Four Seasons Tenure
- Since 2007
- First Four Seasons Assignment: Executive Pastry Chef, Four Seasons Hotel Bangkok (formerly a Four Seasons hotel)
- Four Seasons Resort Chiang Mai; Four Seasons Hotel Bangkok (formerly a Four Seasons hotel); St. Regis Hotel, Beijing; Maison Vanille Bistro, Hanoi; Hotel Nikko, Hanoi; Le Pain Français, Sweden; Nordgarden Restaurant, Gothenburg, Sweden; L’Auberge du Quercy, France
- Toulouse, France
- Perpignan University, France; Gothenburg University, Sweden
- French, English, elementary Swedish and Thai
A chef can make magic with quality ingredients, a curious mind, and the quest to discover. Stéphane Calvet, Executive Chef of Four Seasons Hotel Bengaluru at Embassy ONE, has all of these in good measure and excitedly looks forward to every turn as his journey unfolds.
“Bengaluru, or the Garden City, is known for its temperate climate and rich, fertile soil, which can be seen in the abundance of produce found not far from the city,” he says. “Sourcing the most interesting things that we can find here from local farms and apiaries, along with the famous coffee from nearby plantations of Coorg, we are creating something truly memorable. In fact, one of the driving forces of coming here was to see what I could discover and share with our guests.”
The Hotel’s overarching dining experience is a celebration of international cuisine presented in an interactive style, with fresh ingredients crafted to perfection and prepared "live" in front of guests. Every dish is presented in its original cooking style varying from Spanish-style grill, stone oven pizza or bakery live oven at the all-day restaurant CUR8 to the artful sushi counter, dim sum steamer, charcoal kushiyaki grill and duck roaster at vibrant Far & East on the Hotel’s 21st floor.
With a culinary journey spanning several years and miles from his Catalan home in southern France, across Sweden and further east to Japan, China, Vietnam, Thailand and now India, Chef Stéphane still has an innate sense of wonder and curiosity. He is thrilled about learning the art of tandoor on his Indian escapade.
“This is a buzzing space that has great aromas wafting, chefs on show sharing their passion, fire elements, scents, choices and movement,” continues Stéphane, painting a vision of the Hotel’s dining outlets, his enthusiasm rising to delight.
“Every dish is a labour of love. Our guests navigate through the kitchens. We’re taking the choicest of raw ingredients and crafting them as per our guests’ moods. A work of art in motion, you could say. The scene is as impressive as the food,” he adds about the Hotel’s two signature restaurants, each a lively scene of culinary action.
There are several other dining and drinking experiences, including a welcoming lounge on the ground floor, made memorable for dainty afternoon tea served the classic way, with an additional Indian version as an homage to the ritual of revered afternoon tea.
“There is a beautiful artisanal cake shop where we’re really getting creative with trendy, colourful desserts, confectionaries and savouries,” Stéphane continues, confessing his love for baking flaky pies and pastries. “It’s an opportunity to take our signature dishes back home.”
Stéphane took a rather different course from the conventional routes of most Four Seasons Executive Chefs, rising through the pastry kitchen where he laid the foundation of his culinary journey through the creative arts.
Raised in Perpignan amid the Pyrenees in the Catalan region of France, he spent mornings learning “the small details” of cooking from his grandmother while she prepared Sunday lunch for the family. “She taught me the little tips and tricks which have served me well throughout my career. Details like cutting chicken bone very small to make the soup more flavoursome.”
Stéphane launched his career with a seasonal position in his hometown and, after earning a professional degree, moved on to L’Auberge du Quercy where he honed his talent for traditional regional cuisine under guidance of Lionel Fabres, the first of three Master Chefs who had a big influence on his career.
“I have always had a curious mind and a thirst to explore culture and people. This quest for the unknown took me to Sweden, which was quite exotic for me at that time, and I found myself in Gothenburg, a lesser-known seaport with leafy boulevards, cafes and pretty little shops,” he says, looking back at his earlier journey.
Stéphane landed in the kitchen at Nordgarden Restaurant where he got a totally different perspective from the Bistro Cuisine style that he was familiar with. “Such a great experience,” he remembers, “I learned a lot from Scandinavian cuisine. It was the first time I’d seen chefs combining several cuisines together to create a unique style. I was intrigued.”
After another tryst at a traditional French bakery in Gothenburg, Stéphane was spurred yet again by an incurable case of wanderlust and travelled all the way to Asia to the exhilarating capitals of Hanoi, Vietnam, followed by Beijing, China. Finally he moved to Bangkok, Thailand where his glorious culinary journey with Four Seasons began. He joined the erstwhile Four Seasons Hotel Bangkok, where he headed the pastry kitchen, inspired by the philosophy and culture of the company, which further sped up his progressive career and took him to a picturesque retreat in northern Thailand, where he oversaw culinary operations of Four Seasons Resort Chiang Mai as Executive Chef.
An avid motorcyclist, Stéphane reconnected with his passion for road trips in Chiang Mai, riding through the lush mountains of northern Thailand, discovering many hidden gems like tea plantations, undiscovered farmlands, and more, providing a great way for him to forage for ingredients that he would turn into signature dishes back at the resort.
Now right at home in Bengaluru, Stephane, forever the curious explorer, has been on a different spin spending his downtime “exploring and discovering” all things culinary, including authentic South Indian dishes, aromatic local spices, and bustling bazaars. He often shares what he finds with his team in the Hotel kitchen, or lets them lead him to the most unusual places for local cuisine, which he revels in. “I am fortunate: my spare time and work often flow into one another creating the perfect, meditative balance.”