Michel Guérard started his career after the Second World War as an apprentice pastry chef. In 1958, aged just 25, whilst working as the head Pastry Chef at Hotel de Crillon, Paris, he was awarded the coveted title of Meilleur Ouvrier de France. Guérard then strengthened his position amidst culinary scene during his time cooking for some of the most reputable establishments in Paris. In 1965, the opening of his own restaurant Le Pot-Au-Feu marked the start of his foray into the world of Michelin Star success, being awarded his first Michelin Star in 1967, and the second in 1971, consecrating Le Pot-Au-Feu as the place to be on the Parisian gastronomic scene.
In the early 70’s Michel Guérard, alongside chefs Paul Bocuse, Roger Verge, Troisgros brothers and Alain Chapel, championed the movement of French Cuisine and today are considered to be the founding fathers of “Nouvelle Cuisine.” However, it was Guérard’s passion for produce, the art of healthy and gourmet living, and even more so, the love for his wife Christine Barthelemy, which led him to Les Prés d'Eugénie, Eugénie-les-Bains.
In 1974, Eugénie-les-Bains was a charming spa village in the Landes region, visited by guests suffering from diabetes and overweight. Michel set about developing a revolutionary new method of eating to support the spa and to attract the Parisian clientele seeking healthier cuisine in a rural setting. Therefore, in 1975 Grande Cuisine Minceur® (Great slimming cuisine) was born and Eugénie-les-Bains became France’s Number One Slimming Village.
Michel Guérard’s success in creating a new school of culinary understanding came at the same time as his success at Les Prés d'Eugénie with his gourmet cuisine which received the accolade of a Michelin Star in 1974, followed by a second one just a year later, and the third star in 1977. Under the guidance of the culinary master Guérard, Les Prés d'Eugénie has seen numerous exceptional chefs pass through its doors, including Sébastien Bras, Alain Ducasse, Daniel Boulud, Andrew Fairlie and Gérald Passedat, all seeking to experience the talent and passion that Guérard embodies.
Michel is now a key figure in educating and changing perceptions of healthy cuisine. His school The Institute Michel Guérard® teaches a rounded culinary education that includes pastry, practical culinary skills and theory, all taught by industry professional, including doctors and dieticians.