Rising Star Pastry Chef Sébastien Rouxel of Thomas Keller Restaurant Group - Biography

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November 2011

Growing up in the Loire Valley of France, 2005 New York Rising Star Pastry Chef Sébastien Rouxel began his culinary education in his aunt's restaurant. At 16, he became a "pre-apprentice" at Les Jardins de la Forge in Champtoceaux, where he began his training as a chef. While receiving instruction in pastry, Rouxel realized that pâtisserie was his true passion.

He obtained an internship at Le Peché Mignon in Nantes, where he experienced two years of intensive training in pastry, eventually earning his Mastery Diploma. At the age of 20, Rouxel entered military service, a requirement under French law, and was appointed pastry chef at the Mess de L'Elysée, the house of the President of France. After fulfilling his service, he became pastry chef at the Restaurant Le Grand Véfour, a Michelin two-star in Paris. In 1996, Rouxel spent a year at L'Orangerie Restaurant in Los Angeles. In 1999, he left Lutéce to join Thomas Keller in Yountville. Aside from The French Laundry, Rouxel has also worked for Keller's Bouchon Bakery that opened in 2003, where he helped train the staff and develop the pastry menu, and Per Se, where he was the opening pastry chef and combined his classical training in pâtisserie with an experimental spirit. He is currently the Executive Pastry Chef for the Thomas Keller Group.