Conversations with Chef Stéphane Beaucamp
Photography by Ryann Ford
Last spring, Lake Austin Spa Resort welcomed a new Executive Chef to its kitchen, Chef Stéphane Beaucamp. Born in Argenteuil, France, just outside of Paris, Chef Beaucamp grew up surrounded by the wonderful cuisine, which he now translates into healthy, yet flavorful menus at Lake Austin. Drawing from his background at the Belliard Culianry School in Paris, Chef Beaucamp takes inspiration from French cuisine, while cutting the traditionally generous portions of butter and cream in favor of fresh, flavorful ingredients. After working in such renowned kitchens as the Trianon Palace in Versailles to the Buddha-Bar in Paris, the chef headed down to Texas—and we couldn’t be happier! We sat down with Chef Beaucamp, as he shares his culinary philosophy.
TRIBEZA: How would you describe your culinary aesthetic?
SB: I think my style is garden-to-table cuisine, with a focus on fresh and seasonal fruit and vegetables from our garden as well as local and natural suppliers
TRIBEZA: What brought you to Texas?
SB: My life as a chef in California was really busy, and I didn’t have any time to spend with my son. On average, I saw him 20 minutes in the morning and sometimes Sundays. Sometimes, I would be lucky enough to see him on weekdays from 4pm to 8:30pm. I have been looking for a place where I could still be a chef but also be a dad, and Lake Austin was the perfect place for that. When I came to Austin for an interview at Lake Austin Spa Resort, I knew this was where I wanted to work and live. I bought a place 5 minutes away from the spa, and my son’s school is two minutes from where we live. Now I see my son every morning and every night, and since I’m not too far from my job, when I have to go for a meeting or to meet a new cook, its doesn’t affect my personal life. Moving to Austin was definitely a blessing, and my son has never been happier.
TRIBEZA: What are some of the biggest differences between French and American cuisine?
SB: French food doesn't require the most expensive ingredients. The French chefs waste very little and try to make the best out of any ingredients they have. A lot of them shop on a daily basis and decide what to make based on what looks good at the market. By contrast, some American restaurants tend to shop less often and to "stock up" on food. An American chef often goes to the market looking for ingredients for a recipe they already have in mind, while the French chef will make the decision about what to cook after they have seen what is available that day.
TRIBEZA: What are some of the seasonal ingredients that you look forward to using this summer?
SB: I’m going to use the vegetables from our garden: summer squash, zucchini, cucumber, heirloom tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, fennel, our 7 different types of basil, eggplants and green beans. We will be also using Texas-grown stone fruits.
Lake Austin Spa Resort
1705 S. Quinlan Park Rd.
(512) 372 7300