Overseeing all aspects of dining at The St. Regis Princeville Resort is no small undertaking, yet Executive Chef Franck Desplechin has the experience, knowledge, and attitude
necessary to maintain the high standard of the St. Regis brand. In
addition to training under multiple Michelin-starred chefs in his home
country of Francesuch as Olivier Bellin, his mentor from L’Auberge
des Glazicks. Chef Desplechin has also gained valuable experience
working at some of the finest resorts around the world.
Chef Desplechin graciously took some time out of his busy
schedule for us to learn more about what events helped shape his
food philosophy and evolution as a chef, how he approaches his role
here at The St. Regis Princeville Resort, as well as what he has come
to love about our beautiful island of Kauaÿi.
What sparked this passion you have for food? Was anyone
else in your family a chef?
Not professional chefs, but both my parents are excellent cooks. My
mom cooked our family meals—very traditional French foods like
beef bourguignon and ratatouille. My dad cooked for holidays and
could spend 5-6 hours in the kitchen prepping for Christmas or New
Year’s Eve meals.
What were some of your favorite foods growing up?
Brittany, France is famous for their crêpes, and this was my mom’s
specialty. It takes a lot of labor, so my mom would prep the day
before, refrigerating the mixture for 12 hours, then spend 4-5 hours
the next day making the crêpes. I always looked forward to my mom
baking traditional French pastries, especially her apple pies!
At what age did you realize you wanted to become a
I grew up watching my mom cook and spending time with my dad.
At first, I was shy to get my hands into cooking, but I knew from
about age 11 or 12 that I wanted to be in the culinary world. At age
15, I went to a culinary academy and gathered all the information I
needed. I went home and showed my parents and told them this is
what I wanted to do.
After completing school and apprenticeships, where did you
After two years at a traditional French restaurant near my hometown,
I got my certificates and started my journey through the Michelin-star
world of France. Working 14-17 hour days, with one day off a week,
I shut myself off from the outside world and focused hard on working
and gaining knowledge. After working at another French restaurant,
a mountain ski resort and at a 2-Star Michelin restaurant, I wanted
to travel outside of the country to work. I was offered a position as
executive pastry chef at a resort in the Caribbean and there realized I
enjoyed working at resorts. I returned to St. Tropez to work at another
resort and learned so much about the resort experience.
How did your culinary journey bring you to Kaua'i?
Following St. Tropez, I lived and worked in Australia and Southern
France, but wanted again to work outside of the country, so I applied
to The St. Regis Bora Bora Resort. After two years in Bora Bora, I
learned about an opening at The St. Regis Princeville Resort by my
current Executive Sous Chef and friend, Chef Maxime Michaud. In
2011, I came to Kauaÿi as an executive pastry chef, after six months,
I was promoted to executive sous chef, and in 2014, I was honored
to be named the new executive chef of St. Regis Princeville Resort.
What is a typical day like for you?
I am usually in at 7am and checking on the breakfast service. I check in
with my team and say Aloha (hello) to everybody. It is very important
to say hello—we are all part of the same team. I make sure everyone
there is okay, just making myself available to them is important. After
meeting with front of house managers and checking emails, there
will be nothing typical about my day—which is what I love! Some
days I am working on schedules, working with the catering team on
banquets, or working in the kitchen with new menu items.
How do you organize the way you approach your job?
There are three focus areas for my job. There is the right now, there is
2-3 months ahead, and there is the forecast for the next year. Daily,
we must be on top of what is happening in the restaurants. For
EXECUTIVE CHEF FRANCK DESPLECHIN