Lately, most of my adventures have been in food. A great deal of it has centered around my proximity to Ricardo Zarate and Stephane Bombet of Mo-Chica, Picca and now Paiche fame. They are my bosses. (Amazing bosses, by the way.) So, I’ve had the chance to eat some of the best food being created in LA.
Part of what happens when you are in the nexus of awesome energy is you meet a vast array of amazing people. DTLA people are quickly becoming my favorite sorts. They are artsy, creative, edgy, a little dangerous and full of life. One of those people is Jean Francoise Valcarcel.
Jean is the creative mind behind the underground supper club Re Creo. It’s a night of wildly inventive food with twelve total strangers you will inevitably find fascinating. Dinner consists of 6 to 8 courses served over about 3 to 4 hours. You bring your own wine (but be willing to share). It’s donation based. And you have to be willing to try anything because the menu is not released.
Upon walking into the DTLA loft, you sign a guest book and you are handed a carefully crafted cocktail. It doesn’t take long for someone to approach you. The crowd is always very friendly and capable of conversing on a diverse array of topics without ever turning to anything offensive or divisive. For now, most of the people attending know Jean somehow, which is why I think everyone is so wonderful. He and his boyfriend are very accomplished men who attracted an eclectic collection of equally accomplished friends. I’ve met other chefs, painters, free spirits, digital artists, tastemakers and personal trainers. Of course, the common ground for everyone is food.
I’ve attended Re Creo twice. It’s been as great a dining experience as eating in any of LA’s top twenty restaurants. Everything is fresh, made from scratch and artfully plated. One of the best parts of Re Creo is the communal silence and initial reactions during each course as the first bites hit palettes. It’s so much fun.
I had occasion to visit Re Creo this past Sunday. What follows is a visual presentation of what we were treated to this time around.
Pictures do not do justice to the unearthly experience of these flavors and textures at play upon your tongue. I have never seen plates cleaned so fast nor so completely as when at Jean’s table. Nothing is left behind, even the foods people swear they’ll never touch. (For me, it’s beets. But damn if he didn’t get me to not only eat them but like them at my first dinner.)
Jean’s skill and love of food is evident in every dish. He’s spent a great deal of time around some big names in cooking and put in hard work with regards to his craft. He is an endless source of knowledge about all things food related. I have very little doubt that I will one day be sitting in one of his restaurants and it will be celebrated for its playful, inventive, sexy cuisine. But, for now, he’s a well kept secret orchestrating the type of dinner you’d find Dorothy Parker enjoying. It’s quite a feat.
At the moment, Re Creo has no where near the level of notoriety of Wolvesmouth, Provisions, or the newly created BRK. It means your chances of getting in are very good. Dinners are also not predictable. When the whim strikes, Jean sends out an invitation with a deadline to respond. If you want in, you can join the Facebook page. If that’s not your thing, worry not. Just shoot them an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Do your taste buds a favor and go.