Jean-Robert de Cavel
Jean-Robert de Cavel
Chef/Owner, Jean-Robert’s Table, French Crust Café and Le Bar a Boeuf
Born in Roubaix, in Northern France, Jean-Robert began culinary training at age 16, learning and traveling across France. He worked in Brittany, and the Alps and then the South of France, where he began working with Chefs Joe and Michel Rostang, at La Bonne Auberge. He continued under the wing of the Rostangs, with a stint as sous chef at the Mallihouana Hotel in Anguilla, British West Indies, and then to New York City where he was chef in residence at La Régence at the Hotel Plaza Athénée.
Jean-Robert has lived in Cincinnati since 1993, when he became chef de cuisine at the legendary Maisonette, the longest running Mobil five-star restaurant in North America. Jean-Robert continued its five star run and transformed fine dining in Cincinnati, establishing his reputation for putting a contemporary twist on traditional French dishes.
From 2002 through early 2009, he was founding partner, chef de cuisine and creative force of Jean-Robert at Pigall’s, JeanRo Bistro, Pho Paris, Greenup Café and Lavomatic Café.
He opened Jean-Robert’s Table in August 2010 and French Crust Café in August 2013. Le Bar a Boeuf, his third restaurant, in March 2015. A fine dining restaurant with partner Richard Brown, former maître’d at Maisonette and Pigall’s, in Cincinnati’s Queen City Tower is expected to open in early 2016. The Table was named Cincinnati’s Number One Restaurant by Cincinnati Magazine, March 2015.
In May, 2009, Jean-Robert was named chef-in-residence at the Midwest Culinary Institute at Cincinnati State. He continued in that role through 2012, working with culinary students and faculty bringing his world-class experience and perspective to programs and events.
Jean-Robert has been featured in Wine Spectator, Bon Appétit, Food Arts, Gourmet, Esquire and Conde Nast Traveler, and many other publications. He is a three time nominee for Best Chef, Midwest by the James Beard Foundation. In 2002, he received the Medal of the Chevalier de l’ordre du Merite (One of France’s highest civilian honors) from the Consul General of France. In 2007 he joined Maîtres Cuisiniers de France, becoming a French Master Chef, one of less than 60 in North America.
Jean-Robert has been Person of the Year from both Cincinnati CityBeat and the French American Chamber of Commerce (Cincinnati Chapter). He also has received the President’s Award from the Cincinnati Public Relations Society of America.
In November 2013, Jean-Robert began a year-long celebration of his 20 years in Cincinnati, kicked off by a gala dinner at Boca restaurant, which occupies the space of the former Maisonette. The six course meal was prepared by chefs who had worked for him at the Maisonette. Cincinnati’s Mayor declared the Day Jean-Robert de Cavel Day. He continued the celebration by marching in the Cincinnati Reds Opening Day Parade; taking a group of chefs to New York to cook at the James Beard House as part of CINCYinNYC; partnering with Christian Moerlein Brewing for a namesake beer (Jean RoBeer) and tossing the first pitch at a Reds game.
Donating his time and talents to many national and local charitable events is a passion of his and benefiting have been the Cincinnati Zoo, Taste of the NFL, and the National Taste of the NFL where he has proudly represented Cincinnati and the Cincinnati Bengals since 1998.
Closest to his heart however, is his own charitable cause. In March 2003, Jean-Robert and his wife Annette became tireless fundraisers for Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) research and awareness after the loss of their baby daughter, Tatiana.
Since 2003, with the generous support of the Greater Cincinnati food community, they have raised nearly $850,000 for SIDS research, awareness, education and prevention, as well as for the Tatiana de Cavel Scholarship Fund at the Midwest Culinary Institute at Cincinnati State. Their main source of funds, eat.play.give., the Friends and Family SIDS Brunch, is held every October, which is SIDS Awareness month. Jean-Robert and Annette’s wish is to eradicate SIDS so that no parent suffers the devastating loss of an infant.Jean-Robert lives just across the Ohio River from Cincinnati in Newport, Kentucky with Annette and daughter Laeticia. He became a naturalized United States Citizen in 2011. In his free time, he enjoys antiquing and going to concerts, especially Taylor Swift, with his daughter.