Born in Tangiers, Larbi Dahrouch arrived in France with his family in 1969 where he was the apprentice of legendary French Chef, Jean-Louis-Palladin at the Table des Cordeliers restaurant in Condom. When Palladin relocated to the U.S. in 1979 to open Jean-Louis at the Watergate, Dahrouch followed and was soon promoted to Executive Sous Chef. Since 1986, he has held the title of Executive Chef at four well-known and respected restaurants; Country Inn at Princeton, Watergate Hotel and Jean-Pierre Restaurant in Washington D.C. and Club Manhattan in Paris. Chef Dahrouch has also worked in other kitchens throughout the world including Los Angeles, Philadelphia and Boston. Today One&Only Palmilla is honored to have Larbi Dahrouch as Executive Chef.
Larbi Dahrouch has the markings of a legendary chef. He has the ability to make a memorable impression in every restaurant and every city that he resides. Don J. Plumridge, owner of Country Inn at Princeton remarks, “It is too bad we do not bestow Michelin stars in America. If we did, there is no doubt in my mind and in those of his peers that Chef Dahrouch would carry at least two stars on his toque.” Stating that simply, “he is that good a chef.”
Prior to Agua restaurant opening at One&Only Palmilla in 2003, Dahrouch traveled throughout Mexico to discover authentic Mexican cuisine by sampling its diverse markets and food stands. As a result, Agua’s menu original featured classic Mediterranean fare with decidedly Mexican influences and ingredients throughout. This hybrid of Mediterranean fare with native Mexican influences has been dubbed “Mexiterranean.” Larbi Dahrouch created a magical pairing of two worlds with dishes such as a Blue Fin Tuna Tartar with Avocado Salad, Hazelnut oil and Lime Vinaigrette and Sautéed Foie Gras served with Blue Corn Polenta and a Red Wine Grenache Reduction. The finest local produce, fish and seafood and game are used throughout the menu, delivered daily by Dahrouch’s hand-picked roster of local purveyors.
To celebrate the 10th anniversary of the resort, Agua restaurant was re-launched as “Agua by Larbi” in recognition of Chef Dahrouch who has been an integral part of the transition of the resort since the opening.
To celebrate the re-opening of the One&Only Palmilla in 2015, the popular local and guest favorite, Agua by Larbi, has been newly redesigned with an earth-to-sea tone design scheme by New York based designer David Mexico. The reimagined venue combines a tropical bar with indoor/outdoor restaurant seating that takes advantage of the sweeping ocean views. Guests enjoy artfully prepared Mexican cuisine with some Mediterranean influences, orchestrated and created by Chef Larbi Dahrouch.
Many of the dishes at Agua by Larbi are traditional Mexican cuisine enhanced with Mediterranean ingredients while retaining their local authenticity. The open kitchen features two distinct culinary theatres showcasing the tradition of Mexican grilled food in one and fresh tortilla-making in the other. Both stations are visible and active during all meals allowing guests to learn the original techniques and flavors of traditional Mexican cuisine. Adding to the interactive dining experiences are table-side preparation of guacamole and ceviche, complete with special One&Only ingredients and a mole trolley for guests to choose from a selection of the freshly prepared sauces.
“I am so excited to be able to showcase what we love doing every single day, and I think our guests will love watching some of the new and innovative elements that the team will be showcasing. Whether making traditional tortillas or creating fresh guacamole tableside, it’ll be both entertaining for guests and fun for the Chefs at the same time,” commented Chef Larbi. “The menu will still feature a selection of our signature classics such as the Ancho Chile-Honey Glazed Salmon with Black Bean Sauce, but will also showcase some new taste innovations. I am also excited about the variety of sharing tables, perfect for friends and families.”