by Janae Rice
Hotel Valencia has announced that Chef Robbie Nowlin formerly of The French Laundry, The Lodge Restaurant at Castle Hills and Las Canarias at Omni La Mansión del Rio will be the new executive chef at Citrus. Nowlin, who replaces Jeff Balfour, started cooking at the age of 14 when he got a job as a weekend cook to earn extra cash for skateboards.
He eventually decided to give up skateboarding and would soon be collaborating with Jason Dady of Tre Trattoria and Umai Mi, Damien Watel, John Brand and Thomas Keller of The French Laundry. A new menu is going up on Friday, August 1 so here's a few things to know about Nowlin before the new menu kicks off.
1. Citrus is not your typical hotel restaurant. The new menu is product-driven and features in-season ingredients. Nowlin is originally from California but you won't find Cal-Mex on this menu.
2. On the menu you'll find dishes like a foie gras crepe with compressed strawberry, banana, celery, black pepper creme fraiche and candied hazelnut. Diners should also expect to see chorizo, pork belly, tuna tartare, butter-poached Maine lobster and some charcuterie on the menu. Also be on the look out for Citrus' brunch menu coming this fall.
3. You may also know Nowlin from Hot Wells Harvest Feast, a project he did with artist pal Justin Parr. The outdoor event with about 17 chefs was such a success, Parr and Nowlin have already begun planning another even bigger event with 30 chefs for next year.
4. Nowlin and Citrus are participating in Charcuterie week so to get a taste before August 1, be sure to try the charcuterie board that will make an appearance on Citrus' menu come August 1.