Le Caprice, is located behind the Ritz Hotel in St James’s London. It has become a world renowned restaurant in London since its memorable relaunch in 1981. Le Caprice celebrated its 35th anniversary last year, under the skilful leadership of its famed director, Jesus Adorno, with his international following of loyal clients. He is a fellow Bolivian, and the most charming, cordial gentleman. He has undoubtedly made Le Caprice the celebrated institution it is today.
I spent a delightful afternoon in his company discussing life in Bolivia, where both of us grew up eating copious amounts of Quinoa! Quinoa has been an important staple diet in Andean cultures where the plant is indigenous. The Inca, held the crop to be sacred, it is now a super food the world over. Le Caprice serves it with kale, squash, toasted brown linseeds, pomegranate and labneh, absolutely delicious.
Jesus arrived as a student in England from his native Bolivia in 1972 and began working in some of London's well known restaurants before joining Le Caprice in 1981.
Q: Jesus, Everyone knows you as the face of Le Caprice and loves you for it, what’s your secret?
A: The secret is the longevity of Le Caprice. We know so many of our customers, our regulars. For me it’s about welcoming people throughout the years, whether they come once, several times, once a week, two\three times a week. My secret is wanting our customers to feel and have the same welcome they had the first time they came to Le Caprice. A ‘Home From Home’ as they say.
Q: Your ability to make people feel so welcome and special is well known. People who come to Le Caprice frequently tell me, Jesus always greets and welcomes us so warmly. What do you attribute that to? your background? the person you are?
A: A lot of it is my background, my mother is a wonderful person, who always told me since I was a child to be nice to everyone, because that's what life is all about, so I enjoy greeting and meeting my customers, my friends; they are part of my life.
Q: Le Caprice is such an institution, and you are part of it, what would like your legacy to be, how would you like to be remembered?
A: I would like to leave behind a legacy of how I treat customers, to know years down the line, that my young colleagues at Le Caprice are still looking after customers the way I do, the way we all do. That is so important to me. To feel my personality, my shadow remains with my young colleagues, that they have learned about what I am, what they need to understand about service, and give every person that comes through Le Caprice doors, the same love and attention I have given for 35 years.
Q: Your weekend brunch menu looks great, tell me more about it.
A: Thats my new baby! Its been a dream of mine since Le Caprice in New York opened about 5 years ago, where weekend brunch there is very special to New Yorkers. It’s been a dream with lots of thinking and planning of what we can do. Since day one at Le Caprice London, we have been thought of as a New York restaurant, with our long American Bar, beautiful Art Deco style, and to have a brunch menu with new dishes, and a Bolivian touch, the Quinoa, which is so important to me: to show our new younger customers that we are also adapting to what London needs and wants now. The new weekend brunch will be very popular and it’s here to stay!
A delicious lunch and wonderful interview with my compatriot, the legendary Jesus Adorno.
For reservations and more information about Le Caprice, go the website: le-caprice.co.uk