chef-name: Claude Troisgros

Much has been said about the Troisgros Culinary Legacy (see Michel Troisgros) and their founders, the late Jean Troisgros and his brother Pierre, and Pierre’s son Michel, but little has been said about the other son and brother of Michel.

Claude Troisgros, at 16, went to the Hotel School of Thonon-les-Bains and on to an apprenticeship with Paul Bocuse, a family friend, who made young Claude at age 7, sign a contract stipulating that his first job would be at the Bocuse Restaurant.

After Bocuse, he went on working in the celebrated kitchens of Taillevent in Paris, The Connaught in London, Tantris in Munich and in between he held jobs at Troisgros. In 1978 Gaston Lenotre offered him a position as chef at Pre-Catalan in Rio de Janeiro, so he jetted off to Brazil with a two year contract. Once there, he fell in love with the country – and with Marlene Pereira da Silva, who became his wife.

In Brazil, he began to use tropical ingredients, localizing his family’s signature French cuisine. Word spread quickly, leading to the elegant but informal Restaurant Claude Troisgros. That’s when Great Chefs caught up with him to tape four dishes for their Great Chefs of the World series, for the Discovery Channel.

Claude followed with several other ventures in Sao Paulo, New York City, and Miami, but Rio was his home and where his family was. Troisgros was a pioneer in working with Brazilian ingredients and has been inspiring not only a new generation of Brazilian chefs to work in the same direction, but a new generation of discerning diners to care about their own Brazilian ingredients.

All this can now be enjoyed at his magnificent new restaurant “O’Lympe” (named after his mother), and located in Jardim Botanico, a nice neighborhood of Rio. He also runs CT Brasserie and CT Boucherie in Rio and consults for the Blue Door in the Delano Hotel in Miami. And he is also a celebrity chef in Brazil where he presents his own television show, Que Marravilha, on the GNT Cable Channel.