Meet Our Team

A Legacy of Excellence

Culinary Institute LeNôtre provides you with expert instruction from world-class chefs and industry professionals in our state-of-the-art labs, kitchens, and restaurant.

All of our chefs have French or international accreditations and accomplishments, and each brings a wealth of knowledge, talent, and real-world experience in their specialty fields.

Just as importantly, the Culinary Institute LeNôtre has the lowest instructor-to-student ratio of any culinary program in the state, so your training is both personal and hands-on, helping you learn more quickly. As a CIL graduate, you will receive lifetime Career Assistance. This is why our placement rate is one of the highest among culinary schools in the country.

WELCOME OUR NEW CHEF

OLIVIER BURGOS

Culinary Chef-Instructor
Department Chair

Our Chefs


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Sebastien Bonnet Headshot

Chef Sébastien Bonnet

Culinary Arts Chef-Instructor
Head of the Baking & Pastry Department

Certified Executive Pastry Chef

Education: Advanced Diploma in Culinary Arts and Pastry from Westminster College, London, United Kingdom, 2002

Citizenship: French

Chef Sébastien Bonnet has 30 years of industry experience in France, United Kingdom, Spain and Mexico. He served as a pastry chef at Sheraton Park Tower Hotel in London and he was the owner of La Casilla Restaurant in Paris. He worked as a chef-instructor at La Escuela Culinaria Internacional and the Instituto Culinario de Mexico. He joined Culinary Institute LeNôtre in 2007.

Why did you become a chef?

My family opened a restaurant. My step-father taught me how to cook. Then I did some internships in Spain. I was also interested in Arts History and tourism but I eventually ended up in the Culinary Filed.

What do you enjoy the most about your job?

Being a chef-instructor is an extremely diverse job; you never get bored as the menu changes every day. As a chef, I liked the rush in the kitchen and the adrenaline from the pressure.

Your favorite dish/cuisine/flavor?

Thaï cuisine is my guilty pleasure.

 

Francis Grosse Headshot with a black background

Chef Francis Grosse

Head of the Baking & Pastry Department
Baking & Pastry Chef-Instructor

Education: French Master Pastry Chef Diploma, Nancy, France, 1992

Professional Apprentice Certificate in Pastry, Nancy, France, 1990

Citizenship: French

Head of Baking & Pastry, Chef Francis Grosse has 22 years of experience in France. He worked for various companies such as Leclerc, Casino, Systeme U, as a baking & pastry manager as well as an instructor. Chef Francis owned a bakery and pastry shop. In 2015, he received the ‘Pastry Chef of the Year’ award by the Houston Chapter from American Culinary Federation. Chef Francis joined the CIL team in 2012.

Why did you become a pastry chef?

I have loved cooking since I was 6 years old. Every time my mother used to cook I would really enjoy watching her. At the end of middle school, I decided to take the certificate of apprenticeship.

What do you enjoy the most about your job?

In addition to my passion for cooking, what interests me is the commercial side. I like doing business, creating partnerships with baking equipment solutions and above all promoting Pastry and Culinary Arts Education outside of the school!

Your favorite dish/cuisine/flavor?

I enjoy processing chocolate!

 

Cedric Gavoille Headshot

Chef Cédric Gavoille

Culinary Arts Chef-Instructor

Education: Professional Apprentice Certificate in Culinary Arts, Trégunc, France, 2000

Citizenship: French

With a cumulative 22 years of experience, Chef Cédric Gavoille has served in internationally acclaimed and Michelin starred restaurants including the 3 starred The Fat Duck, and 2 starred, Joel Robuchon in Hong Kong and Monaco as a Chef de Cuisine for 4 years. Chef Cédric also worked at La Réserve de Beaulieu, Le Moulin De Rosmadec and the 1 starred La Taupinière. In addition to his Michelin starred experience, Chef Cédric has also served as executive chef for a High Profile Russian family. Chef Cédric joined the CIL team in 2014.

Why did you become a chef?

I have always had a passion for cooking. When I was 14, I began to work in restaurants and I went further in that direction.

What do you enjoy the most about your job?

One of the greatest things about teaching is seeing my students succeed. Help them achieve or even surpass their dreams is the ultimate in job satisfaction.

Your favorite dish/cuisine/flavor?

Tajine is my little weakness!

 

Jacques Lolliot Headshot with a black background

Chef Jacques Lolliot

Baking & Pastry Chef-Instructor

Education: Hotel Management Degree, Saumur, France, 1970Professional Apprentice Certificate in Baking and Pastry, Saumur, France, 1965

Citizenship: French

Chef Jacques Lolliot has 30 years of worldwide experience being an Executive Chef including the United States, Indonesia, South Korea, Europe and French Polynesia. Chef Jacques worked at the Omni Houston Hotel, Sofitel Hotel in Miami, Houston, Jakarta, Lombok and Bora Bora as well as at the Le Meridien in Martinique and Guadeloupe. Chef Jacques was instrumental in the success of the openings of several world class hotels and restaurants such as the Kuru Hotel in Guyana and the Sofitel in Jakarta. Chef Jacques Lolliot joined the CIL team in 2014.

Why did you become a pastry chef?

It has always been a passion and I always wanted to share it.

What do you enjoy the most about your job?

I worked for Sofitel over 20 years and during that time moved locations every 3 years; this is very challenging. I had to create new menus, adapt myself to new products, new flavors and new cultures.

As a chef-instructor, I love passing down my knowledge and experience. French food is an important cultural legacy and I love to introduce the students to its subtleties.

Your favorite dish/cuisine/flavor?

I enjoy Asian cuisine as well as molecular gastronomy.

 

Beniot Coquand Headshot

Chef Benoit Coquand

Culinary Arts Chef-Instructor

Education: Professional Apprentice Certificate in Culinary Arts, Grenoble, France, 1991

Citizenship: French

Chef Benoit Coquand gained experience in France before moving to the Island of Bora Bora, where he became sous-chef a the 4-star Le Méridien and later on became the owner and executive chef of the Aloe. He Joined the CIL team in July 2014.

Why did you become a chef?

As a child, I used to help my aunt in a restaurant. My family had a strong impact on my decision to becoming a chef.

What do you enjoy as a chef?

I really enjoy cooking for people during their vacation. Being a chef is a demanding job but it can also unite a team. This job also offers strong opportunities. It allows me to travel a lot.

As a chef-instructor, I like introducing the students to what I have learned and what I love doing. It is enriching both at a personal and professional level. It teaches patience and listening.

Your favorite dish/cuisine/flavor?

I like cooking French Terroir Cuisine.

 

Dominique Bocquier Headshot with black background

Chef Dominique Bocquier

Baking & Pastry Chef-Instructor

Education: Knight of “Compagnon Patissier du Tour de France,” the famous French Artisan Guild

Citizenship: Dual French /American (July 2010)

Chef Dominique Bocquier has over 26 years of Baking & Pastry Experience working in France,Scotland, The UK, and the US. In France, he worked as a Pastry Chef at the Michelin-Starred Restaurant La Grande Cascade alongside highly distinguished Chef Jean-Louis Nomicos and also worked with Chef Pierre Hermé at Fauchon’s in Paris. After over 10 years of pastry chef consulting and instructing, Chef Dominique opened Au Petit Paris Restaurant in Houston, TX, as Chef-Owner.
Chef Dominique is an Inducted Knight of the famous French Artisan Guild “Compagnons du tour de France ” and has won numerous national Pastry competitions. In 2016, Chef Dominique joined the LeNôtre team.

Why did you become a pastry chef?

It just happened! I’ve loved helping my mother baking and cooking in my parents bed & breakfast since I was nine years old.

What do you enjoy the most about your job?

It allows me to be creative and think outside the box! I love Traveling, meeting new people and learning about different cultures and new flavors, It’s a lot of fun!

I love to share and make people happy around me, It’s one of the reason I love to teach others. I also like competition!

Your favorite dish/cuisine/flavor?

I teach myself to taste everything, whether I like it or not. But it’s all about how you prepare them!!!

In the end, I like pretty much anything, but it’s been said I love coconut and Almond flavors. My favorite ice cream beside coconut has to be goat cheese and truffle.

 

Jean Moysan Headshot

Chef Jean Moysan

Culinary Arts Chef-Instructor

Education: Professional Apprentice Certificate in Culinary Arts, Dijon, France, 1965

Citizenship: French

Chef Jean Moysan held positions as executive chef in top notch hotels and restaurants around the world including Hyatt Regency in Houston and Denver, David William Hotel in Coral Gables and Le Parisian Restaurant in Miami Beach. Chef Jean was also a saucier Chef at the renowned 2 Michelin starred Restaurant du Signal in Switzerland, Second Chef at the 2 starred Le Cerf Volant Restaurant in France, Second Chef at the 2 starred La Rotonde Restaurant in France, as well as Apprentice Chef at the 2 starred Relais de Château restaurant L’Esprit in France. Chef Jean was awarded the Executive Chef of the Year by the Colorado Hotel and Lodging Association in 1995. Chef Jean helped Alain and Marie LeNôtre open the school in 1998 and then came back in 2011.

Why did you become a chef?

All my family works in the food industry. My dad was in catering and my cousin worked in Relais & Châteaux. I helped Mr. and Mrs. LeNôtre open the school in 1998. We only started with 7 students. Look at where we are now!

What do you enjoy the most about your job?

I really enjoy the creativity; I like looking for new flavors and combine products differently. You never get bored with this job!

Your favorite dish/cuisine/flavor?

Seafood, coq au vin and boeuf bourguignon are my absolute favorite ones.

 

Christelle Pradat Headshot with a black background

Chef Christelle Pradat

Baking & Pastry Chef-Instructor

Education: Vocational High School Diploma in Bakery, Dardilly, France, 1998

Mention Complémentaire diploma in Bakery, Dardilly, France, 1997

Professional Apprentice Certificate in Baking and Pastry, Dardilly, France, 1996

Diploma in Health and Social Care, Oullins, France, 1994

Citizenship: French

Chef Christelle Pradat worked for various bakeries such as Le Fournil des Saveurs and as a chef-instructor at Lycée Hôtellier François Rabelais. She was also a manager in food retail companies such as System U. Her specialty is in bread, chocolate and sugar showpieces. Chef Christelle Pradat won 1st place in Martin Food Show Competition in 2015. She finished second at the “Best Baking Apprentice in France” competition in 1996 and seventh at the Baking France Competition in 1998. She joined Culinary Institute LeNôtre in 2013.

Why did you become a pastry chef?

I began my career in my uncle’s bakery at the age of 12. This is where I worked every weekend and all of my vacation until I was 18 and developed my passion for baking. I then decided I wanted to share my knowledge and techniques through teaching.

What do you enjoy the most about your job?

I like starting from scratch to a finished product. I love working the material. As a chef instructor, I like passing the passion on to students and watch their curiosity catch fire.

Your favorite dish/cuisine/flavor?

Baking is my true calling.

 

Francis Fauquenot Headshot

Chef Francis Fauquenot

Culinary Arts Chef-Instructor

Certified Executive Chef

Education: Professional Apprentice Certificate in Culinary Arts, Epinal, France, 1990

Citizenship: French

Native of the East of France, Chef Francis Fauquenot has 20 years of experience as an executive chef in Hotel Resorts, Restaurants, Culinary school, Private Homes and aboard Yachts, in the United States, France and French West Indies. He served at the 4 starred Manapany Hotel in Saint Barthelemy, Ship’s Inn restaurant in Nantucket, Bistro Les Amis in New York City, and the 3 starred Tom Beach Hotel in Saint Barthelemy. He also worked for the Bush family as a private chef. He has been a certified executive chef since 2005. He joined the CIL team in 2015.

Why did you become a chef?

Raised in a family of chefs, I have been used to eating flavorful food. This contributed to wanting to expand my palate.

What do you enjoy the most about your job?

I am glad to see my former students, now business owners or executive chefs in restaurants or hotels. I like helping them prepare for the future by giving them some advice, help shape a dream, provide redirection, and give knowledge and wisdom.

Your favorite dish/cuisine/flavor?

I like exotic flavors combined with traditional cuisine.

 

Chef Olivier Burgos

Culinary Arts Chef-Instructor

Education: CAP, BEP cuisine Lycée Escoffier 1993 Eragny – Baccalaureat Professionel Lycée Escoffier 1995 Eragny – Diplôme ESCF (Ecole Supérieure de Cuisine Française) – FERRANDI 1997 Paris – Diplome CREA (Sous-vide cooking) 2013 Paris

Citizenship: French / Australian

Chef Olivier Burgos has over 20 years of experience in establishments that include world-class hotels and several upscale restaurants. He worked for more than 10 years in Australia in Michelin-starred restaurants and recently joined the CIL team in 2017. 

Why did you become a chef?

I’ve always loved to eat, always wanted to try different cuisines and always wanted to understand how things are done.  The first time I stepped into a commercial kitchen I was 14 and seeing the copper pots hanging, hearing the noise, smelling the aromas, feeling the tension and the rush…I knew I was at home.

What do you enjoy the most about your job?

Although challenging from time to time, being a chef is extremely rewarding. Opportunities of travelling, discovering different culture, different cuisine. Meeting some great people, both chefs or customers. Constantly learning new techniques, new recipes, new traditions and a lot of life’s lessons.

Cooking is never dull and that keep life very interesting, always…

Your favorite dish/cuisine/flavor?

I love eating, I love food, all food. But I would have a little weakness for my mum stuffed Tomatoes and her, regularly overcooked, apple tart. 

 

 

Pascal Lucas Headshot

Chef Pascal Lucas

Culinary Arts Chef-Instructor

Education: Professional Apprentice Certificate in Culinary Arts, Wattignies, France, 1987

Citizenship: French

Chef Pascal Lucas has 25 years of culinary experience in the United Kingdom and in France. Chef Pascal held positions as executive chef at the Brasserie Gerard in London, the French Embassy in London, the Dupont Restauration in France, and for the Sodexo Company in France. He joined the CIL team in 2011.

Why did you become a chef?

If you want to become a chef, you have to be passionate. That is my case. I wanted to pursue my passion and my creativity every day.

What do you enjoy the most about your job?

This job is very challenging: every 10 weeks, we have to train new students.

I always seeing someone’s face while trying a dish I prepared. It’s always fun to try to guess what they think before they say anything.

Your favorite dish/cuisine/flavor?

Cuisine du terroir such as Carbonade flamande, cassoulet and duck leg confit are my guilty pleasures.

 

Philippe Harel Headshot with a black background

Chef Philippe Harel

Baking & Pastry Chef-Instructor

Education: Pastry Diploma at L’Ecole de cuisine LeNôtre, Paris, France, 1982

Citizenship: French

After years of working in France, Chef Philippe Harel moved to the United States to become a Pastry Chef for a French Bakery in Washington D.C. After this successful experience, opportunities brought him to Houston where he opened the restaurant Salé-Sucré in the Heights. He joined the CIL team in 2015.

Why did you become a pastry chef?

At the age of 14 I gave up my dreams of being a professional soccer player to work in a friend’s pastry shop. It was love at first sight. I attended the LeNôtre cooking school in Paris, where I graduated in Baking, Pastry, Chocolate and ice-cream.

What do you enjoy the most about your job?

They aren’t two similar days when you are teaching Culinary Arts. Seeing excitement in students when they learn something new makes your time worthwhile every day.

Your favorite dish/cuisine/flavor?

Lamb tagine is my guilty pleasure.

 

Jean Michel Besnard Headshot

Chef Jean Michel Besnard

Baking & Pastry Chef-Instructor

 Education: Professional Apprentice Certificate in Bakery and Pastry, Moulin of Paris, France.
Citizenship: French

Chef Jean-Michel is a native of France and is a proven expert in the bakery industry. He has over 30 years of experience creating innovative products and processes for businesses all over the world. Before his 22 years as corporate Head Baker at La Madeleine in Texas, Chef Jean-Michel worked as Head Baker in the Canary Islands, France, and Germany. His extensive experience as an international consultant baker gives him a strong sense of leadership. Chef Jean-Michel Joined the CIL Chef Team in 2017!

Why did you become a chef?

Nobody in my family is a chef. I discovered I was passionate about baking when I was a kid. During summer I used to spend time with my grandmother preparing cookies!

What do you enjoy the most about your job?

I love people, and especially the people it’s hard to work with. My job is to make them become passionate of course but it is also giving them the tools to be successful at what they do!

Your favorite dish/cuisine/flavor?

My favorite dish is Tete de veau, sauce Gribiche!