Chef to the stars takes over Du Vin

Columns Foodie Fare

April 27, 2014

Story By: Christina O Connor | Photos by: Nathalie Walker

“I want to introduce Americans to France,” says Percy Taylor, the newly minted executive chef at Brasserie Du Vin. “And those Americans that have been to France, I want them to have that pleasure of revisiting through the food.”

Taylor is sitting in Du Vin’s quaint, relaxing courtyard— the same spot where just a few weeks ago, he knew that Du Vin was the right fit for him. It reminded him of Paris, where he worked as a chef for several years before moving to LA to be a chef to the stars. It’s not just the setting. The food, too, provides a look into France. The menu is stocked with French cuisine combined with local themes and products, as well as more than 220 types of wine.

For a solid starter, the Moules Frites ($15 regular; $21 large) is sauteed in herbs, garlic and white wine and served with pommes frites. The plump, juicy mussels are flown in fresh from Penn Cove in Washington, which is noted for its shellfish.

The Pan Roasted Jidori Chicken Breast ($16) features free-range organic chicken over orzo ratatouille and is accented with a sauce verte and balsamic reduction.

The Mixed Berry Crepes ($10) has proven to be a popular selection. The crepes are bursting with berries — which are inside as well as on top — including raspberries and blueberries. The dish is sprinkled with powdered sugar and drizzled with crème anglaise.

For a sweet finish, the Tartelettes ($2) are a crowd pleaser. Shown here are kiwi and blueberry tarts with a lemon custard base.

One recent addition to the menu under Taylor’s leadership is the Delice Du Chocolat ($8), which is a flour-less chocolate cake.

“There are only three ingredients: butter, eggs and chocolate,” Taylor explains. “It is a very simple recipe, but it is all about how you put it together and how you cook it.”

On the Side

Brasserie Du Vin has been introducing local palates to the wonders of French cuisine for the last eight years. And now, under executive chef Percy Taylor, the restaurant will continue to do so — as well as add some exciting new features.

Taylor came to Du Vin just about three weeks ago. With a varied, impressive background that begins with studying culinary arts in Paris at Le Cordon Bleu, he is just the person for the job. Following his studies, he went on to work at various Parisian restaurants before becoming a private chef to the American ambassador in Berlin. Upon returning to Paris, he opened his own catering business and restaurant.

During his time there, actor Will Smith happened to dine at his restaurant. Smith was so impressed with the food that he invited Taylor to be his personal chef. Taylor accepted the offer and went to LA with Smith for a year. He later served as the personal chef for football player Reggie Bush and reality star Kim Kardashian.

Within the next couple of months, Du Vin customers can expect to see some changes to the menu. They’re keeping the specifics under wraps for now, but Taylor teased this: “I really want to get into regional French cooking to attack the different regions of France.”

Contact Christina O’Connor at diningout@staradvertiser.com

Brasserie Du Vin

1115 Bethel St., Honolulu
Monday-Saturday, Lunch: 11:30 a.m.-4 p.m., Dinner: 4 p.m.-closing, Closed on Sundays

Honolulu, HI 96813

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Hawaii's Best