About Chef Jean-Louis

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OVER THE PAST 35 YEARS, MY CUISINE HAS MATURED INTO A UNIQUE STYLE OF MODERN FRENCH THAT IS RICHLY-FLAVORED, AND COMPLEX YET LIGHT.

- Jean-Louis Gerin


BIO

James Beard Award-winning Chef Jean-Louis Gerin was born in the French Alps, in the Haute- Savoie town of Annecy.

His fondest childhood memories are of Sunday’s gathering when his father would cook and experiment in the kitchen. Jean-Louis’ grandfather, also an amateur cook, was well known for his gigantic family reunions of more than 150 Gerins assembled for the pure joy of sharing a meal together.

It was then that young Jean-Louis Gerin knew he would become a chef and continue the family tradition of cooking.

When his family moved to Talloires, the young aspiring cook met François Bise, the owner and chef of the Michelin three-star Auberge du Père Bise. Jean-Louis asked the great chef for a summer job. Within a few short weeks, Jean-Louis graduated to making the espresso and the vinaigrette, as well as arranging the petits fours and preparing the famous “berries and sherbet tray,” a signature course at Père Bise.

After he finished this preliminary education, Jean-Louis went to l’Ecole Hôtelière de Thonon Les Bains in 1973, where he received formal restaurant training and a degree in business. Following this fine education, Jean-Louis returned to Auberge du Père Bise to continue his apprenticeship. There he began all over again, peeling potatoes at the feet of the master chef.

As a budding cuisinier, Jean-Louis was fortunate to work at two three-star establishments in France: Père Bise and Oustau de Beaumanière. In 1978, he went to an exciting new restaurant in Paris, Barrière de Clichy, where he met Guy Savoy, who would become his mentor and lifelong friend. Two years later the duo opened RESTAURANT GUY SAVOY on the Rue Duret in Paris, where Jean-Louis became Savoy’s Chef de Cuisine.

The rest, as they say, is history: Guy Savoy ventured to the United States, and in 1983 opened a chic French restaurant in Greenwich, Connecticut. In 1984, Jean-Louis joined him, and by 1985, had agreed to purchase the restaurant, renaming it Restaurant JEAN-LOUIS.

In 1986 Jean-Louis married Linda Chardain, daughter of the well known restaurateur René Chardain, and the two have enjoyed steady growth in their restaurant business from the very beginning. Bryan Miller, former restaurant critic for the New York Times, was quick to recognize Restaurant JEAN-LOUIS as “a personal favorite’ when it first appeared: “Like all great chefs,” said Mr. Miller, “[Jean-Louis] recognizes that tastes and eating habits change…he has always been a step ahead of his customers” (On the Menu, New York Times, 1995). In 2011, the New York Times re-reviewed JEAN-LOUIS with another raving review.


TIMELINE

  • 1985: Restaurant JEAN-LOUIS opens in Greenwich, CT

  • 1991: Jean-Louis honored by his older peers with title of MAITRE CUISINIER DE FRANCE, recognizing his work and ability to train the upcoming generation of chefs.

  • 2001: Jean-Louis receives the medal of Chevalier du Mérite Agricole from the French Government, honoring him for his work in promoting French Culinary Arts in the United States.

  • 2005: Complete transformation of the dining room marked the beginning of the next 20 years of RESTAURANT JEAN-LOUIS, and the opening of JLToGo catering by JEAN-LOUIS, a full-service event planning and catering company.

  • 2006: After 13 nominations, Jean-Louis is awarded Best Chef, Northeast by the James Beard Foundation.

  • 2011: Jean-Louis receives the medal of Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres.

  • 2012: Jean-Louis becomes Champion of the Food-Network CHOPPED challenge.

  • 2013: Jean-Louis becomes Vice President of Culinary Operations and Executive Chef at the New England Culinary Institute.

  • 2018: Jean-Louis opens his private practice and culinary consultancy.

 

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AWARDS & RECOGNITION


JAMES BEARD FOUNDATION AWARDS

***Winner***, Best Chef Northeast (2006)

Nominee, Best Chef Northeast (1993-2006)


FOOD NETWORK – CHOPPED

Chef Jean-Louis Gerin winner – 2012 Chopped Champion (May 28 2012)

FRENCH GOVERNMENT

Medal of “Chevalier du Mérite Agricole” presented to Chef Jean-Louis in recognition for his work in promoting the French Culinary Arts in USA (2001)

Medal of “Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres” (2011)


2010 LA TOQUE D’ARGENT des MAITRES CUISINIERS DE FRANCE

The Silver Toque from The Master Chefs of France

La Toque d’Argent was created by Mr. Andre Surmain and was presented for the first time to our great friend chef Andre Soltner from Lutece (NYC) in 1967. Since then La Toque d’Argent has traveled throughout the United States. Each year the Maitre Cuisiniers de France vote to elect the Chef of the year. This lifetime achievement celebrates a chef’s dedication to his work, his art, his involvement in his community, his charity work and his leadership in cooking education.

WINE SPECTATOR

“Best” Award of Excellence (1989 to 2012)

Best Restaurants for Wine Lovers (2007 to 2012)

ZAGAT – “Best deal in CT” 2012/13 –

28 / 30 for Food (2012/13)

One of the Best of CT (2005 – 2012/13)

Top in Food & Service (2005 – 2012/13)

America’s Top Restaurants (2005 – 2012/13)

#1 rated for food and popularity (2003 -2012/13)

“La Grenouille of Greenwich” (2011)

Most popular in CT (2002 – 2012/13)

America’s Top Restaurants (2001 – 2011)

27/30 for Food (2000)

“Lutèce in Greenwich” (2000)

FORBES TRAVELER

Top Ten Most Romantic Restaurants in the U.S. (2011)

GREENWICH MAGAZINE

Best French Restaurant (2012)

FODOR’S

Fodor’s Choice (2011)


GAYOT

Gayot Favorite – Sophie Gayot (2010)


36th ANNUAL BEST OF BOSTON

Best New England Restaurant (2011)


GOOGLE

Favorite Places (2012)


YOUTUBE

YouTube Favorite – Jean-Louis Gerin (2011)


MOBIL TRAVEL GUIDE

Four stars (maximum for independent restaurants)


DISTINGUISHED RESTAURANTS OF NORTH AMERICA (DiRoNA)

One of the most significant restaurants in CT (2006)

Award of Excellence (1993-2011)


AMERICAN ACADEMY OF HOSPITALITY SCIENCES

Five Diamonds Award for excellence in fine dining


NATION’S RESTAURANT NEWS

Fine Dining Hall of Fame (2003)


GREENWICH CHAMBER OF COMMERCE

“Best Small Business” Award (2003)


INTERNATIONAL RESTAURANT & HOSPITALITY

Platinum Wine Award (2002)

International Award of Excellence (2011)


FAIRFIELD MAGAZINE

Best Restaurant in Connecticut (2001)


BEST OF FAIRFIELD COUNTY

Best Chef (2000)

“We love the audacity Gerin displays at every turn, audacity born not so much out of showmanship but out of passion and confidence…He and wife Linda have a love affair with their restaurant, their customers and each other.”


ESQUIRE MAGAZINE

Best New Restaurant in America (1986)

All-Star Chef (1989)

CONNECTICUT RESTAURANT ASSOCIATION

Restaurateur of the Year (1996)

 

MEMBERSHIP & AFFILIATIONS


L’Academie Culinaire de France:
President (elected July 2010)

Maitres Cuisiniers de France: Member since 1993

Bocuse D’Or Academy: Member

Alliance Française: Member, Board of Directors

Chevaliers du Tastevin: Commandeur

Chaine des Rôtisseurs: Member since 1985

SOS (Share Our Strength)

A charity organization focused on eradicating hunger in America, SOS was founded in 1989 and has chapters all over the country. Local committees host annual fund-raisers called Taste of the Nation, and for the last 11 years Chef Jean-Louis was chairman for the Fairfield County (Greenwich/Stamford) event. He helped to gather together and organize restaurants, wine purveyors and party planners, and became a regional leader, giving his time, connections and energy to this very charitable cause.

An ever-evolving, very personalized French cooking. You can bank on Jean-Louis to be cooking or overseeing everything that comes out of his minuscule kitchen…simply relaxing and smart.
— JOHN MARIANI
 

REVIEWS

 Post Low-Fat, Greenwich’s Jean-Louis is Sublime

John Mariani (Bloomberg)

“Urban sophistication without a scintilla of pretension.”

Upscale and Down to Earth

Judith Hausman (Journal News)

“Don’t fight the tasting menu, it’s the best of the best. Recommended for small groups of business people and couples.”

Mariani’s Virtual Gourmet

John Mariani

“An ever evolving, very personalized French cooking…You can bank on Jean-Louis to be cooking or overseeing everything that comes out of his minuscule kitchen…simply relaxing and smart…prices Jean-Louis hasn’t changed in a decade…”

Travel Guide to New England

(Yankee Magazine)

“Editors’ Pick”…“A “must-see” for travelers.”

Neighborhood Favorites

(Elite Dining, San Diego California, 2003)

“This award is given to restaurants that are favorites of the local community. Your broad menu, warm atmosphere and gracious staff have made your restaurant a town institution.”

Phantom Gourmet

(www.phantomgourmet.com)

“Jean-Louis” is one of Phantom’s “GREAT ATE” for fine dining

Wine Spectator

John Mariani (December 2001)

Great article on our wine cellar and cuisine. John Mariani who was among the first to “discover” us in the early 80s and talk at large about our wine cellar and buying philosophy.

The Chefs Guide to America’s Best Restaurants

(2002)

Where do Chefs dine when in Greenwich? Which restaurant Chefs do recommend? Only one restaurant listed: RESTAURANT JEAN-LOUIS

A Masterpiece

Julie Wilson (Connecticut Magazine, August 2001)

The entire article about chef Jean-Louis’ philosophy, the restaurant history and the “Linda-Jean Louis team” is beautifully written.

On the Menu

John Mariani (Women.com)

“As refined as any French restaurant in Manhattan without a whit of pretense.”

Dining Guide

(Connecticut Magazine, December 1999)

**** Four Stars. “Gerin has kept his restaurant small and intimate, while at the same time proffering a cuisine as complex, varied and impressive as what you might find at a gastronomic palace with an army of chefs tolling away in a vast kitchen.”

Cupid Cuisine

John Mariani (Robb Report, February 2000)

“The details of hospitality, starting with well-set tables in an intimate dining room, make this one one of the most pleasurable dining experiences in America.”

Flawless French in Greenwich

Patricia Brooks (New York Times, 1985)

*** Awarded three stars

Greenwich Times

Four stars, extraordinary (maximum)

Connecticut Magazine

Four stars, extraordinary (maximum)

See links to more articles about Restaurant JEAN-LOUIS at Dining in France


MEDIA APPEARANCES

Chef Jean-Louis was the 2012 CHOPPED Champion on the Food Network

Chef Jean-Louis was the 2012 CHOPPED Champion on the Food Network

 

In addition to writing for newspapers and magazines, Chef Jean-Louis has made numerous appearances on television. He is also very active in his local community activities, including the Greenwich Healthy Living Task Force.

“In the Kitchen”

WGCH Radio

Co-host of weekly radio show with Stephanie Crane

BARIMA RIVER Hearts of Palm

Spokesperson

This all-natural foods product is harvested in Guyana.

The Greenwich Polo Grounds

Judge, Picnic Tailgate

Greenwich Concours d’Elegance

Since this event was created in 1997, Jean-Louis has been invited by the board to decorate a car in the tailgate for this prestigious event, celebrating fast tracks and the good life.

James Beard Foundation, New York

Jean-Louis has cooked at the James Beard House six times.

Macy’s & Bloomingdale’s

Cooking demonstrations for Cuisinart, Black & Decker and Calphalon

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