At the age of 12, inspired by his Mother and Grandmother, Laurent Poupart decided to become a chef. He is a native to the city of Strasbourg (in Alsace France), which is a rich gastronomic country and home to more Michelin Starred restaurants than anywhere else in the world. Alsace is filled with beautiful local produce and he refers to the word “Terroir” for inspiration, which means rich local food.
He began at the age of 14, working between 12 and 14 hours a day at Strasbourg restaurant, Le Crocodile. Le Crocodile was a Three Michelin Star rated restaurant, one of the only Eighteen Michelin Starred restaurants in France. In 1988, after his four year apprenticeship, he graduated from The Culinary Institute of Strasbourg. Poupart was then drafted into the Army in Baden Baden, Germany, where he became a private chef for the General of the French force.
After he served nearly two years in the army, he began working in Two Michelin Star Restaurant, La Palme D’or, located inside the Hotel Martinez in Cannes. There, Poupart was hired as First Commis (translates to “Young Chef”) working under Chef Jean-Marie Gautier, an MOF (“Master Chef”), at the Hotel Du Palais in Biarritz, France.
In late 1992, he took a position as Sous Chef for l’Auberge du Vieux Puits, currently a Three Michelin Star Restaurant. While working under Gilles Goujon (MOF), Poupart experienced the stringent process of becoming an MOF. An MOF (“Master Chef”) is chosen by a team of world renown chefs every four years, and is considered the most prestigious title for any chef in France.
Poupart was then called upon by New York City restaurant, Les Celebrites, where he worked as Sous Chef Executive under Christian Delouvrier. Les Celebrites was rated Five Diamond Mobile and “Best Restaurant Overall” in New York City by Zaggat. Clientele included stars such as Pierce Brosnan, Jane Fonda and Tina Turner. At this time he was featured in GQ and People Magazine.
After six years in New York City, Laurent moved to San Antonio, Texas to work as a consultant for acclaimed restaurant, L’Etoile. Two years later, Poupart became a partner in Albert’s Provence, a 120 seat, “5 Hats-Rated” restaurant in Tallahassee, Florida.
Since 2005 Laurent has been working as a private chef for clients such as Mike Moreno (his partner at Jojo), Gerald Ford, Kevin Costner, Cindy Crawford, Kenny G, and Hollywood Producer Joel Silver. For the past year he has been working on his own concept, Jojo Restaurant and Eating House, in Dallas, Texas.