Chef Biography

Victor Gielisse was born in the Netherlands and, like most good cooks, was inspired by his mother and grandparents, who owned a restaurant in Scheveningen that served mostly seafood prepared in an international French-influenced style.  Victor called it cold weather food – soups and stew and of course, lots of seafood.  At 13 he went to a technical college and finished his apprenticeship at 17.  He worked in West Germany to learn game and pastry, and in Switzerland he learned international cuisine and catering to very sophisticated, wealthy customers.  In Italy he learned about the earthy quality of good Italian cooking.

In 1973, he was hired by Westin Hotels and eventually moved to the USA where he became the executive sous chef of the Westin Oaks in Houston in 1979.  Chef Victor became one of a handful of Certified Master Chefs, always studying on how to improve himself. He also holds a Bachelor of Science Degree, a Master of Business Administration and a Doctorate in Business Administration as well as a Certified Hospitality Educator.

At Westin, he met his future wife Kathryn Gray, who was director of catering at the hotel, and a friend, Clive O’Donoghue, who started planning their own restaurant in Dallas, where they had just opened the Dallas Westin Blom’s Restaurant.  In October 1986, they opened Restaurant Actuelle (cuisine actuelle or today’s cuisine) featuring the kind of food he wanted to serve.  Chef Jean Banchet called Great Chefs Television and said this chef is one that you should consider.

In 1994, Great Chefs finally reached out to Chef Gielisse, and was informed that he is closing the restaurant but he also just opened Culinary Fast-Trac Associates, a walking think tank for corporations such as Boston Market, United Air Lines, Tyson Foods, etc. He suggested that he was also the culinary advisor and chef for the Zale Lipshy University Hospital in Dallas, and that we could film him there, which we did in 1995, for our Great Chefs – Great Cities series for the Discovery Channel. One member of the TV crew said “if I ever get sick, I want to come to this hospital, just for the food”.

Chef Gielisse went on to advise the US Culinary Olympic teams, was named one of the “50 New Taste Makers” in the US and named the “Best Seafood Chef in America”. In 1998 he joined the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York and in 2016 is the Vice President of Advancement and Business Development for the Institute.

The president of the culinary school, Johnson & Wales, summed up Chef Gielisse in one sentence:  “Sports has Payton Manning; Entertainment has Clint Eastwood and Culinary Arts has Victor Gielisse”.


Pork Tenderloin with Apple-Onion Confit

Serving: 4 Print Pork Tenderloin with Apple-Onion Confit By Great Chefs November 9, 2015 It’s the garnishes that set this dish of sauteed pork tenderloin medallions apart, especially the delightful apple-onion confit, which can also be served with fish and chicken. The cranberry-tomato sauce adds flavor and color, and the fried mushroom slices, sauteed potatoes, […]

Pan-seared Salmon with Jicama Relish

Serving: 8 Print Pan-seared Salmon with Jicama Relish By Great Chefs November 9, 2015 Working for CFT (and taped at Zale-Lipshy Hospital’s kitchens), Chef Gielisse finds ways to make food both healthful and tempting. This dish is a poster-child for his style, colorful, delicious, and simple. Prepare the jicama relish a day ahead to allow […]

Poached Chicken Breast with Barley

Serving: 4 Print Poached Chicken Breast with Barley By Great Chefs October 1, 2015 Victor Gielisse is a genius at creating dishes which taste fabulous, look wonderful, and don’t rely on heavy fats to get their point across. For this dish, he poaches defatted chicken breasts in an herbed stock, then serves them on a […]

Restaurant Information

Address: 1946 Campus Dr, Hyde Park, NY 12538

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