ean-Michel Lorain has received numerous honours throughout his career in recognition of his know-how in terms of fine cuisine. In 1993, Gault-Millau proclaimed him Chef of the Year, awarding his cuisine the highest mark: 19.5. In the interest of putting the spotlight on his team and their hard work, day by day, to create a true business, Jean-Michel Lorain does not place himself at centre stage, even willingly admitting to a certain distrust of awards and the pitfalls of renown in the media. Respect and hard work will always be the basis, the unique feature, of the Lorain “trademark”…
His love of gastronomy is inherited: literally raised around fine cuisine, in the shadow of his grandmother and his parents, Michel and Jacqueline Lorain, he watched, admiringly, their every move. This has been passed down from one generation to another, and gastronomic cuisine quickly became a family specialty.
Many long years of hard work went into achieving and sustaining the prestigious image of the Côte Saint Jacques: a love of labour and an eye for perfection on the part of the Lorain family can be seen in the slightest details, from the kitchens to the rooms, from the service to the quality of the welcome and the facilities offered to the customer.
The name and the destiny of the Lorain family are now a permanent feature of the world of gastronomic cuisine, in Burgundy, as everywhere in France.
And it is in this Burgundy region that their story began, with the grandmother of Jean-Michel Loran.
Some sixty years ago, Marie Lorain opened a small family bed and breakfast; who could then have foreseen that the Lorain clan would proudly bear, a few decades later, the banner of French gastronomy and that the inn belonging to Marie Lorain would later become one of the most admired establishments in the Relais et Châteaux line in France?
In 1971, a first star in the Guide Michelin rewarded Michel Lorain’s enduring efforts in the kitchens and at the reins of the Côte Saint Jacques. Jacqueline Lorain, his wife, then took her place as a renowned wine steward. In 1976, the second star was awarded and, the following year, it was Gault-Millau’s turn to bestow on Michel Lorain its three red chef’s hats.
Jean-Michel Lorain then burnished his shield through apprenticeships with the great masters, including Troisgros, Girardet and at the Taillevent restaurant. When he returned to his father’s side at the Côte Saint Jacques in 1983, he was ready to take an active part in developing the family business, and in gaining international acclaim for the Lorain family’s know-how and its cuisine, far beyond the horizons of Burgundy.
The twin team of Michel and Jean-Michel Lorain works like a charm: in 1986, they are awarded a third star in the Michelin guide, and Gault-Millau bestows on Jean-Michel the highly prized title of Chef of the Year! The family business attains exceptional heights and its reputation, from that point on, has grown constantly.
In 2001, Jean-Michel Lorain takes over the reins of the house alone, and decides to set up the restaurant space on the river bank in order to offer his customers greater comfort. This ambitious plan would be crowned with success.
Jean-Michel Lorain now hopes that his daughter, Marie Lorain, who has inherited her father’s passion for cooking, will soon join him in the adventure of running one of the most beautiful of the Relais et Châteaux in Burgundy and in France. In the event of any lingering doubt, besides their wonderful cooking, determination, passion and know-how are among the great specialties of the family.