Patrice Serenne was born in 1967 and grew up eating Valrhona chocolate, which was based just down the street from his home in Tain-l’Hermitage in France. To this day, he uses no other chocolate. At age 16, he began his apprenticeship at the Poussin Bleu pastry shop in the same town. He then moved in 1985 to Lyon, to work in the prestigious Pignol pastry shop and catering company.
In 1988, he was offered a summer position as pastry chef by Great Chef Nitzi Rabin’s Chillingsworth Restaurant in Brewster, Massachusetts out on Cape Cod. Life turned delightfully seasonal over the next few years, as he divided his cooking between ski resorts of the French Alps in winter and Cape Cod in the summer. He also squeezed in a season in St Martin and Aruba, picking up a passion for tropical fruits along the way.
Great Chef Mark Militello offered him a position as executive pastry chef at his Mark’s Place in Miami, Florida in 1992, and two years later in 1994, the Great Chefs team showed up to tape Chef Serenne for their Great Chefs – Great Cities television series on the Discovery Channel. After Mark’s Place closed, Chef Patrice returned to his home town in France.