chef-name: Daniel Bonnot

Daniel Bonnot was born in 1945 in Angouleme, France and raised in Paris. At age 14, he trained in Paris for three years, and then served two years in the French Army, where he was the chef for Pierre Messmer, who later became Prime Minister in 1972-1974.

In 1966, he went to work in the kitchen of the Savoy Hotel in Paris for two years, before moving to the island of Guataloupe in the Caribbean in 1968, where he stayed for two more years.

In 1970, Chef Bonnot moved to New Orleans because of the music, and worked at the Plimsoll Club, located atop the World Trade Center. In 1971, he was offered a position at Pigalle in Cincinnati, where he stayed for one year. He then moved back to New Orleans to open the Louis XVI restaurant, one of the most successful restaurants in New Orleans during the years 1972 to 1985.

In 1984, Chef Daniel and several partners bought what was then the restaurant in Paris’ Eiffel Tower, had it dismantled, and shipped it in containers to New Orleans. They leased a space on Saint Charles Avenue and in 1986, he opened the Tour d’Eiffel Restaurant. Unfortunately, it was under-capitalized and it closed two years later in 1988. That same year, Chef Bonnot opened Chez Daniel in the New Orleans suburb of Metairie. He then opened Bizou, downtown on Saint Charles Avenue in 1996 and sold Chez Daniel in 1998. In the year 2000, Chef Daniel Bonnot decided to retire and sold Bizou to his former sous chef, Susan Spicer, and Susan’s sous chef from Bayona, Donald Link, and they changed the name to Herbsaint.

Chef Daniel Bonnot is still considered to be one of the best French Chefs in the City of New Orleans, and he continues to consult and teach cooking around the world.