Jean-Marie Josselin was born in the skiing village of Chamonix, France to parents who were both doctors, his mother from Germany and father from Portugal. He grew up in the French Alps peeling beans and milking cows. He also helped his grandmother in the kitchen, and to this day says “she was the queen of cooking”. At age 15 while serving an apprenticeship at L’Escargot, a local Chamonix bistro, he realized he liked what he was doing, and a chef was born. He went to Paris to attend culinary school at Lychée Hôtelier de Paris and after graduation, his first job was as line cook at Montorgueuil in the old Les Halles quarter. As he worked his way up the kitchen ladder at Montorgueuil, he was approached by an American from St. Louis, Missouri about working at his restaurant in the United States.
That became the springboard for the move to different cities and career opportunities. From St. Louis, he joined the Rosewood Hotel organization, first in 1984 as a chef at their new property in Maui, Hawaii at the Hotel Hana Maui (now Travaasa), then to Dallas to work with Great Chef Jean Banchet to help open Rosewood’s Crescent Hotel in Dallas. In 1986 he moved to Los Angeles to work at the Registry Hotel as executive chef for two years. In 1988, and missing Hawaii, he became the executive chef at Coco Palms Resort on Kauai.
In 1990, Chef Jean-Marie and his wife Sophie, opened his first of many restaurants, the Pacific Café in Kapaa, Maui, Hawaii. In 1992, Hurricane Iniki with 227 mph winds, destroyed Kauai and the Coco Palms Resort, but Pacific Café on Maui survived. Three years later, the Great Chefs television crew showed up to tape Chef Jean-Marie for the Great Chefs of Hawaii television series, seen on the Discovery Channel. Shortly thereafter, Chef Jean-Marie opened more Pacific Café restaurants in Kihel and in the Ward Centre in Honolulu and the Beach House in Koloa. In November 2000, he closed the Honolulu property and within weeks, opened Euro-Pacific 808 in Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas, Nevada. In 2011 he opened Josselin’s Bar & Grill in Poipu, Kauai and in 2014 he opened his latest called JO2 (pronounced Jay Oh Two), a Tapas Bar in Kapaa, Maui. It was also announced in late 2015 that Chef Jean-Marie will be operating the Seashell Restaurant inside the new, under-construction Coco Palms Resort when it reopens in 2017.