Chef Marius Blin of Estérel - Biography

Los Angeles, CA

July 2014

Because of a childhood spent in the small town of Vire, seated in the Calvados region of Normandy, France, Marius Blin’s culinary zeal is rooted in the food-focused traditions of his large family. Peeling potatoes and tasting dishes alongside his paternal grandmother didn’t immediately translate into a culinary career, though, and Blin first tried his hand in his parents’ photography store and then at a landscaping company. When he found that he lacked a green thumb, Blin undertook an apprenticeship at a local restaurant, La Butte aux Cerfs. He was taken with the challenge and creativity of the work, and soon enrolled at culinary and hotel management school to kick-start his career.

After completing his studies, Blin moved to Paris, spending time in the kitchens of Michelin-starred Le Divellec and Guy Savoy, catering to the stars at Colisee 31, and eventually cooking for two French presidents during a year as the presidential chef.  On the recommendation of a colleague from Guy Savoy, Blin next traveled to Texas for a seven-month summer season as the chef of a private country club and resort. He returned to Europe that winter to cook in the French Alps, and then continued on to London, where his low expectations of British cuisine were upended during a year at the Knightsbridge Hotel. When the dreary weather was too much, Blin made a move to the States permanently, joining the Sofitel team in Houston and then in Los Angeles. With the exception of a year and a half spent at the Beverly Wilshire on Rodeo Drive, Blin has called the Sofitel L.A. home since 2002. He has seen the hotel through an $84 million renovation and helped to launch the restaurant Estérel, where he mingles French techniques with SoCal sensibilities, creating seasonal, flavorful, and health-conscious fare