Cecile Briaud was born in 1970 in La Rochelle, Charentes Maritimes, France where her family owned a farm. At the age of 15, she knew she wanted to be a chef. Once out of high school, she enrolled in the Hotel & Catering School in La Rochelle. After finishing her CAP (service) in 1988, her BTH (cooking) in 1989, and her BTS (catering) in 1990, and upon graduating she began her apprenticeships at Fauchon pâtisserie, Le Concorde Lafayette, and the Hôtel de Crillon, all in Paris. In 1991, she went down to Cannes on the French Riviera to work as an aide to Great Chef Christian Willer at La Palme d’Or Restaurant in the Hotel Martinez. In 1992 she went back to the Hôtel de Crillon in Paris to work as an aide to pastry chef Christian Constani and in 1993, she worked as chef de partie at the Carré des Feuillants, also in Paris.
In 1994, Chef Cecile moved to St. Martin in the French West Indies, as second chef to Chef Thierry Delaunay at the 30-seat Chez Martine Restaurant, and a year later moved over to the 36- seat Le Cottage Restaurant in Grand Case, also on St Martin.
On July 2, 1996, Chef Cecile Briaud opened her own restaurant Le Chanteclair. Less than a year later, Great Chefs showed up to tape Chef Cecile for their Great Chefs of the Caribbean series to be aired on the Discovery Channel. In 2013, the restaurant temporarily closed, but has since reopened to wonderful reviews.
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