Chef Dominique Le Stanc
DOMINIQUE LE STANC
The incredible story of a gentleman in the kitchen
Born in Strasbourg, France on December 7th 1958, two Michelin star chef Dominique Le Stanc started his first culinary apprenticeship at the age of 14 in Le Cerf Marlenheim. Lasting four years, this was soon followed by his first year as a cook — and his first steps to setting a remarkable example of hardworking talent in the culinary world.
With help from Robert Husser, Le Stanc relocated to L’Auberge de L’Ill as chef trainee for a year. Paul Haeberlin — owner and three Michelin star chef — saw amazing potential in the young cook. He then sent Dominique to work with Haeberlin’s esteemed colleague Gaston Lenôtre, chef at two Michelin star (three Michelin stars today) gastronomic restaurant, Le Pré Catelan: located on a large reception pavilion in Bois de Boulogne, Paris.
While there, Le Stanc’s talent and ambition only beamed brighter. In under a year at Pré Catelan, he ascended from restaurant clerk to head cook, in the true fashion of a rising chef. In 1979 — at age 21 — Dominique presented himself to Alain Senderens, a culinary celebrity just recently awarded three Michelin stars to his Paris restaurant at the time, L’Archestrate.
Once again, Dominique found opportunities at L’Archestrate to grow his unique talent and concepts. In little over a year, he was promoted to head cook of the establishment; today, L’Archestrate is known by a different name, L’Arpège, owned by current chef Alain Passard.
Dominique then briefly set aside culinary arts to complete military service in the French Navy. Upon returning, Le Stanc set sights on Alain Chapel in Mionnay (near Lyon), a restaurant he dreamt of working at for many years.
Spending 14 months there working for chef Alain Chapel, Dominique quickly became head cook there, too. Not long afterward, Dominique’s parents hired him for the family business: in Le Stanc’s family-owned Bristol Hotel in Niederbronn-Les-Bains.
It was there, in 1984, that an investor approached Dominique: offering to open a restaurant in his very own name in Monte-Carlo, the south of France.
And that's when everything changed.
Thanks to this enraptured investor, Dominique relocated to the Principality of Monaco in southern France. His first restaurant there, aptly named Dominique Le Stanc, was a huge success.
Dominique obtained his first Michelin star there within a year, setting a groundbreaking record: his was the first restaurant ever to be starred in Monaco and to keep its star status, even up until this very day. For the next three years he continued there, growing both in passion and reputation.
Next, Le Stanc was called upon by two renowned hotel restaurants nearby — the Chateau Eza in the Èze municipality for 2 years, and Le Negresco Hotel in Nice for 8 years — to lend his expertise to their kitchens. Negresco, the most beautiful palatial hotel on the French Riveria, offered him Chef de Cuisine position in March 1989.
In the most stunning milestone of his career yet, Le Stanc helped bring Negresco’s restaurant, Le Chanteclerl , unprecedented acclaim and one of its two Michelin stars. Returning to Le Stanc, he also fulfilled his greatest childhood dream: earning his own second Michelin star.
After working his whole life with famous Michelin star chefs, restaurants, and managing busy, fast-paced kitchens, Dominique had yet another lifelong dream. He wished to go back to his roots — and acquire a small yet ultimately outstanding, authentic restaurant.