Executive Chef Remy Lefebvre

2023 ended in a big way at Scottsdale’s Francine Restaurant when founder and Owner Laurent Halasz hired Michelin trained Executive Chef Remy Lefebvre to run the kitchen at the French Mediterranean restaurant. Prior to relocating to Scottsdale Lefebvre was Executive Chef at Michelin recognized AVA MediterrAegean in Winter Park, Florida. AVA was just one of the stops in his storied career that’s taken him all around the world. The French born Lefebvre was raised early on in the Ivory Coast before his family returned to France’s Brittany region of northwest France.

Executive Chef Remy Lefebvre and his career around the world

Chef Lefebvre has no formal training in cooking other than a certificate from Tony Botella’s TBTC, (Tony Botella Taller de Cuina) a cooking workshop by the Spanish chef in the art of vacuum cooking a.k.a sous vide. Lefebvre also taught at TBTC before leaving Spain for his next challenge. He’s cooked in Beirut, Georgetown on Grand Cayman Island, Qatar, Mumbai, France and as Chef de Cuisine at the iconic Raffles Hotel Singapore and Restaurant Casa before heading to the United States. His over 20 year career at Michelin Star restaurants and luxurious hotels are what attracted Halasz to him who was introduced through mutual friends.

In the late 1990s he found time to backpack through Mexico for six months learning about the ingredients and cooking techniques of the Mexican culture, something he’s excited to explore since moving to Arizona.

“Chef Remy has an exceptional resume. He’s been named one of the top chefs in Singapore and he has led the culinary teams for many of the world’s best restaurants,” said Halasz. “He has a big focus on sourcing his dishes locally, and uses only the most organic and seasonal ingredients. Chef Remy brings a vibrant and soulful twist to his French Mediterranean cuisine and we are extremely honored and proud to now have him leading our culinary team here at Francine.”

Signature dishes on the menu

“Cooking is my life and food is my culture,” said Chef Remy. “What I am able to do every day in the kitchen feels like magic and I am thrilled to be able to do what I love most of all here at Francine.   Laurent has started something very special here and I’m excited to take it to the next level and introduce some new contemporary dishes here at Francine.”

Lefebvre’s new menu at Francine stays true to Halasz’s vision emphasizing southern France with seafood and other ingredients from around the world. Signature dishes throughout the menu include….

A savory Crab Taramasalata with crispy socca.

A flavorable smoked Eggplant dressed with lemon juice, olive oil and espelette. This hors d’oeuvre is finished at the table with a silky tahini dressing.

A new take on Tuna Tartare featuring white soy, lemon and avocado.

A grilled Spanish Octopus is the perfect Mediterranean culinary reflection.  Francine’s is served with arrabbiata sauce, tapenade and grilled slices of zucchini that are seasoned with a surprising acidity, and the powder of black Omani lemon.

Francine’s Rack of Lamb is from Australia and carefully marinated with fresh herbs before touching the grill. Served with confit piquillo pepper, loved for their sweetness, the sauce Mauresque and the theatrical presentation, all smoked with aromatic herbs make this entree dish a must to try.

The seasonal Duck Pithiviers is a classic of the French gastronomy. A piece of art, full of flavors, the pie made of puff pastry and carefully stuffed with a truffle and mushroom duxelles, grilled foie gras and duck magret. Cut at the table and seasoned with pear vinegar gastric to complement the richness of the dish.

For this season Francine reintroduces a classic with a twist. The Branzino in salt crust is seasoned with pistou, lemon and dill then wrapped in fig leaves before it is baked in an aromatic salt crust. The fish is flambeed at the table with Pastis for an aromatic and theatrical presentation.

For dessert a Classic Profiterole or the Maxi Profiterole is stuffed with vanilla ice cream and whipped vanilla ganache. This classic dessert is complemented with a decadent hot chocolate sauce.

To view the full menu and to make a reservation visit Francine’s website.

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