Pastry Chef Brett Gauthier of Ralph Brennan Group - Biography

New Orleans, LA

April 2012

You could say Brett Gauthier is a long way from where his restaurant career started. Like many of his culinary compatriots, Gauthier—whose CV includes a tenure at prestigious Relais & Châteaux Inn at Little Washington—started his journey far from the high ranks of the high profile. Sure, he might be the pastry chef whom renowned New Orleans restaurateur Ralph Brennan entrusts with his desserts. But like so many (and so many of the best), Gauthier got his start washing dishes.

Happy in the kitchen, if not sold on dishwashing as a career, Gauthier followed a path from his high school's culinary arts program to Johnson & Wales. After graduation, Gauthier honed his craft everywhere from the Four Seasons and Fairmont Hotels in San Francisco to a private yacht catering enterprise and his most recent post, alongside Chef Patrick O'Connell at The Inn at Little Washington. But even with all this experience under his belt, Gauthier is dedicated and disciplined in the kitchen, bringing a humility to his craft that was born in his dishwashing days.

San Francisco and DC might be illustrious culinary cities. But Gauthier has personal ties to Mississippi, and the South is where Gauthier is most comfortable. So as pastry chef for the Ralph Brennan Restaurant Group, Gauthier stays true to sources in his New Orleans backyard, incorporating Louisiana ingredients and culture into his desserts, all while marrying each dessert to a chef's particular style from restaurant to restaurant. His signature Sweet Potato Soufflé with Pecan Ice Cream, was inspired by two favorite New Orleans pies, created with the understanding of a non-native, but a Southerner at heart.