About Chef Jean-Louis
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
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.
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.