chef-name: Fernand Gutierrez

Fernand Gutierrez was born in 1950 in Dijon, France. Against his parents’ wishes, he began his apprenticeship at the Hotel du Strad in 1964, at age 14.

In 1968, he moved to Grenoble during the Winter Olympics and worked for Great Chef Roger Vergé, who appeared in the Great Chefs of France television series. His next job was in Monte Carlo at the Hotel de Paris, and then in a few kitchens in the Bahamas.

Finally arriving in the U.S., he became the chef at the Fairmont Hotel in Atlanta, and was hired for the first time by Chicago’s Ritz-Carlton in 1968. He then went on as executive sous chef of Resorts International in Atlantic City, and as executive chef of Inn on the Park in Houston, before returning to the Ritz-Carlton in Chicago in 1983.

Great Chefs Television was shooting Great Chefs of Chicago for PBS in 1984 and caught up with Chef Gutierrez then. He prepared three appetizers, Quail in an Omelet Pouch; Salmon and Sea Bass Terrine and a Tartelette Mikado; one entrée, a layered lamb cake, and a dessert, Warm Apple Tart. All were featured on Great Chefs of Chicago, episode #5.

Chef Gutierrez inspired a generation of young chefs, making busboys into chefs and dishwashers into sous chefs. His greatest gift was as a teacher.

After leaving the Four Seasons Ritz-Carlton in Chicago, he and his wife, Carole, and their children, Eric and Joanna, moved to Mexico City where he opened and operated Bistrot La Bourgogne until his passing in 2006.