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Take a Look Inside Dominique Crenn’s Passport

The chef revels in authentic local flavors and uses them as inspiration for her dishes

by Terry Zarikian

March 4, 2024

Dominique Crenn / Photo: Fox Via Getty Images

Acclaimed chef Dominique Crenn is the owner of the three-Michelin-starred restaurant Atelier Crenn in San Francisco, where she creates her modern vision of fine French cuisine combining California’s rich bounty with inspiration from her travels. From Japan’s steamed egg custards to the fruits and spices of Martinique—the French Caribbean island she has been visiting since she was 11 years old—Crenn revels in authentic local flavors. Here, some of her delicious places.


Japan / Photo: Courtesy of Dominique Crenn

“Characterized by meticulous attention to detail, the architecture is steeped in tradition and purpose. Tokyo has renowned museums such as the Mori Art Museum and Tokyo National Museum, surrounded by amazing restaurants favored by locals. Venturing beyond Tokyo, a train journey to Toyama brings you to one of Japan’s richest fishing grounds, adding to the diverse experiences awaiting exploration.”


Mexico / Photo: Courtesy of Chablé Hotels

“This is a nation of richness, with each region offering a distinct culinary delight. The Yucatán stands out with its mesmerizing Mayan ruins, architecture, enchanting cenotes and flavorful cuisine. I like to immerse myself in the local culture by exploring vibrant markets. The Chablé resort is an amazing place to stay.”


Martinique / Photo: Andia/Alamy Stock Photo

“I’m always captivated by its breathtaking mountains, rugged landscapes, pristine beaches and rich history. The island serves as a fascinating cultural melting pot, offering impeccable and delicious Creole cuisine—a true gem in the Caribbean waters.”


Kenya / Photo: Courtesy of Dominique Crenn

“Look beyond safaris and discover the vibrant city of Nairobi. With a thriving food scene, Nairobi offers restaurants like The Alchemist, The Talisman and Matteo’s, providing great outdoor seating and exceptional cuisine. For a safari experience, Masai Mara, particularly Richard’s River Camp, stands out. On Lamu Island, indulge in the exquisite Peponi Hotel and enjoy sunset sailing on a dhow. But my favorite hotel is Hemingways Eden Residence in Nairobi.”