The Interview: Larbi Dahrouch, Sebastien Agnes & Yoshiaki Akaike.
We had the opportunity to interview Larbi Dahrouch, Sebastien Agnes and Yoshiaki Akaike, the three executive chefs at the legendary One & Only Palmilla, a place that honors the luxury and exclusivity of Los Cabos.
We engaged the chefs of Suviche, Seared and Agua by Larbi in a very interesting conversation where they described the concept behind each of the restaurants they manage and told us a little about the trajectory of their careers.
Originally from Morocco Larbi studied in France. In the mid-70s he moved to America at the invitation of Jean-Louis Palladin, a French chef attributed for modernizing and enhancing French cooking in America.
Larbi arrived to Los Cabos in 2003, hired by Edward Stainer, a pioneer of luxury tourism in this destination. Larbi shared the rewards and the challenges that came from working with Edward, whose main objective was to establish the highest of standards.
“I grew up on a farm where my mother cultivated everything, which is why I have always endeavored to find the best quality ingredients for cooking.”
“Amongst the variety of dishes of meat, chicken, seafood, shrimp and fish the latter ingredient and the chocolate clams are my favorites, served with vegetables and seasoned with herbs like basil, parsley, aloe and Mexican pepper leaf.”
“Agua by Larbi is modernized with a design of spacious windows showing incredible views of the sea from every angle. Merging spices from the Mediterranean and Mexican cuisine, the catch of the day is my main inspiration in creating fresh and flavorful dishes.”
Originally from Paris, Sebastien grew up in a family dedicated to gastronomy. Following in the footsteps of his father and uncles, Sebastien also chose to become a chef.
Sebastien worked for three years with Guy Savoy a three star Michelin awarded chef and later under the tutelage of the famed Alain Ducas. In 2006, Sebastien was part of the opening of a hotel in Bora Bora, where he met Jean Georges Vongerichten, the current executive chef of Seared.
“Seared is a high quality experience from a gastronomy point of view, but also in service by the attention to detail. The concept of the kitchen is to prepare all the grilled dishes with selected ingredients. We have thirteen different types of fine cuts of steaks and meats including Wagyu brought directly from Japan that is like a smooth butter.”
“Something that sets us apart are the eight different sauces we serve to accompany the cuts of meat, including mole, chipotle, chimichurri and bearnaise. We also offer lobster and fish such as red snapper and tuna from Hawaii. To support local producers, we use fruits and vegetables from different organic farms. My favorite dish? The beef carpaccio with truffles.”
Executive chef Jean Georges brought Yoshiak from Japan to create a fusion of Japanese cuisine with a Mexican flair. Yoshiaki applies techniques from his country such as cooking the meat or fish on a hot stone right at your table.
“The restaurant’s name comes from the variety of ceviche and sushi fusion we prepare. We also serve traditional Japanese food, such as maki, nigiri and different styles of chicken.”
“Suviche is a unique expression. We search for products like Hamachi that are brought directly from Japan. Going out of our way to find the highest quality ingredients distinguishes us from other dining establishments and is true to the concept of One & Only Palmilla.”
So Larbi, Sebastien and Yoshiaki guided us through Agua, Seared, and Suviche. They also commented on various events that are being planned in the near future, including a food festival attended by Jean Georges Vongerichten, cooking days with Larbi, food tastings with wine pairings from the Guadalupe Valley and planning a menu based on truffles.
One & Only Palmilla is a true paradise with large terraces, spectacular waterfront areas and an attention to detail that can only be achieved through the selection of talented people who are dedicated to meeting the highest of expectations. We found that a standard of excellence has been created here that provides visitors with a One & Only Palmilla experience.