Originally from Troyes, France, Martineau brings international and national award-winning experience to the iconic Santa Barbara property, scheduled to reopen in March as the only West Coast hotel under the luxurious Orient-Express portfolio.
Set to become a culinary destination, El Encanto will incorporate the produce and seafood of the Santa Barbara region into the inventive French and Asian inspired “California Coastal Cuisine,” highlighting Chef Martineau’s experience in Tokyo, London and New York City.
“Following a careful selection process, we are delighted to have someone of Chef Martineau’s caliber at the helm of our culinary offerings,” said Laura McIver, general manager of El Encanto.
“I’m very excited to develop a Californian coastal cuisine (with my own unique French flair), especially given the wealth of fresh produce available in Santa Barbara, as well as my own Chef’s Garden at El Encanto,” Martineau said. “Complementing our menu with a selection of great wines, fabulous service and of course our stunning views, we will have a winning recipe for our guests.”
Chef Martineau’s menu will incorporate freshly picked herbs and vegetables from the hotel’s Chef’s Garden as well as seasonal produce and Santa Barbara’s famous sea urchin. Customized offerings will include El Encanto’s personal Holstein cow, Ellie, who will produce signature El Encanto cheese.
Upon reopening in March, guests will enjoy spring favorites like dashi poached local halibut with rosemary flowers, asparagus risotto and marinated heirloom tomatoes. Year-round dishes will include braised beef cheeks in red wine, slow-roasted daikon radish and parsley sweet garlic sauce, seaweed custard with poached quail eggs, and caramelized Santa Barbara uni and yuzu kosho whipped cream.
Prior to joining El Encanto, Chef Martineau was the chef de cuisine at Peter at The Peninsula Tokyo, where he was first selected as the opening chef to launch the gastronomic restaurant. His former international experience also includes a two-year executive chef position at The Savoy in London. Starting off as the sous chef in 1999, Martineau quickly moved up through the ranks at Daniel in New York City and became the chef de cuisine in 2003.
Martineau’s colorful resume also consists of numerous television appearances on BBC, including a guest judge on the popular Celebrity Masterchef. With a master’s degree in the culinary arts from Chambre Syndicale de l’Aube, Martineau worked with Christophe Cussac from whom he learned the essentials of gastronomic cuisine and the skills needed to achieve the highest level of culinary skills.
Click here for more information about El Encanto or for reservations.
— Jennifer Guess is a publicist representing Orient-Express Hotels Ltd.