In a career spanning 30 years, Joël Antunes has worked with the world’s culinary “Who’s Who” including Troisgros, Bocuse, Meneau, Maximin and Duquesnoy in his native France. At The Normandie restaurant in The Mandarin Oriental, Bangkok he earned a nomination for the best restaurant in Asia. He opened his Michelin two-star restaurant, Les Saveurs, in London and was nominated best restaurant in the UK. He then moved to the United States where he was awarded a Mobil five-star rating at The Dining Room in The Ritz Carlton, Atlanta, followed by his James Beard awarded eponymous venture, Joël’s, also in Atlanta.
Having conquered a number of world capitals with his dazzling cuisine, Antunes, who grew up in a small farming town in France, has been delighted to return to a small-town environment, surrounded by the bounty of Arkansas where he has overseen the design and direction of One Eleven at Little Rock’s Capital Hotel.
Antunes draws on his tastes and experiences to incorporate a variety of international influences into his menu offerings. “If I do a very nice dish with a little bit of Japanese influence, people love it,” he said. “I think they trust me. When you have business and the business works very well, everyone is happy” Internally Antunes kitchen is a veritable United Nations with aspiring culinarians learning at the knee of the master. “When people work for me in the kitchen, I want harmony. I want something very smooth”, Antunes said. “When you’re well organized, it is easy.”