The son of a French diplomat, born in Brazil and raised around the world, Francis Reynard began cooking after attending the Hotel Management School in the Southwest of France. His true love of cuisine developed after a six-month stage with Michel Guerard. From Guerard’s kitchen, he began his journey working with the top chefs and in some of the best restaurants in the world. From” Le Grand Vefour” in Paris, Roger Verge in Mougins, Freddy Girardet in Crissier, Alain Ducasse in Juan les Pins and Monte Carlo, Sirio Maccioni in New York and Gualtiero Marchesi in Milan.
In 1986, Francis was appointed Chef de Cuisine with Jean-Paul Lacombe at “Leon de Lyon”. From there, he traveled to Lugano, Switzerland and earned one Michelin star and 17/20 points in Gault et Millau, as Executive Chef of the “Villa Principe Leopoldo”. Following, in 1991, Francis went on to be named “Best Chef South Africa” during his 2-year reign at the “Grande Roche” in Paarl, South Africa. All three properties are members of the Relais et Chateaux group. Francis was then lured back to Europe to be the Executive Chef for Eckhart Witzigmann’s acclaimed “Aubergine” three star restaurant in Munich, Germany.
Francis’s success then took him further away from Europe to New York where he joined his longtime friend, chef Daniel Boulud and became his corporate chef and consultant in charge of special events, promotions and openings. This position included the reopening of Café Boulud and the new Daniel restaurant as well as events and fundraisers for a number of high profile individuals including Presidents Clinton, Bush, Chirac, Mandela, and Gorbachev, as well as the Late Princess Diana. Additional events include Time Magazine’s 75th Anniversary Party, USA Mercedes-Benz 500 Launch, Gastronomic Week in Moscow and Wedgewood China’s Gala in Frankfurt, Germany. Francis also opened and owned, a café on 15 Street andUnion Square called Comptoir Sud and over the years has made many television appearances for shows such as Arabe Good Morning South Africa, Arabella Kisbaeur in Germany,TF1 Sunday News in France, and Martha Stewart Living in the US.
Since leaving Daniel in 2001, Francis has been involved with a network of high end clients for whom he cooks privately in New York City and around the world, and on projects with Chefs Daniel Boulud in Beijing and Francois Payard (Payard Patisserie & Bistro) in Seoul, Korea. Francis has consulted for the Westin Chosun Hotel in Seoul, as well as the Ralph restaurant in Paris and the ManRay hotel in Panama with Laurent Tourondel. . Francis is regularly involved in promotions that include a charity guest chef dinner in his birth place of Belem Brazil, guest chef bike tours in Europe, Bon Appetit magazine cruise programs on Silversea and the Food& Wine Cayman cookout with Eric Ripert. He is currently working on opening Cleo restaurant at the new Baha-Mar property in Nassau, Bahamas.
Francis’s cuisine reflects the influence of his mentors, like Roger Verge, Alain Ducasse et Daniel Boulud and takes inspiration from travelling and eating. It is with this in mind that Francis’s style has developed into one that is “French classic with a World influence and a New York State of Mind”. Francis base is in New York City.