Chef Matthew Kenney Shares The Inspiration Behind His New Plant-Based Menu At Four Seasons Los Angeles

Folia_Matthew Kenney_Dukkah Avocado_web
Dukkah avocado with spicy greens, preserved lemon and tomato jam

Photo Credit: Four Seasons Hotel Los Angeles at Beverly Hills

Four Seasons Hotel Los Angeles at Beverly Hills has just introduced Folia, a healthy plant-based menu developed by chef Matthew Kenney and KBW Ventures.

Latin for “from the leaves,” Folia is an exclusive, standalone menu comprising of 10 healthy starters, entrees and desserts. Gourmands visiting the hotel can look forward to dishes like watermelon poke marinated in a flavorful ponzu lime broth; green herb tacos filled with roasted squash and king oyster barbacoa; and a savoury coconut cream pie with a macadamia crust.

Matthew Kenney

Photo Credit: Matthew Kenney Cuisine

Chef Matthew Kenney is one of the world’s premier chefs specializing in plant-based cuisine. Originally hailing from Connecticut, he graduated from the French Culinary Institute (now the International Culinary Center) and spent the early ’90s honing his skills in kitchens throughout the New York dining scene.

But Kenney skyrocketed to culinary fame after opening his namesake restaurant Matthew’s in 1993. One year later, Food & Wine named Kenney “Best New Chef” and he’s been in high demand ever since. In Los Angeles, his restaurant roster includes Plant Food + Wine, Make Out, New Deli, Olivers, Other Burger and Double Zero.

Now more than a dozen cookbooks later plus two dozen restaurants established around the world, Kenney owns and operates Matthew Kenney Cuisine, a California-based lifestyle company. Through the company, the chef and his team offer quality culinary products and expertise in the areas of hospitality, education, media, products, wellness and services.

For Folia, Kenney collaborated with HRH Prince Khaled bin Alwaleed bin Talal, a member of the Saudi Arabian royal family and the founder and CEO of venture capital firm KBW Ventures. Khaled aims to invest in innovative technology, clean energy and the humane treatment of animals, among other causes. The men’s passion for quality dining and ethically sourced ingredients made Khaled and Kenney a good match to work on the one-of-a-kind menu for the Four Seasons Hotel Los Angeles at Beverly Hills.

Here, chef Kenney shares with us why Folia’s arrival was perfect timing, his inspiration behind the menu and more.

Why is the timing right for Folia at the Four Seasons Hotel Los Angeles at Beverly Hills?

Four Seasons Hotel Los Angeles at Beverly Hills has been making wonderful steps two embrace wellness recently. Their property is beautiful and an ideal setting to highlight innovative plant-based cuisine. Our groups are aligned with the rapidly growing marketing segment.

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Cacio e pepe kelp noodles with a creamy cashew pepper sauce

Photo Credit: Four Seasons Hotel Los Angeles at Beverly Hills

Why is your partnership with Prince Khaled’s KBW Ventures such a good fit?

Prince Khaled and I have been working together for more than two years and are involved in multiple businesses already. We have been a great fit from the day we met.

How did you both contribute to the development of Folia?

Prince Khaled has had this vision since I met him. As a great businessman and a passionate advocate of plant-based cuisine, he created this relationship and format which allowed for us to present the menu created for Four Seasons Hotel Los Angeles at Beverly Hills.

Folia_Matthew Kenney_Watermelon Poke_web
Watermelon poke marinated in a flavourful ponzu lime broth

Photo Credit: Four Seasons Hotel Los Angeles at Beverly Hills

What inspired Folia’s dishes?

We’re in the middle of summer, so our menu is inspired by the market and the creation of fresh, vibrant cuisine that would be ideal for outside dining.

What’s your approach to sourcing the ingredients?

Ingredients mean everything to us and we source tirelessly to find the highest quality, most seasonally appropriate products and do our best to let them speak for themselves.

Folia_Matthew Kenney_Coconut Cream Pie_web
Coconut cream pie with a macadamia crust

Photo Credit: Four Seasons Hotel Los Angeles at Beverly Hills

Will we see Folia become a permanent or perennial offering at the hotel?

We hope so!

Are you collaborating further with KBW Ventures?

Absolutely, we are working on many global initiatives. Our goal is to end factory farming and to play our part in shifting the global food paradigm.

Folia’s full menu is available in the hotel’s poolside Cabana Restaurant, and in the Wellness Rooms and Suites, through Sept. 7. The Four Seasons Hotel Los Angeles at Beverly Hills is located at 300 S. Doheny Drive, Los Angeles