Rising Star Chef Wesley Holton of Jacques' Tacos - Biography

Detroit , MI

February 2011

Wesley Holton first culinary pursuits were domestic: he started cooking for his family to help his mother. What started as an altruistic effort to pitch in around the house developed into a passion and eventually—with or without his say-so—a career. Watching her son’s culinary curiosity and talent increase, Holton’s mom decided to give him a surprise gift and enrolled him in the Schoolcraft College in Michigan. Despite his initial hesitation, Holton lapped up the training and hasn’t looked back since.

Starting out in a local country club set the stage for Holton’s interest in the finer side of the restaurant business; soon thereafter Holton packed his bags and made the move to the Big Apple to prove his mettle. In 2002, Holton scored a line cook position at Daniel Boulud’s DB Bistro Moderne. Over the course of the next three years, Holton worked his way up the line at Daniel eventually becoming a sous chef. It was at Daniel that the Holton-family-cook-cum-Daniel-Boulud-protégé honed his skills, from technique to kitchen and stress management. In 2006, the ever-expanding Boulud empire gave Holton the opportunity to move south to Palm Beach, Florida to help open Café Boulud as first sous chef.

After a successful start with Café Boulud and five years of Boulud training under his belt, Holton was named executive chef of Daniel Boulud Brasserie in Vegas. Holton’s modern American twists on French classics, not to mention his deft technique, eye for beautiful presentation, and bold but balanced use of flavors, brought all the elements of a French brasserie in Las Vegas together to make sense—and they earned him a 2008 StarChefs.com Rising Star Award.

After Daniel Boulud Brasserie closed in 2010, Holton returned to his native Michigan, where he opened Jacque's Tacos. And from his Detroit food truck, the former Michelin star Holton cooks some of the best tacos in town.