Chef Stephane Caporal: Fisher Island’s Secret Culinary Weapon

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Fisher Island Club’s Executive Chef Stephane Caporal
Fisher Island Club’s Executive Chef Stephane Caporal

It might seem like a cushy gig to be the executive chef at Fisher Island Club: golf carts, sunsets, and a small but refined audience with a penchant for reservations. Then consider there are seven restaurants to helm, visiting dignitaries to impress, and 750 super-rich members who are used to the very and think of you as their personal chef, each with their own special requests that must be met. But for Fisher Island’s Executive Chef Stephane Caporal it’s all in a days work.

Caporal originally hails from Paris and offers all the perfection you would expect from a French chef, minus the drama. Caporal is collected in the kitchen and uses his prestigious Lycée Rene Auffray and Hotel de Paris culinary background as a basis for classic European cuisine, and a springboard from which he avidly explores new techniques and ingredients.

For a chef in his position, adaptability is key—aside from his own creative menus he has been asked to do things like smoke a 7-foot alligator and fly in 10 kilos of Beluga caviar for individual members. “I remain true to my French traditions yet I enjoy creating new and exciting dishes and incorporating innovative cooking techniques,” Caporal explains. “Sourcing high-quality and fresh ingredients remains my main focus as each element of a meal culminates to create the overall taste and essence of the dish.”

Fried Organic Poached Egg by Chef Stephane Caporal
Fried Organic Poached Egg by Chef Stephane Caporal

Even more impressive are the feats of gastronomy that are the nightly meals served in the mansion. At a recent private dinner in the library Caporal showed off his chops with an impressive multi-course meal.  The feast began with Kampachi Crudi with star fruit sorbet, Serrano peppers, beet leaves, orange marmalade viola flowers and citrus begonia. The second course was a Chilled Maine Lobster Salad sitting on a round of watermelon with orange segments, lemon verbena leaves, olive oil powder with yuzu-shallot dressing. The third course was an unforgettable Fried Organic Poached Egg that came atop sauce aigrette, shaved raw asparagus and a dollop of Osetra Royal Caviar. For the fourth course Caporal shined with a Root Beer Braised Short Rib complete with roasted peanut powder and root beer leaves, followed by a Applewood Smoked A5 Kobe Strip Loin with some earth-shattering bacon demi and butter potatoes. For dessert he went light with a Soft Meringue served with Coconut Sorbet, fruit gels and coconut snow.

Chilled Main Lobster Salad
Chilled Main Lobster Salad

As the South Beach Food & Wine Festival approaches, it will be Caporal’s time to shine on a bigger stage. He will be giving a taste of Fisher Island’s excellent cuisine at the Best of the Best event at the Fontainebleau as well as preparing a private vineyard style dinner with celebrity chef, vintner, author and television personality, Michael Chiarello. 

Of course, as much as you might fall in love with Caporal’s cooking, getting a meal of his is not as easy as picking up the phone and making a reservation. In order to dine at Fisher Island Club, you must either be a member, or staying at the hotel (which is certainly the easier of the two ways). But as they say, membership has its privileges, and Stephane Caporal’s dishes are one of them.

 

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