Sébastien Rouxel grew up in La Chapelle Basse Mer, a small town in France’s Loire Valley. At the young age of 12, he began helping out in the kitchen of his aunt’s quaint brasserie where, like many young chefs, he was first tasked to wash dishes and peel vegetables. Even with such mundane tasks, Sébastien was immediately drawn to the sense of conviviality and joy that his aunt’s food brought to her guests, marking the start of his extensive culinary journey. Sébastien took on an apprenticeship when he was just 16-years-old at Les Jardins de la Forges, a Michelin-starred restaurant in Champtoceaux. During his training to become a savory chef, he was given a brief introduction to pastry. Realizing that pâtisserie was his true passion, Sébastien went on to pursue an internship at Le Peché Mignon in Nantes, where he experienced two years of intensive training in pastry, earned his Mastery Diploma, and graduated at the top of his class.
When he turned 20, Sébastien entered the military service, a requirement under French law, and was appointed pastry chef at the Palais de L'Elysée, the house of the president of France. After fulfilling his service, he continued his journey as a pastry chef at Restaurant Le Grand Véfour, a historical two-star Michelin restaurant in Paris open since the 18th century.
In 1996, Sébastien made the decision to move to the United States, spending one year at L'Orangerie Restaurant in Los Angeles before beginning his 15-year tenure with the Thomas Keller Restaurant Group. From The French Laundry, to Per Se, and assisting with the openings of Bouchon Bakery and other venues Sébastien became well-recognized in the pastry world, specifically for the use of his favorite ingredients – chocolate, citrus and vegetables – to create unique dessert menus featuring distinct and refined flavors. Following his time with Thomas Keller, Sébastien went on to work as pastry chef for both Stephen Starr and Ian Schrager’s Edition Hotels in both NYC and LA. He was named “Rising Star” by Star Chefs, and was twice-declared “Top Ten Best Pastry Chefs in America” by Pastry Art & Design. He is the co-author of Bouchon Bakery and Under Pressure, both #1 New York Times Bestsellers, which led him to become a James Beard nominee for “best cookbook” in 2013.
In 2021, Sébastien joined Chef Daniel Boulud for his newest concept in Midtown’s state-of-the-art skyscraper, One Vanderbilt. A long-time admirer of Chef Boulud, Sébastien could not look away from this opportunity. Today, as Corporate Pastry Chef of One Vanderbilt and Dinex Group, Sébastien not only leads the pastry team at Le Pavillon, but oversees all pastry concepts, including catering, throughout the Dinex Group. Sébastien looks forward to sharing his knowledge of French cuisine, inspiring new generations of chefs, and, most importantly, learning from his fellow colleagues whom he respects and admires.