Mathieu Viannay, born in Versailles in 1967, began his cooking career in 1998 at Les Oliviers before being named Meilleur Ouvrier de France (MOF) in 2004. This title is bestowed upon the best of French chefs, and Viannay bested 199 others for the honor.

That year, he opened his first restaurant, named for himself, and earned his first Michelin star in 2005. Then, he set his sights on La Mere Brazier, a darling of Lyon’s gastronomic scene.

La Mere Brazier, which originally opened in 1921, was an iconic French restaurant where the first woman to be awarded three Michelin stars twice paved the way for future chefs. Viannay purchased the restaurant in 2008, restoring it to its heyday, and reopened it to bring back Michelin-star quality cuisine — he’s received two stars for his dishes here.