30 December 1937|
|Died||10 July 1990
|Cooking style||Nouvelle Cuisine|
Chapel was born in Lyon, the son of Maître d' Charles and his wife Eva. At the outbreak of World War II, the family moved to the village of Mionnay 12 miles outside the city, where his father opened a bistro called La Mere Charles in an old coaching inn surrounded by lush gardens.
Alain started his training in the kitchen of the family bistro, and in French chef-training tradition spent time seconded to the local shops, developing his understanding of ingredients. After then training with Fernand Point (1897–1955) at his restaurant "La Pyramide" in Vienne, Isère, Chapel returned to the family bistro and in 1967 gained the now restaurant its first Michelin star. After taking over the restaurant in 1970 on the death of his father, he converted the inn to a hotel and renamed it in his own name. In 1973, Chapel gained his third Michelin star, then one of only 19 restaurants all in France which had ever then gained the honour.
Chapel's signature dishes included stuffed calves' ears with fried parsley, truffle-stuffed chicken tightly enveloped in a pork bladder and cooked in a rich chicken broth. Food critic Craig Claiborne writing for The New York Times in 1977 described Chapel's gateau de foies blonds as "his ultimate triumph" and "one of the absolute cooking glories of this generation". According to the Gault Millau Guide to France: "A meal at Chapel's restaurant was like a symphony."
Throughout the rest of his life, the establishment retained all three of its Michelin stars. The speed of transformation and the cuisine developed turned the village of Mionnay into a culinary landmark on any serious gastronomic tour of France. The attraction was also as great for young chefs, who sought the opportunity to work with Chapel – these included Michel Roux Jr.
In the process of opening a restaurant in Florida, United States, in 1990 while visiting friends and attending the annual summer festival in Avignon, Chapel died of a stroke. Chapel left a wife Suzanne, and two sons David and Romain.
Under the joint management of his mother and wife, they tried to keep the hotel going with the help of Philippe Jousse – who trained under Chapel – as Head Chef. The menu did retain most of Chapel's signature dishes, but eventually the restaurant lost its third Michelin star. All efforts to keep up the etablissement to former standards ultimately failed, and in February 2012 the Chapel family issued a press release announcing the immediate permanent closure of the premises. 
- Kleiman, Dena (11 July 1990). "Alain Chapel, French Master Chef And Restaurateur, Is Dead at 53". New York Times. Retrieved 28 August 2008.
- "Restaurant "Alain Chapel", Mionnay, France". gourmetvoyageurs.com. 2006. Retrieved 28 August 2008.
- "Biography : CHEF MICHEL ROUX JR". Hub UK. Archived from the original on 15 September 2008. Retrieved 28 August 2008.
- "Alain Chapel". The New York Times. Retrieved 28 August 2008.
- François Duvivier (2012-04-02). "Tasting Bites: Mionnay, France: Maison Alain Chapel". Tastingbites.blogspot.de. Retrieved 2012-11-17.
- Hotel Alain Chapel in French
- 2006 review of Hotel Alain Chapel
- Hotel Alain Chapel at Relais Chateaux
- In-depth profile assessing M Chapel's achievements and influence