and more — Vigneron dishes out inventive small plates that put the typical hotel bar to shame.
Vigneron, the “Top Chef’ runner-up (season 2) and former Executive Sous Chef at The Bazaar by Jose Andres, sat down with Toque to talk about his cooking, his culinary influences and why he dislikes the term “molecular gastronomy.”
Then he stepped behind the stoves and taught us how to make Dragon’s Breath Popcorn — the snack that makes you blow smoke out of your ears.
(Photo of Marcel Vigneron © MyLastBite)