Jean Louis Neichel was born and raised in Strasbourg in the Alsace region of France in 1948. He trained at the Colmar and Ribeauville School of Hostellery in Alsace, then completed his military service, nearly all of it as a chef. An accomplished watercolorist, he worked in a number of restaurants in France and Germany developing his craft, then he went to work for three extraordinary chefs in a row, Great Chefs Alain Chapel, then Georges Blanc and finally at Gaston Lenôtre’s school in Versailles, considered one of the best pâtisserie in Paris. These three chefs opened Jean Louis to new ideas and the creativity possible in fine cuisine.
He was then offered the job of Sous Chef at Walliser Stube in Dusseldorf, a Michelin 2 star restaurant, until 1972, when Dr Hans Schilling convinced him to move to Spain and become the Executive Chef of their restaurant, El Bulli, located in Roses, Spain, just north of Barcelona. In 1976, El Bulli received its first Michelin Star.
In 1981, Chef Jean Louis and his Spanish wife Evelyn Fuertes, opened Neichel’s Restaurant in the residential Pedralbes district of Barcelona, and for the past 33 years has been on the list of top 10 restaurants in Spain. They have won two Michelin stars and the designation Relais & Châteaux since 1990.
In May of 2001, the Great Chefs team taped him preparing French Toast with Berries for the Great Chefs of the World television series on the Discovery Channel, as well as a lamb loin and a prawn salad. Chef Neichel and his wife Evelyn have four children, including triplets, and their son Mario is following in his footsteps at Restaurant Neichel.