Michel Marcais was born in France, and apprenticed at a young age in various hotels and restaurants on the French Riviera. His first job was at the Ritz Hotel in Lisbon, Portugal. He immigrated to the United States to work at the Pebble Beach Resort and then to the Fairmont Hotel in Atlanta, where he obtained his Master Chef title.
In 1979 he accepted the position of executive chef at the Royal Sonesta Hotel in the New Orleans French Quarter. In 1980, Great Chefs was just starting their television series and they taped Chef Michel at the Royal Sonesta for their first PBS series, Great Chefs of New Orleans I.
He left New Orleans in 1994 to become the executive chef of the US Grant Hotel in San Diego, but became homesick for Louisiana, and in 1998, returned and opened a bed & breakfast called Michabelle Inn outside of New Orleans. In the summer of 2000, the Great Chefs team showed up to tape Chef Marcais again, this time for the Discovery Channel’s Great Chefs of America series. He remains at his bed & breakfast today in 2016.