As someone who adores Fort Bragg within Mendocino County, The Inn at Noyo Harbor Inn is one of my most favorite places to visit. Speaking of Fort Bragg, check out my Mendocino Dining Guide here and my Mendocino County Luxury Hotels Guide here.
Read more about Chef Fabrice of The Noyo Harbor Inn below and see my magical stay at The Inn at Noyo Harbor Inn here.
WHAT WAS YOUR FIRST MEMORY OF COOKING AND WHAT DID YOU COOK?
I was helping my mother stuff large tomatoes from our garden with left over ground pot roast with fresh herbs, garlic, and Italian sausage, baked in the oven with white wine (a typical dish from the south of France).
WHAT IS A KNIFE YOU CANNOT LIVE WITHOUT?
My set of Japanese knives.
WHAT IS ONE INGREDIENT YOU CANNOT COOK WITHOUT?
WHAT WAS ONE OF THE BIGGEST MISTAKES YOU MADE YOUR FIRST YEAR IN THE CULINARY INDUSTRY?
It was at the culinary school – I was making a big batch of brioche dough and got the the reach in got the butter, but did not really pay attention that it was salted, so when I made the dough and baked it was so salty not edible at all.
WHEN DID YOU KNOW YOU WANTED TO BECOME A CHEF?
After working a summer with my uncle who was maître d / sommelier at the famous train station in PARIS called LE TRAIN BLEU, I was working in the kitchen in the pastry peeling fruits and helping with whatever they needed so I was looking at the marvelous creations done in this fine dining restaurant.
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN THE CHEF AT NOYO HARBOR INN?
September 2017 to now.
WHAT BROUGHT YOU FROM FRANCE TO THE UNITED STATES AS A CHEF? HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN A CHEF IN THE US
I was contracted by the Biltmore Hotel in Los Angeles for six months to work in the kitchen and pastry shop and I worked as assistant pastry chef and under supervision of French chef Roland Gibert who was at the helm of Bernard’s restaurant and all numerous banquets of the hotel.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE DISH ON THE MENU AT NOYO HARBOR INN? I ABSOLUTELY ADORED THE SCALLOPS, MUSSELS & CROQUE MADAME… REALLY EVERYTHING ALTHOUGH THE FRENCH DISHES WERE ESPECIALLY DELIGHTFUL FOR ME.
All the three you mentioned are true French dishes I do respect and love, but I have not done bouillabaisse. It’s quite similar to cioppino, but you have to use some of the fish from France Mediterranean sea, and I could get some of this fishes from Portland Maine. But right, I love my flash fried brussels sprouts with sherry vinegar and maple syrup (something I brought from my travelling to Quebec).
WHO HAS BEEN THE MOST INFLUENTIAL MENTOR/CHEF IN YOUR CAREER?
I do have one American chef Timothy Brown, who was the chef at the Sheraton townhouse on Wilshire boulevard in Los Angeles. That was the first Sunday brunch, most outstanding one I saw, and I worked with him in palm springs when we opened a French bakery. And of course Guy Gueneco a French chef who was the chef at the Chabichou 5 stars hotel restaurant in the town of Courchevel in the French alps when I worked there in 1992 during the Winter Olympics.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE AFTER WORK DRINK?
My gin tonic.
AS SOMEONE WHO GREW UP IN FRANCE, WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE LOCAL SPOT IN MENDOCINO?
Sorry I don’t really have one there. I drive to Yountville to Bouchon or Bistro Jeanty. I do go sometimes to Ledford house in Albion because I love the owners and the food is really French, but they are closed on my day off.
TELL US SOMETHING THAT WOULD SURPRISE PEOPLE ABOUT YOU?
Well I love to cook French food but I do love to cook South American food Peruvian is my favorite with real Mexican food and Colombian as well.