Born in North Africa “Sidi-Bel-Abbes” and raised in France by Polish grandparents, Chef Jacques Fox demonstrated an early aptitude for cooking even before graduating from high school. To help expand his culinary knowledge Chef Jacques attended a two-year program at the College D’Enseignement Techniques in Tulle, France after high school.
After completing his training in 1975 Chef Jacques moved to Paris where he took his first chef position at Maison Prunier, a world-renowned seafood restaurant. In 1976 he joined Elitair Maxims where he was promoted to executive chef after four years. In 1983, Chef Jacques left Paris to work for Club Mediterrainnee (Club Med) where he had the opportunity to further expand his skills and understanding of global cuisine at luxury resorts around the world including those in Kamarina, Sicily; Noumea, New Caledonia; Port-au-Prince, Haiti; Farakulafushi, Maldives Islands; Kos, Greece; Eilat, Israel; Cooper Mountain, United States; and Les Menuires and Tignes, France… (click “read more” above)
A native of Louisiana, Russell Kirkham grew up hunting and fishing on the bayous where he learned to butcher and cook the wild game he caught. As his passion for culinary knowledge grew, he looked to his grandmothers for inspiration. (click “read more” above)
At 18 Chef Russell was given the opportunity to work in his first professional kitchen at the Atrium Hotel, which is the only full-service hotel in Monroe, Louisiana. After working for several years honing his skills and creativity Chef Russell moved to Houston to attend the prestigious Art Institute of Houston in pursuit of a culinary arts degree. While in school, he was exposed to Houston’s rich and varied culinary and restaurant environment. Since graduating Chef Russell has had the opportunity to work at many well-known Houston restaurants including Noe Restaurant, Max’s Wine Dive, Brasserie Max & Julie, Beaver’s, Feast, and Divino Italian Restaurant. Chef Russell brings his passion for classic French food highlighting seasonal, fresh ingredients to Artisans.
Jonathon Baker has been promoted to Artisans Director of Group Sales. As a Houston native, he has experienced and participated in the industry growth and expansion and has developed a love for wine and French food in the process.
Initially, he was introduced to the finer aspects of dining and service through time spent …..
… working with CityKitchen Catering servicing some of the finest and most prestigious galas in Houston and later found his home in restaurants. He has been contributing at Artisans since the inauguration five years ago and has worked as a server, Bar Director, and for the last three years as the Private Dining Captain working, improving, and perfecting the private dining aspects of Artisans restaurant.
Outside of work you can find Jonathon sampling newly established Houston restaurants or studying wine in the pursuit of inspiration and knowledge that will bring excitement and innovation to Artisans clientele.
Artisans Restaurant welcomes Simo Jaaldi! He will assume the position of Director of Dining Services.
Simo is from Casablanca Morocco and moved to New York City in 1998 to attend college. While in the Big Apple, Simo supported himself by working in the restaurant industry ….
… and quickly advanced to management levels. He graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Finance and Investments, and worked for a foreign exchange company developing businesses in Francophone regions as well the Middle East.
Simo was employed by Gain Capital for four years until he moved to Houston to pursue his true passion, “the restaurant industry”. Once here, he continued his graduate studies at the University of Houston Conrad N. Hilton College of Hotel and Restaurant Management. He served as a graduate assistant, and lectured undergraduates on the fundamentals of the food and beverage service at Baron’s Restaurant.
After earning his Master’s Degree in Hospitality Management and an MBA from Bauer College, Simo worked as a General Manager at Irma’s Southwest Grill. There, Simo transformed the restaurant from a weekday, lunch-only establishment to a popular all-day, downtown destination for Houstonians as well as out of town visitors.
Simo joined Artisans Restaurant working every weekend during his last year of College and we are thrilled to welcome his professional hospitality expertise to our team.
Chef David’s culinary journey began at the young age of 17 when he finished first in his class in culinary arts at the École du Beausset in Beausset, France. He then attended culinary school in Blois, while working nights and weekends at the four-star Hostellerie La Caillère. From there he trained at the famed Hôtel le Carlton International in Cannes, France, where he held the honor as the youngest saucier.
Furthering his culinary skills Chef David became head chef at Restaurant le Bois de Lune-Montvenix in Savoie at 20, where he had sole responsibility for food preparation and financial management of the restaurant. He then served for three years as a chef at Hotel le Gasthof Baren in Switzerland. Chef David landed in Houston in 1995 where he spent five years as a private chef for a prominent family where his responsibilities included creating and organizing banquets, as well as private parties at the family’s various homes around the world. This experience challenged him to adapt his recipes to locally sourced ingredients found in exotic locales while meeting the family’s special requests.
Chef David has won numerous awards for his cooking in France and has been recognized in the French regional press as superior in his culinary skills. He is a certified Master-Level Chef by the Culinary Institute of America. Chef David’s superb French culinary skills were again recognized in 2001 with his induction into the renowned Confrerie de la Chaîne des Rotisseurs. He was nominated three time as Up and Coming Chef for My Table Magazine.
Chef David is generous with his time and talent, contributing to numerous fundraisers and events throughout the year. He also believes strongly in fostering the new generation of chefs and has served as an instructor at the Alain and Marie LeNôtre Culinary Institute and often allows students to hone their skills at Le Mistral.
In addition to their signature restaurant Le Mistral, Chef Denis and his brother Sylvain were given the opportunity to partner with Chef Jacques Fox to create an innovative French cuisine restaurant in Midtown Houston. Their venture, Artisans Cuisine and Savoir-Faire opened in 2012 to critical acclaim.
Once he decided to follow his dream of a culinary career, Sylvain received extensive training at Prom’Hote School of Le Manoir. He then went on to work as a waiter at the Château de la Chèvre d’Or in Eze. He also served as Chef de Rang and sommelier at the four-star La Scala restaurant at Hôtel Noga Hilton Resort in Cannes. He has applied his extensive restaurant experience and vast knowledge of wines to turn Le Mistral’s wine collection into one of the highest rated in Houston. He also manages the front of the house for Le Mistral and has played an integral role in its continued success.
In 2010 Sylvain and his brother were given the opportunity to partner with Chef Jacques Fox to create an innovative French cuisine restaurant in Midtown Houston. Their venture, Artisans Cuisine and Savoir-Faire opened in 2012 to critical acclaim.
Luckily Jason has an extensive background and strong interest in developing and growing businesses, which have served him well with Artisans. Jason’s first foray into business lead to the creation of AgForce, Inc, a hugely successful government consulting firm which has been recognized as one of the fastest growing Aggie owned businesses in the world. His success with AgForce has allowed him to grow his business portfolio and buy numerous other companies including Perryton Aviation, Inc.
In addition to Artisans, Jason has partnered with the Denis Brothers at Foody’s Gourmet, selling hard-to-find gourmet items. He currently is involved in numerous industries including government consulting, production agriculture, aviation services, insurance, real estate and restaurant.
While not working Chuck enjoys spending time with his grandchildren and indulging his love of muscle cars.
Gallus (in Latin): Its association with France dates back from the Middle Age and is due to the play on words in Latin between Gallus, meaning an inhabitant of Gaulle, and gallus, meaning rooster.
Its crowing at the dawning of each new morning made it a symbol of the daily victory of light over darkness and the triumph of good over evil.
That is why, during the Renaissance, the rooster became a symbol of France as a Catholic state and became a popular Christian image on weathervanes, also known as weathercocks.
Then the popularity of the gallic rooster as a national personification faded away until its resurgence during the French Revolution (1789).
The Gallic rooster had been a national emblem ever since, especially during the Third French Republic. The rooster was featured on the reverse of French 20-franc gold pieces from 1899 to 1914.
For many people, the rooster symbolizes bravery and boldness as he defends the flock against all comers, along with virility. In France, roosters were often used to decorate church bells and watchtowers, since the rooster symbolizes vigilance, as he wakes at dawn to alert people to the start of the day.
Today, it is often used as a national mascot, particularly in sporting events such as football (soccer) and rugby.
Le Coq Sportif (“The sporty rooster”), is a French manufacturer of sports equipment using a stylized rooster and the colors of the French tricolour as its logo.