Special Event
Laurent Manrique
Laurent Manrique
Aqua Restaurant Group
San Francisco
Bruno Chemel
Bruno Chemel
Aqua at the St. Regis Monarch Beach Resort & Spa
Dana Point, CA
Stephane Gregoire
Stephane Gregoire
Pisces
Burlingame, CA
Peter Armellino
Peter Armellino
Aqua
San Francisco
Lionel Walter
Pastry Chef
Lionel Walter
Aqua
San Francisco
Melissa Perello
Melissa Perello
Charles Nob Hill
San Francisco

Aqua Extravaganza

Wednesday, June 2, 7:00 pm
Members $100, guests $125

Restaurateur Charles Condy is the lunar pull behind the waves of success that have washed over Aqua since the groundbreaking seafood restaurant opened in San Francisco’s Financial District in 1990. As of February 2003, the culinary inspiration has come from corporate executive chef Laurent Manrique. And together Condy and Manrique oversee a growing Aqua empire that comprises five exceptional restaurants, four of whose chefs will gather in the Beard House kitchens for this special evening.

Many thought Manrique would be a fish out of water at a seafood restaurant, given his Gascon upbringing and his special way with foie gras. But, as it turned out, his training at the Michelin two-starred Toit de Passy and the three-starred Taillevent, as well as with legendary French chefs Michel Rostang and André Daguin, prepared him for any culinary challenge. And his chef positions in the United States—at the Waldorf=Astoria’s Peacock Alley and Gertrude’s in New York City and at Campton Place Hotel in San Francisco—exposed him to American ingredients and culinary ingenuity. San Francisco Chronicle reviewer Michael Bauer put it simply: Manrique, Bauer wrote, is “keeping Aqua one of the top draws in the city.” Of course he doesn’t do it alone. Chef de cuisine Peter Armellino and pastry chef Lionel Walter, whose desserts Bauer described as “focused and lovely,” are also there to ensure the food is consistently exquisite.

Down in Dana Point, California, Bruno Chemel heads the Aqua kitchens in the resplendent St. Regis Monarch Beach Resort & Spa. A native of Moulins, France, Chemel worked at famed Michelin three-star restaurants in Paris, among them Vivarois, Le Grand Véfour, Guy Savoy, and Joël Robuchon. His cooking at Le Chantilly in the Big Apple earned three stars from The New York Times. He left New York to open his own restaurant, Cliquo, in Hawaii, then teamed up with George Chen to open Restaurant Qi & Waterbar and Beaucoup in San Francisco. At Aqua, he’s Condy’s man, and the results are...well...swimmingly good.

At Pisces in Burlingame, California, Stephan Gregoire serves up cross-oceanic cuisine (Atlantic and Pacific, that is) with a strong French accent, which comes from the chef’s upbringing in Brittany. After hotel school he worked in England, at the Webbington Hotel in Axbridge and later at Harvey’s restaurant in London, where he cooked alongside chef Marco Pierre White. His career took him to Paris, the French West Indies, and Geneva, where he was sous-chef of Le Pavillon Restaurant at the Hôtel des Bergues. Gregoire crossed the pond to become sous-chef at The Ritz-Carlton, Buckhead, after which he became chef of Chapeau in San Francisco. In August 2003 he went to work for Condy at his new project, Pisces, which KTVU’s BayInsider.com described as having “the food and sophistication of Aqua but not the prices.”

The last person to join in this Aquatic dance in Beard’s kitchen is the 2004 Gallo of Sonoma Rising Star Chef of the Year nominee, Melissa Perello of Condy’s Charles Nob Hill. San Francisco Chronicle Magazine included Perello in their cover story on “five young chefs who are changing the way the Bay Area tastes.” A mere 26 years old, she’s the youngest chef in the group and the only woman. Plus she wasn’t even born in France! But that hasn’t stopped her from receiving accolades for her French-inflected cooking. The Chronicle’s assistant food editor, Miriam Morgan, wrote a glowing review, concluding, Perello “turns out some of the best food in San Francisco.”

Assorted Hors d’Oeuvre

Laurent-Perrier Brut Rosé NV


Frogs’ Legs and Brittany Rye Bread Salad with Black Truffle

Château La Nerthe Châteauneuf-du-Pape Blanc 2002

Sautéed Artisanal Foie Gras with Cherry Bouillon, Pickled Ramps, and Almonds

Far Niente Dolce 1998

Scallops with Persillade of Morels and Uni Coulis

Chalk Hill Estate-Bottled Pinot Gris 2001

Halibut with White and Green Asparagus, Lobster, and Potato Mousseline

Seghesio Keyhole Ranch Vineyards Pinot Noir 2002

Bellwether Farms Spring Lamb with Panisse Fritter, Fava Bean Coulis, and Thyme-Infused Lamb Jus

Caymus Cabernet Sauvignon 2001

Chocolate Mousse Bar Duo with Strawberries and Poached Rhubarb

Grahams 20-Year Tawny Port

Petits Fours and Chocolates

   Next Event