In conversation with Lucie Couling – Restaurant Manager (Fouquet’s Abu Dhabi & Marta Bar), who discusses about the launch of Fouquet’s in Abu Dhabi, why celebrities have fallen with the French cuisine of Fouquet’s, restaurant showcases an element of discovery both through the restaurant interior and its carefully curated menu, and so much more. Currently boasts 10 establishments of Fouquet’s Brasseries worldwide with six total in France, 1 in Switzerland, Marrakesh, St Barth and most recently Abu Dhabi.

Tell us about the background or the origins of Fouquet’s?
Fouquet’s has operated since 1899 on the corner of George V and Champs Elysees and since 1998 has been obtained by Groupe Lucien Barriere. It established itself as a location of French Gastronomy and a place where the worlds of business and politics connect. In 2014, Groupe Barriere and 3 Michelin star Chef Pierre Gagnaire aligned themselves to create a partnership within the Fouquet’s Brasseries allowing the fusion of both respect to traditions alongside creative culinary inspiration.

Lucie Couling

Why was Abu Dhabi the perfect location to launch Fouquet’s?
The UAE has been vastly developing itself within the scene 0f Gastronomy over recent decades. It has quickly become a top destination for world renowned Chefs, distinguished brands and aspiring restaurateurs to expand and exhibit their culinary expertise. Abu Dhabi is a location of cultural excellence and for a Fouquet’s Brasserie to be situated within the prestigious Louvre, it presents an iconic fusion.

Are there plans to expand to Dubai and into other GCC countries?
The next confirmed destination worldwide is in New York City, whereby Groupe Barriere will launch a hotel in which a Fouquet’s will be situated. As for within GCC countries, stay tuned for upcoming announcements!

Top celebrities around the world have dined at Fouquet’s, how have you been able to attract them to this brand both in terms of food and ambience?
Since the 19th century, Fouquet’s has been the melting pot of Paris and favoured rendez-vous for members of the film, art and cultural world. Le Fouquet’s Paris has been the cinematic hotspot and host of the Cesar Awards Ceremony; the French equivalent of the Oscars, every year since 1988. Some of the most celebrated names in cinema have walked the ‘Fouquet’s Red Carpet’ and gathered for the famous awards dinner. Each Fouquet’s Brasserie offers a prestige yet inviting atmosphere which is displayed throughout with its fine interior design details. The platform developed in collaboration with Chef Pierre Gagnaire, showcases culinary brilliance through revisitation of French classics and creation of ‘avant-garde’ dishes within seasonal menus offering guests an experience of both innovation and delight.

Tell us a bit about the menu and what makes the food stand out? Please list a few examples from the main menu, appetizers and desserts.
A key identifier of Fouquet’s is the development of ‘Brasseronomie’.
In turn, Chef Pierre Gagnaire’s vision to extend a culinary journey through tastes of reminiscence and discovery. The menu offers generosity whilst displaying delicate creations utilising fresh seasonal products.Begin your experience by the french classic of Escargots or by the Red Kuri Squash velouté highlighting flavours of star anise and passion fruit topped with grated coconut. Followed on by a signature dish such as the Sole Meuniere or Fouquet’s Tartare with a twist and finally diving into a sweet ending with a traditional Millefeuille.

Tell us a bit of the layout of the restaurant? Does the space cater for private events?
A journey through the restaurant has something around every corner. The restaurant’s ability to privatise sections through cable run walls displays a level of high-quality engineering perfectly reflecting that of the food. At the end of the restaurant lies the ‘Salon Diane’, a hidden private room overlooking the circumference of the dome and leads seamlessly onto the wrap-around terrace offering a vast expanse of outdoor seating.

How does the interior layout of Fouquet’s give a calm, adventurous, five-star dining experience?
The restaurant showcases an element of discovery both through the restaurant interior and its carefully curated menu. Every detail from the golf cart arrival, glass Chandeliers, the La Corbusier leather chairs to the corridor of red satin in which hangs Studio Harcourt portraits of some of the region’s leading lights.

Hand cut floor to wall tiling exhibits the architectural masterclass of Jean Nouvel, depicting that of the geometric dome design, encompassing an element of fluidity throughout the Fouquet’s Abu Dhabi dining experience.

Up the red-carpet stairs, you will find tucked away the intimate location of the Marta Bar. With Paco Rabanne inspired shimmering walls offering an element of ‘Haute Couture’ and a cinema screen showcasing French classics from the silent era; this ‘speakeasy’ bar combines cosy with sophistication offering that of a ‘Parisian Night’.

Does the ambience of Fouquet’s help by being situated at Louvre Abu Dhabi?
Located on the waterfront of Saadiyat Island overlooking the UAE’s Capital’s city, it exudes a sense of harmonious serenity. With Louvre Abu Dhabi, the brand ambassador of France in collaboration with Fouquet’s, it is a true representation of the French art de vivre. The intention of combining the artistic and cultural excellence showcased by Louvre Abu Dhabi is to be carried through by Fouquet’s culinary journey with each plate served to be that of a piece of art.