|Born||November 3, 1958
Gilles Epié (Nantes, 1958) is a leading French chef. He was the youngest chef to receive the prestigious Michelin Star when he was 22 years old. He currently owns and runs Citrus Etoile along with his wife in Paris.
Gilles Epie started working at the age of 14 and trained with Alain Senderens and Alain Ducasse at Lucas-Carton in Paris; After he traveled the world and learned its cuisine he returned to Paris. It was here that he received the Michelin Star in 1989 for his restaurant Le Miravile. He was the youngest chef to receive the same.
He continued working at Paris and was the chef at several top restaurants likes Miravile (owner), Paris; La Petite Cour, St. Germain, Paris. After mastering Paris, he left in 1995 to explore US cuisine, speaking not a word of English. He worked as the head chef of L’Orangerie, Los Angeles where he introduced a Provençal-inspired style of cooking. Within a year was voted the Best Chef In America of 1996 by Food & Wine Magazine. He took the restaurant from empty tables to being booked in advance, and single handedly took that establishment from a three-star to a five-star restaurant within six months.
Later, he bought and operated the Beverly Hills restaurant Chez Gilles along with a partner Jean Denoyer.
With the culinary fusion of French/ California dishes, he has impressed a lot of movie stars, supermodels and politicians across the world. He has catered Frank Sinatra 80th birthday; Catered Sophia Loren’s birthday; Cooked a Presidents Dinner for George H. W. Bush, Bill Clinton, Ronald Reagan and Gerald Ford. He cooked for the King of Sweden, Shiek of Qatar, Bruce Springsteen, Slash, Sharon Stone, Gregory Peck, Richard Gere, Elizabeth Taylor and Princess Diana.
After 10 years in the United States, Epie's decided to return to the Paris after his dream restaurant location opened up. He tried a couple of canteens before opening Citrus Etoile in 2005 along with his wife, former model/ actress, Elizabeth Epié. He named the restaurant in honour of his friend Michel Richard and his Los Angeles restaurant, Citrus. Recently, Citrus Etoile was chosen to be a member of the Châteaux & Hotels Collection - Tables remarquables. Citrus Etoile was also featured in Alain Ducasse’s latest book, J’Aime Paris as one of his favorite restaurants in Paris.
Currently, Chef Epié is also the expert food correspondent for the BBC.In 2011, he was invited to join the celebrity social media site Whosay. In February 2012, he traveled along with 4 other Michelin star chefs in the MSC Splendida as part of their special cruises. In 2012, he was invited to be part of the 25th anniversary celebration of Alaim Ducasse's Louis XV restaurant held at Monte Carlo. Chef Epié and his son, Renald, were also featured in a small group of top chefs in the cookbook “La Truffe” from the restaurant Maison de la Truffe to celebrate their 80th anniversary in November 2012 with 80 truffle recipes.
In 2013, Citrus Etoile was awarded the Tripadvisor Certificate of Excellence, which recognises the top 10% institutions in the world rated by travelers. In April 2013, Gilles Epié opened up a Bistro in the International Terminal 2 of the Charles de Gaulle Airport at Paris. Called Frenchy's, it is made in Parisian brasserie style with 150 seats and a light bar.
Style of Cooking
Epie creates classic French dishes with American accents. California influenced Epie's style of cooking and he cooking for those who did not want to put on weight. So he started taking on Japanese, Korean, Chinese and Mexican dishes. He is known for his rich bold tastes that he creates without butter or cream.
He also explains that the secret to a great dish is always using fresh ingredients.
Because his kitchen has people visiting from across the world, Chef Epié does not use pork. He doesn’t believe in chefs who claim to have recipes passed down through generations or secret ingredients. He also has an online cookbook that is free for anyone to use.
In 2011, Chef Epié was part of a one-day episode on Messmer, "more than a hypnotist" as a guest. Gilles Epié finished the first season (16 episodes) of his reality show in France for Canal+/Cuisine+, Dans La Vraie Vie D’un Grand Chef (the true life of a grand chef) that features his restaurant where he works alongside his wife Elizabeth and son Renald.
- 2013 Tripadvisor's Certificate of Excellence, Citrus Etoile
- 2008 Best Restaurant in Paris to do “a business lunch”, Citrus Etoile
- 2006 Top 100 Hot Restaurants In The World by Condé Nast Traveler 2006, Citrus Etoile
- 2006 Citrus Etoile mentioned as a “must visit” new restaurant in Paris by NY Times and Condé Nast Travel
- 1996 Best New Chef, Food & Wine Magazine
- 1989 Michelin Star
- "Citrus Etoile". ParisGourmand.com. Société NETIC. Retrieved August 4, 2010.
- Paris resto 2012 Dominique Auzias, Jean-Paul Labourdette, Collectif - 2011 Page 102 "CITRUS ÉTOILE 6, rue Arsène-Houssaye (8e).... Gilles Epié, aime faire le grand écart et les deux prix de ces menus en sont le plus bel exemple."
- Best of Paris Page 93 "CITRUS ETOILE 6, rue Arsène-Houssaye ... The chef, Gilles Epié, likes to do the splits and the two prices of these menus are the most perfect example."
- "L'Orangerie Through the Years: Chef Shuffles".
- Sheridan, Margaret (July 26, 1996). "LA Times Article". Los Angeles Times.
- "Citrus Etoile".
- "Gilles Epie Official Site". Archived from the original on 2011-10-28.
- "Just Luxe Feature".
- Sheridan, Margaret (March 6, 1997). "LA Times Au Revoir". Los Angeles Times.
- "Restaurant Guide".
- "Bonjour Paris".
- "Citrus Etiole in Châteaux & Hotels Collection - Tables remarquables".
- "Gilles Epié on Whosay".
- "240 chefs and 300 Michelin stars international celebration of the 25th anniversary of the Louis XV-Alain Ducasse" (PDF).
- "LIVRE LA TRUFFE". Archived from the original on 2013-07-20.
- "Official page on Tripadvisor".
- "Frenchy's, the art of brewing at Paris-Charles de Gaulle".
- "In Real Life of a Great Leader". Archived from the original on 2013-01-22.
- "A real life chef".