Villa Blanca Restaurant sits in the middle of Beverly Hills. Lisa Vanderpump Todd and Ken Todd, collaborated with Chef, Francis Dimitrius, to create a truly unforgettable experience through their menu that serves guests from lunch through dinner and drinks. These guests, however are no ordinary guests. The clientele in Beverly hills is discerning and will not be satisfied with anything but the best.
We spoke to Chef Dimitrius to find out exactly what it takes to create a menu that pleases the most famous palates in Beverly Hills.
FriendsEAT: Describe the cuisine served at your restaurant.
Chef Francis Dimitrius: European Asian Fusion..Villa Blanca unites the best of European cuisine with the spectacular ingredients from Asian cooking.
FE: Did you attend culinary school, if so where?
CFD: I did..Le Cordon Bleu Pasadena, CA
FE: What are other establishments that you have worked at?
CFD: KOI (West LA), Matsuhisa (Aspen), Chez Melange (Redondo Beach), Barneys Beanery (Santa Monica)
FE: Did you grow up in the kitchen?
CFD: I grew up eating the kitchen!!! I used to be overweight..so I ate rather than cooked!
CFD: My grandfather! He instilled the importance of love and respect for food. He taught me that food brings friends and family together.
FE: What made you decide to make cooking your life’s work?
CFD: Instead of eating and eating and eating, I decided to turn my passion for eating into a healthier life and my career.
FE: How do you develop a menu for a clientele as savvy as yours?
CFD: You assess the clientele, the economy, and the various genres of restaurants around you..you then design a menu with big portions, items for “everybody,”with affordable prices.
FE: What misconceptions do people have when coming into the field?
CFD: That you can make a fortune overnight.
FE: What is the best tip you have for a novice chef?
CFD: Never stop cooking!!! Strive to make the guests happy.
FE: What are your favorite cooking rituals?
CFD: Maintaining sharp knives..Tasting every dish but, then spitting it out (I must maintain my God like good looks..HAHAHAHA)
FE: Can you tell us the funniest thing to happen in your kitchen?
CFD: The reverse osmosis machine. One of the customers wanted the garlic and anchovies out of the Caesar dressing so..my sous chef yelled down to one of my prep cooks 2 “break out”the reverse osmosis machine to separate the ingredients in the dressing..it was hilarious!
CFD: First press olive oil..wine/sake..leeks..teardrop tomatoes.
FE: When at home, what do you like to eat?
CFD: Eggs! There are just so many ways to eat them..Protein bars are great snacks!
FE: And your favorite cookbook?
CFD: Just one?!?!?! French Laundry..Thomas Keller really exonerates the true beauty and essence of what cooking is all about.
FE: Is there a specific etiquette in your kitchen that you pride yourself in?
CFD: The heat and the stress in the kitchen can be extremely intense so, I pride myself in never yelling and always smiling at my kitchen crew.
FE: What dishes hold a special part in your heart and why?
My dads oregano rubbed lamb and tomato stew because, it was the only time my father would cook..mmmmmm the smell the taste, so delicious..Also, my mother’s spaghetti Bolognese. The family would never miss this meal..It was the one dish that brought my siblings and my parents together.