Yves Labbé was born in 1945 in Montherme, Ardennes, France near the Belgium border, right after the end of WWII. He wanted to be a chef, but his family insisted that he attend art school, so in 1963 he enrolled into École des Beaux Arts where he spent the next three years.
In 1966 at the age of 21, he went down to Cannes, France to cook on a yacht during the summer, and never went back. He cooked in restaurants in Cannes during the winter and cooked aboard yachts in the summer, and even crossed the Atlantic to the Caribbean. In 1968, he served in the military cooking for two years, then returned to Cannes. In 1971 he was offered a kitchen job at a French restaurant in the United States, and began working his way up the kitchen ladder. In March of 1976 he was saucier for a Ft. Lauderdale restaurant and a year later in 1977, was offered the chef de cuisine position at the new La Vieille Maison, where he raised the bar two years later and was awarded the Mobil Five Star rating. In 1984, he was asked to appear on Julia Child’s “Dinner at Julia’s” television show.
In 1988, he left La Vieille Maison, and finally opened his own restaurant in Jeffersonville, Vermont called Le Cheval d’Or. Four years later in 1992, the Great Chefs television crew showed up to tape Chef Labbé for the Discovery Channel’s Great Chefs of the East television series (episodes # 1, 13 & 25).