An unforgettable performance; La Bonne Cuisine is the Cirque du Soleil of the catering world. Imagine divine cuisine staged in unexpected and artistic acts. The collaboration between Executive Chef Christophe Kubiak and Event Designer Sebastien Sanges elevates catering to an art form. Together, they blur the line between food and design. “It’s not just food,” says Christophe, “it’s an experience.” The landscape of their trays is filled with stunning living foliage. Extraordinary and flavorful cuisine dangles from the ceiling and balances on sticks, while flavors stretch beyond your wildest imagination. “Children often have a look of excitement and passion in their eyes,” says Christophe, “our goal is to recreate those same emotions in the eyes of grownups.”
Christophe’s love affair with food began in his mother’s kitchen. The family always gathered around the dinner table, and the kitchen was the heart of their home. Christophe brings this joyful, collaborate spirit into his kitchen at La Bonne Cuisine.
His appreciation for fresh, flavorful food began in his grandfather’s garden, where he ate produce harvested at its peak of perfection. As a result, while the dishes from La Bonne Cuisine encompass a global panache, the foundation remains the fresh, delicious ingredients. He is a regular at the local Farmer’s Markets; “I’m very touchy-feely at Farmer’s Markets,” says Christophe, “I use all of my senses to make sure I get the best tasting fruits and vegetables possible.”
Christophe still uses some of his family’s recipes, but transforms them into lighter dishes. “My grandmother always said, “it isn’t a meal without heavy whipping cream,”” says Christophe, “while her food was delicious, I have to disagree. When the ingredients are fresh and flavorful, I want to preserve the natural taste and don’t need to add much to make it great.”
Christophe developed an exact technical style while working in French kitchens. “The rigorous environment teaches you to be hands-on,” says Christophe, “I started from scratch, and I’ve never lost touch with the basics and using great technique.” From the basics, innovation flourishes.
With an insatiable desire to travel the world and experience exciting food, Christophe lived and cooked in London, Spain, and Switzerland, before settling in California. He continues to travel the globe, in search of thrilling foreign fare and flavor. “I’m always discovering,” says Christophe.
Christophe loves the international flavor of California. “Coming to California was a revitalizing experience for me; I still use my technique from France, but now have access to a wonderful assortment of produce and diversity.” A variety of cultural fare mingles in Christophe’s dishes, forming interesting pairs like French and Mexican. Fusions of flavor, such as lavender and coffee, pepper and strawberry, and basil and chocolate, delight the palate and dazzle the mind.
A unique menu is created for each event. Some recent events included the following. Duck Comfit Tacos are a fabulous representation of a successful international mix; the delicate, French-style duck comfit is complimented by the sweet corn tortilla, the creamy guacamole, and the controlled acidity of the tomato. The New York Cheesecake on a Stick is a wonderful example of La Bonne Cuisine’s marriage of delectable food and design; the decadent, moist cheesecake is dipped in white chocolate with a drizzle of dark chocolate. The Éclair with chocolate and basil filling is a model for the fusion of attention-grabbing flavors; it is a bite of discovery, bringing to light how well voluptuous, creamy chocolate filling pairs with the herbal spice of the basil.
Christophe also brought his eco-friendly values from France. “Being green comes naturally to us at La Bonne Cuisine. We’ve been earth-friendly since we started in 1995,” says Christophe. La Bonne Cuisine kitchen is green certified. During the daytime, they use only natural light. Solar panels on the roof of the facility power all of the state-of-the-art equipment in the kitchen. Most of their ingredients are sourced locally, and they adhere to the Monterey Bay Seafood Watch Program. They also aim for near zero waste.
“We love what we do,” says Christophe. Their passion for food and design has led them to expand beyond catering; they also offer event planning, event design, floral design, venue selection assistance and cooking classes. La Bonne Cuisine is a preferred caterer at the California Academy of Sciences. Their range of venue extends from casual cocktail parties, to celebrity engagements, to destination weddings. “We want to share our passion at every possible opportunity,” says Christophe, “when you are really passionate about something, you want to share it – and that’s what we try to do at La Bonne Cuisine.”
La Bonne Cuisine is a successful fusion of French technique, international flavors, healthy green living, innovation and extraordinary food. “We are like a fine wine,” says Christophe, “every day we’re getting better, creating new and exciting dishes that excite the childlike awe and exuberance in all of us.”