Chef Biography

Born as Constantin Kerageorgiou in Port St. Louis, a tiny fishing village outside of Marseilles, France, Chris was the ninth of 13 children, and the son of impoverished parents who had emigrated from Greece.  From an early age, he showed a passion for cooking, even though the family kitchen was primitive with only a sink, a table, a coal burning stove and no refrigeration. With almost no schooling, he went to work as a child in a bakery, which he hated.

When WW II broke out, the family fled to Lyon, and Chris joined the French underground. After the war, he enlisted in the Merchant Marines as a cook, and jumped ship in San Francisco with $.50 in his pocket, spoke no English, and had no papers.  Street smart, the first thing he learned was not to get caught.  He learned the basics of cooking in the hotel kitchens, washing dishes, as a busboy and taking odd jobs.  He took the term “self-taught” up a notch.  He later worked in the galleys of great ocean liners where he met his friend, Goffredo Fraccaro, and then moved to New Orleans, working his way up to Captain in the hotel dining rooms.  His last job was as maître d’ of the Esplanade in the Royal Orleans Hotel before opening his own restaurant.

In 1972, he opened La Provence Restaurant on a quiet stretch of highway in Lacombe, Louisiana, an hour outside of New Orleans. In 1981, the Great Chefs television crew showed up at La Provence to tape Chef Chris for their first Great Chefs television series, Great Chefs of New Orleans I, and later for their third series, Great Chefs of New Orleans II.

He sold the restaurant to his former chef de cuisine, John Besh, in 2006, and Chef Chris passed away the following year.


Spring Salad

Serving: 4 Print Spring Salad By Great Chefs November 16, 2015 Colorful baby vegetables and greens bring spring to mind. Chef Kerageorgiou grows his own greens, herbs, and vegetables in the gardens surrounding his lovely rural restaurant across Lake Pontchartrain from New Orleans, and these find their way onto his plates. Use the freshest, newest […]

Salade d’Endives

Serving: 4 Print Salade d’Endives By Great Chefs November 16, 2015 These simple salads are pretty with their spiked endive leaves placed in a radial pattern with a cherry tomato in the center of each. They are dressed with a version of “French” dressing, a vinaigrette that uses walnut oil. Roughly chopped walnuts tossed with […]

Fish Pâté

Serving: 4 to 6 Print Fish Pâté By Great Chefs November 16, 2015 Herbed trout mousse and whole fillets are combined into a tender fish terrine, which is served with a crab-based cream sauce. Mixtures for pates, using as they do raw fish (or other meats) and eggs, must be kept cold as they are […]

Soufflé au Grand Marnier

Serving: 4 Print Soufflé au Grand Marnier By Great Chefs November 16, 2015 This frozen souffle stands up above the top of the dish. It is an airy confection of flavored custard, beaten egg white, and whipped cream. The “crown” is formed by extending the top of the dish with a paper collar, then pulling […]

Noisettes d’Agneau

Serving: 4 Print Noisettes d’Agneau By Great Chefs November 16, 2015 A rich sauce made with roasted lamb bones, vegetables, and wine fills each plate under a mound of tender sauteed vegetables and medallions of lamb. Sauteed garlic joins the other vegetables on the plates; the garlic, soft and buttery, is delicious when prepared this […]

Shrimp Sauté St. Tropez

Serving: 4 Print Shrimp Sauté St. Tropez By Great Chefs November 16, 2015 Chris Kerageorgiou has a wonderful way with shrimp, adding Ricard, an anise-flavored liqueur, for this “St. Tropez” dish. Remove the shells and legs on the bodies of the shrimp, and the long whiskers, but leave the tail and head shells so that […]

Quail “Roger Savarin” in Port Wine Sauce

Serving: 4 Print Quail “Roger Savarin” in Port Wine Sauce By Great Chefs November 16, 2015 Marinated quail, cooked to golden brown, are treated to a sauce of port wine and ruby cabernet. Colorful baby turnips — the purple skin is left on their tops – are an unexpected and tasty accompaniment. Ingredients Quail and […]

Gâteau Saint-Honoré

Serving: 12 Print Gâteau Saint-Honoré By Great Chefs November 14, 2015 Filled cream puffs march around the rim of Gâteau Saint-Honoré like the points of a golden crown surrounding a velvety center of pastry cream and whipped cream. This is a traditional Parisian pastry named for the patron saint of bakers and pastry chefs. While […]

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