Master Chef of France, Bruno Lopez opened the new Ritz-Carlton, Rancho Mirage from The Ritz-Carlton, Toronto, where he served as Executive Chef following a heralded culinary career at some of the world’s most noted luxury hotels and dining establishments, including The Ritz-Carlton, San Francisco and Ritz-Carlton properties in Marina del Rey, Half Moon Bay and Dubai. Lopez has brought his cooking prowess to leading restaurants and hotels in Beverly Hills and Bel-Air as well. While on the West Coast, he also served as Executive Chef for the French Consul General in Los Angeles, gaining acclaim for his creative and flavorful use of California’s fresh seasonal vegetables, meats, wines and cheeses, He is a member of the Confrérie de la Chaîne des Rotisseurs, Club Culinaire of Los Angeles, Les Toques Blanches Internationales, the James Beard Foundation, and L’Académie Culinaire de France. Additionally, in 2011 he was recognized by the French government and knighted “Officer in The Agriculture Merit Order.”
Bruno Lopez brings his talents to all three restaurants and to the banquet and in-room dining divisions of The Ritz-Carlton, Rancho Mirage, which is located in Southern California’s popular Palm Springs Valley. The resort’s three-meal restaurant, State Fare Bar + Kitchen, presents the Best of California cuisine, complemented by scenic desert dining experiences.
When asked about being a member of the MCF, Chef Lopez says “MCF means a lot to me , it is a recognition of your career by your peers and mentors. This means that you transmit the right way of French cooking techniques and show respect to the products that you enhance. You teach what you learned the right way in order to be an ambassador of French culture and its gastronomy.”
Chef Lopez grew up in Paris, cooking alongside his mother and preparing favorites such as watercress soup, roast and apple tarts for his family. He trained at the Ferrandi School in Paris and then apprenticed at L’Espadon, the famed Michelin one-star restaurant at Hotel Ritz in Paris. Honing his skills in Versailles, France and in South America, Lopez ultimately brought his talents to the United States, which he now calls home.
MCF: Maitre Cusinier de France ( French Master Chef)
ACF: Academicien de France
Officier dans l’Ordre National du Merite Agricole ( Agriculture Merit Officer )
Chaine des Rotisseurs (Chef Grillardin)
Toques Blanches Internationales
Today, Chef Lopez shares his French Toast Bread Pudding Recipe. He told us:
“As a child I always enjoyed “ le Pain Perdu” ( Lost Bread) which is the bread pudding that my mother frequently cooked. With the leftover bread, brioche or croissant she soaked everything in milk and then added a custard mix before to bake it.
My sisters, brother and I could not wait for it to cool down. We ate it warm with whipped cream and sometimes berries…We always also enjoyed it with homemade jam…This one not the first recipe I learned, however. Homemade desert and pastries were the first. I am half Bearnais and half Berrichon. As a military child, I moved around in France and learned to enjoy the cuisine of the different regions of France…Back home cooking is not only an art, but also part of the culture and a way of defining the characteristics of different regions. It is the best way to introduce local products. “Happiness is in Cooking” as Paul Bocuse always says.
French Toast Bread Pudding
64oz (weight) eggs, beaten
4 cups milk
1 cup crème fraiche, kendall farms
1 cup maple syrup
Whisk all ingredients together until smooth
Whipped crème fraiche
1 cup crème fraiche
1 cup whipping cream
2 tbsp simple syrup
Whisk all ingredients together until smooth
Fill an ISI canister and charge
Hold for service
Blueberry apricot compote
3 pint blueberries
1 cup frog hollow apricot compote
Mix together and hold for service
6 cups sugar
3 cups butter
2 tsp salt
Heat butter all ingredients over medium heat until melted, and sugar dissolves.
Stir frequently to ensure even cooking
Reduce to low, and cook until the caramel is copper color (the butter will separate but the sauce will eventually bring everything back together)
French toast – 12 servings
Serving dish: small rectangle staub cast iron
18 slices brioche ¾” cut, cut in half to make rectangles
3 cups caramel sauce
Soak slices of brioche in custard
Ladle ¼ cup caramel sauce into each cast iron
Place three slices of brioche overlapping in each cast iron with the crust side down
Hold for service
French Toast – Final dish
Serving dish: wood board with French toast in cast iron, crème fraiche and berries in red mini cocotte
1.5 oz Blueberry apricot compote
¼ cup berries
At pick up bake for 12-15 minutes, brush with melted butter and brown in salamander
Top with blueberry apricot compote
Fill cocotte ¾ with crème fraiche from ISI, Place berries on top
The Ritz-Carlton, Rancho Mirage beckons guests to re-discover one of Southern California’s most scenic havens in Rancho Mirage. Opened on May 15, 2014 the resort is less than two hours from the world-renowned destinations of Los Angeles and San Diego. The luxury desert resort is beautifully enveloped by the Santa Rosa Mountain range, on a 650-foot bluff overlooking Palm Springs and the Coachella Valley.
The prominently-situated Palm Springs hotel features 244 resort rooms and suites, residences, a two-story luxury spa, more than 30,000 square feet of indoor/outdoor meeting space and destination dining with sweeping valley views.
Throughout the resort, there is an embrace of indoor/outdoor living, an emphasis on muted natural hues and tactile materials, and a stylized interpretation of the desert environment will create a more harmonious transition between the luxury hotel and its surroundings.
Dining venues will include a visually dynamic exhibition kitchen at State Fare Bar + Kitchen and a restaurant specializing in steak, seafood and fine wine, The Edge. Perched bluff-side with unparalleled views of the Palm Springs valley, The Edge will offer the perfect gathering place for year-round cocktails, celebrations and stargazing.
The Ritz-Carlton, Rancho Mirage
68-900 Frank Sinatra Drive
Rancho MIrage, CA 92270