Meet the Judges: The Chef in the Hat, Thierry Rautureau Tries on a Cowboy Hat for the Rodeo!

FOMG! Our list of judges just keeps on getting better and better with another Seattle favorite, Thierry Rautureau joins the fun to help us find the best in the northwest for the 1st Annual Seattle Met Wagon Awards.

Hailing from the Muscadet region of France, Thierry is the James Beard Award-winning chef and owner of Rover’s and Luc restaurants. Raised on a farm, Rautureau helped his mother prepare meals for the family. From an early age he learned to appreciate seasonal cooking and utilizing fresh, homegrown ingredients.

From France to California

At 14, Rautureau began a cooking apprenticeship in Anjou, France and from there continued on a culinary Tour de France, training in the cities of Le Mont Saint Michel in Normandy, Chamonix in the French Alps, and Hendaye in the Pays Basque. With six years of traditional French culinary training behind him, Rautureau headed for the United States and worked with Jean Claude Poilevey at La Fontaine in Chicago. Three years later, Rautureau continued west to Los Angeles working at The Regency Club for Joachim Splichal and at The Seven Street Bistro with Laurent Quenioux.

A Visit To Seattle

During a visit to see friends in Seattle, Thierry Rautureau, known as the Chef in the Hat due to his ever-present fedora, dined at Rover’s and discovered the restaurant was for sale. Charmed by the converted house tucked away in a private courtyard, and inspired by the ingredients found in the Pacific Northwest, Rautureau moved to Seattle and opened Rover’s in August 1987. Chef Rautureau’s vision is a warm, comfortable dining environment, similar to dining at a friend’s house. Rover’s is dedicated to professional service, exquisite wine and food, and an intimate environment.

A New Beginning

Twenty three years later The Chef opened Luc, a French-American café and bar named after the his father, Luc Rautureau. Luc is a neighborhood spot with heartwarming food, cocktails and a well-selected wine list.


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