“Over the past 20 years, my cuisine has matured into a unique style of Modern French. This richly flavored cuisine is complex yet light, and the cooking method uses elaborate techniques and the latest technologies with a constant respect for my classical training.”
Chef Jean-Louis Gerin was born in 1957 in the French Alps, in the Haute- Savoie town of Annecy. As the oldest or four children, he took family responsibilities very seriously, and was always eager to lend a hand , especially in the kitchen.
His fondest childhood memories are of Sunday’s gathering when his father (an amateur Chef who claimed HE was the real chef of the family) 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, and at the ripe old age of thirteen was given the duty of drying the Baccarat glassware. 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. Today, Linda and Jean-Louis never miss an occasion to revisit the Auberge (and neither should you).
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 in charge of purchasing and staff.
The “New” RESTAURANT GUY SAVOY is located on Rue Troyon and is Linda & Jean-Louis favorite Parisian Restaurant. (It also garnered its third Michelin star in 2004.)
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 1991 Jean-Louis was honored by his older peers in receiving the title of MAITRE CUISINIER DE FRANCE, recognizing his work and ability to train the upcoming generation of chefs.
In January 2001 Jean-Louis received 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.
In May 2005 a complete transformation of the dining room marked the beginning of the next 20 years of JEAN-LOUIS, and the opening of JLToGo catering by JEAN-LOUIS, a full-service event planning and catering company.
In May 2006, after thirteen nominations, Jean-Louis was awarded the esteemed title of Best Chef, Northeast by the James Beard Foundation, recognizing his achievement, talent and creativity in the world of cuisine.