DALLAS (KDAF) — For Vincent Catala, cooking is an emotional experience.
And in his new position as the Executive Chef of Villa Azur, Vincent gets to share that emotion with everyone who steps through the doors of the French-Mediterranean luxury restaurant.
Hailing from the south of France, Vincent learned how to cook from his great-grandmother, who shared the art of cooking through simple ingredients and big flavors. After working in Michelin starred restaurants across his home country, Vincent made his way to America — and Villa Azur — but his great-grandmother still inspires his cooking today.
“She gave me everything, to be honest with you,” Vincent said. “When someone takes time to teach you and give you so much passion and so much love, at the end of the day, you have no choice but to be passionate and love what you’re doing.”
Since then, Vincent has continued to teach cooking in kitchens across the globe.
“Everybody can learn,” Vincent said. “It’s always about how you teach and how you show them…It’s just the right amount of time, energy and passion.”
Sustainability is an important aspect of the restaurant industry, and Vincent has big ideas on how to make Villa Azur a little greener. From reducing food waste, like washing vegetables instead of peeling them — to sourcing local ingredients, like partnering with regional vendors, even the smallest change can make a big difference.
CW33 Digital got a look at the flavors he’s bringing to the menu. Including fresh seafood, flavorful sauces, and a sweet citrus dessert that will leave you wanting more.
For starters, try the Tuna Tartare, a tantalizing mix of raw Ahi tuna, yuzu orange glaze, charred avocado emulsion, basil oil, fresh citrus, and crispy rice tuile.
For an entrée, try the Branzino Filet, with sun-dried tomato paste, virgin Sicilian sauce, roasted garlic tomato, and lemon brulée, prepared table side.
For dessert, try the Orange and Citrus Emotion, a sweet blend of orange cream, grapefruit lemon confit, lime gelee, lemon streusel, and lime meringue.
To top if all off, stop by the bar for an expertly crafted cocktail.
“They tell a story, they talk, they have something to say,” Vincent said. “They’re not just a random plate on the table.”
Eating good food can be a rich, cultural experience — from the food to the drinks to the atmosphere. At Villa Azur, guests will feel the difference as soon as they step inside. The restaurant strives to continually impress guests with an elevated experience that sets them apart.
“It’s a different level,” Vincent said. “They really have to feel the ambiance, the atmosphere. We have to share an emotion. I know I’m talking a lot about emotion, but for me, it’s all about emotion.”