A Taste of Tex-French

By Becca Hensley / July 16, 2012

For Lake Austin Spa Resort’s new executive chef Stephane Beaucamp, life is about balance. That’s what brought this French-born, raised, and trained chef from Europe, via a stint in Los Angeles, all the way to the Texas Hill Country. “The life of a chef is not so easy,” says Beaucamp, who is a single father and wanted to find a job that allowed him to spend more time with his son.

A veteran of such frenetic kitchens as Hotel Plaza Athénée in Paris and Bouchon Bistro Lyonnais in Los Angeles, Beaucamp longed for a less frenzied lifestyle. Equilibrium came when Lake Austin Spa Resort’s iconic chef, Terry Conlan, retired and the property sought someone to helm the award-winning destination spa’s restaurant and food program. Beaucamp leapt at the chance to fill Conlan’s well-worn cowboy boots and to take the menus in a new direction. “Austin was on my radar: the water, the landscape, it reminded me of France. It felt, in a sense, as if I were returning to my roots.” And the tranquil, reviving aura of the resort, nestled on the banks of Lake Austin, spoke to his need for a slower, restorative, life-affirming pace.

At a resort already known for its all-inclusive, three-gourmet-meals-a-day, Beaucamp understood the need for a diverse, fully loaded carte—the sort that embraced fresh, simple and healthy over diet and diluted. Bringing his classically trained instincts to the table, Beaucamp tweaked the already eco-friendly traditions set by Conlan to reinterpret the menu with a Mediterranean flair. Now you can find such options as Fried Nicoise Olives (50 calories), Garden Kale Caesar (120 calories) or Truffle and Goat Cheese Ravioli topped with pine nut pesto (270 calories). “This is the sort of simple, fresh food my mother prepared,” says Beaucamp.

Inspired by the setting, Beaucamp raves about the resort’s ample garden. “I simply step from the kitchen and pick what I need,” says Beaucamp, boasting that his kitchen utilizes most of the garden’s yield. Preferring a fixed menu that follows the seasons, Beaucamp also patronizes local farms and nearby artisan food producers.

While nourishing spa goers with fine food in a sanctuary-like setting defines him, Beaucamp particularly relishes his other role: resort cooking teacher. In a classroom overlooking the emerald-colored lake, he tutors guests in healthy cooking techniques and lifestyle choices. “To have the chance to make a difference—that is why I am here, that is what I love about this place,” he says.


Quinoa Salad with Fennel, Avocado and Grapefruit

Executive Chef Stephane Beaucamp at Lake Austin Spa Resort

Salad Ingredients:

1 cup quinoa

2 limes, zested

3 pink grapefruits, peeled and sliced, white membranes removed

2 avocados, peeled and sliced

• fennel bulb, cored and finely sliced with a mandolin

3 pink radishes, finely sliced with a mandolin

Crumbles of feta cheese (quantity to taste; about 4 to 5 tablespoons)

Chopped parsley

For the dressing:

• Sea salt and pepper

• Juice of 1 lime

• • teaspoon ginger, peeled and finely grated

• 6 tablespoons olive oil

• 3 tablespoons low-fat half and half


1. Rinse the quinoa and cook it with the lime zest, covered, in 2 cups salted water.

2. When water is absorbed, stop the heat and let rest for 5 minutes.

3. Fluff with a fork and transfer to a bowl to cool.

4. In a large bowl, combine grapefruit, avocado, fennel and radish slices, and toss gently.

5. Make the dressing by adding ingredients in the following order: salt, pepper, lime juice, ginger, olive oil.

6. Emulsify with a small whisk and finish with the low-fat half and half; keep aside.

7. Add the quinoa, feta (to taste) and parsley to the vegetables and fruit.

8. Toss gently with the dressing and serve.

8 servings


Sweet Potato & Carrot Pancakes

Executive Chef Stephane Beaucamp at Lake Austin Spa Resort


1 ounce hazelnuts

1 medium sweet potato, peeled

and diced

1 medium carrot, peeled and diced

Sea salt and pepper

2 large eggs, separated

3 tablespoons millet flour

3 tablespoons low-fat buttermilk

1 tablespoon chopped cilantro

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil


1. Toast hazelnuts in a frying pan over medium heat for four to five minutes.

2. When cool, chop coarsely and set aside.

3. Steam the potato and carrot dice until soft then puree.

4. Transfer the puree into a large bowl and season with sea salt and pepper.

5. Stir in egg yolks, millet flour, buttermilk and cilantro, and mix until ingredients are incorporated.

6. In a mixer, beat the egg whites with a pinch of sea salt until they form a soft peak.

7. Fold them into the vegetable mixture.

8. Cook batter in a frying pan, with olive oil, like you would cook pancakes, two to three minutes on each side.

9. Top pancake with chopped toasted hazelnuts and serve with a side of salad such as arugula or mache and a light citrus vinaigrette.

Makes six three-inch pancakes


Austin-based travel and lifestyle writer BECCA HENSLEY’s work appears regularly in National Geographic Traveler, Virtuoso Traveler, Austin Monthly and Washington Flyer.

Becca Hensley

Becca Hensley

Award winning travel writer Becca Hensley can’t resist the unexplored alley, that glass of champagne in an unknown bar or taking the train far beyond her planned stop. Travel Editor for Austin Monthly and San Antonio Magazine, her work appears in myriad magazines and newspapers including Washington Flyer, National Geographic Traveler, Toronto Star, Fodors, Dallas Morning News, Coastal Living, Smart Luxury Travel and more. Reared in Mexico, Europe and the US, she now resides in Austin.
Becca Hensley

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