Joined :9/30/2011 | Video Recipes: 0 | Follow Chef
Atlantic Beach, FL United States

A graduate of The American Culinary Institute, Chef French has seen experience in almost every possible culinary venue. Beginning his culinary career with Princeton’s Restaurants, who have units in Alabama and Tennessee; the profession seems to have had an instant appeal to him. Chef French’s organizational skills were noticed by several large hotel chains and he became an Executive Chef in a major company’s flag-ship hotel where he found hard-work and dedication always equaled success. “I was young and if I could not solve a problem, I would just work harder than anyone else until eventually a solution presented itself.”

Chef French’s early success brought him to Dallas, Texas to open his own series of businesses including ‘The Pacific Club’, ‘Call the Chef Catering Company’, The Wharf at Bayview Marina’ and ‘Chef’s Bakery’.“I seriously thought that owning and operating my own shop would be the ultimate goal for my life. Man was I wrong.” The Pacific Club opened in downtown Dallas to good reviews. The business was primarily designed to cater to those looking for banquet and wedding reception services. Soon after opening, the demand for a lunch trade was so great that Chef French could not pass up the opportunity. The restaurant was located on the top floor of an office building in the center of downtown and featured a spectacular panoramic view of the city. Success followed quickly and the first full years of sales were in excess of 7 million dollars.“I had to adapt from chef to accountant, human resource manager and wedding coordinator. Needless to say, I was challenged.”

In 2001, Chef French opened ‘Call the Chef Catering Company’ that found a niche in the marketplace catering primarily to upscale apartment communities providing resident services. Immediately successful, CTC’s sales climbed each year to all-time high of just under a million dollars a year in 2005.

2003 brought the opening of Chef French’s crowning achievement and his biggest challenge, ‘The Wharf at Bayview Marina’. It featured his signature cuisine he affectionately called “North Florida Cuisine”. Opening sales were way beyond expectations and soon the word was out – The Wharf, was now the new hot-spot for seafood. After an incredible review in the local paper, the bottom began to drop out for Chef French. “I was on top of the world, the restaurant was constantly on a wait, I was on the highest rated radio show in town each week, money was pouring in faster than we could count it and I felt that I was in my prime and poised for unlimited success. Then one day I was returning from a radio appearance, when I saw my sous chef loading a case of tenderloins in the back of his car. After some diligent investigation, I found this was not an isolated incident and my dream was then hit by a hurricane of Biblical proportion. ”‘The Wharf’ could not recover from the devastation caused by massive employee thefts and mismanagement of assets by management. It was a very hard lesson for Chef French to learn, but learn he did.

“I decided after then, I would make myself available to those in a similar situation as myself. I had invested a great deal of time and money, only to have it stolen from right under my nose by those I trusted. I still possess the passion for the business and there is nothing I enjoy more than cooking, but I have found that my experience has been invaluable to others like myself. When I accept a project, while I cannot guarantee success, I take it very personally if my clients do not achieve the success they desire. I do not, however, have a problem telling a client that their dream is simply not within their reach. I do my best to help them find out what is realistic and what is not concerning their own business.”

Chef French is available now to help you realize your goals for your own business. A good restaurant is hard to find, but even harder to develop. “I measure my success by your success. Even though I do not become emotionally involved in your business, I take it very personally if you are not successful. The best way I can describe myself is boldly creative with top-level leadership skills. Leadership to me is a verb, not just a noun. I am a hands-on, get your chef-coat dirty kind of guy, I am not afraid of working hard and sweating. I am the Pete Rose of chefs, except that I did not bet on baseball – but, if you become my client, I would definitely bet on your success.”