The Troisgros family history

Four generations of Master Chefs

In the history of haute cuisine, there are few family-run establishments like Maison Troisgros that can look back on four generations of existence and recognition. Within each generation, brave men and women boldly faced the challenges of their time, initiating change to create new paths, proving their audacity.

Boldness and benediction

The family and entrepreneurial saga started in 1930, when Jean-Baptiste and Marie Troisgros left Chalon-sur-Saône and the café they ran there, to start a new life in Roanne, where they took over Hotel des Platanes, ideally situated opposite the railway station. Renowned for its textile production, Roanne attracted hundreds of travelling workmen as well as the very first visitors to enjoy paid holidays. It was a godsend for the couple, who seized the opportunity and turned the now called Hôtel Moderne into a must-visit stopover. Their sons, Jean and Pierre, were undoubtedly influenced by the dynamic tourism generated by the popular holiday route, Nationale 7. Right of the bat, the Troisgros family knew how to anticipate and live with their times.

In the early 1950s, Jean and Pierre Troisgros took over the family kitchen. Brought up by their parents with an instilled respect for the true nature of ingredients, they set themselves apart from the demonstrative culinary fashion from that period. Driven by a quest for simplicity, the two cooks went straight to the point, both in terms of taste and presentation. In 1956, they were rewarded with their first Michelin star. Seven years later, by one of those serendipitous coincidences in the kitchen, they created their famous salmon with sorrel dish. The astonishingly pure recipe was one of the first incarnations of the Nouvelle Cuisine, codified ten years later by Henri Gault and Christian Millau, whom they met in 1965, the year of their second star. In 1968, the audacity of Maison Troisgros was rewarded with a third star.


New times, new values

They, as Pierre used to say, had chosen a profession where work was synonym to joy, preventing routine and generating wonderful encounters and true abundance.
This allowed them to achieve the sheer miracle of putting a quiet provincial town on the world gastronomic map. “The Roanne train station is on its way to becoming the most famous in the world”, wrote culinary historian Bénédict Beaugé. One should not rest on their laurels however, so in 1976, the Troisgros brothers once again set example by creating an avant-garde cookery workshop. Taking entrepreneurial and culinary risks and creating better working conditions were two of the keys to their longevity.

Michel, son of Pierre and Olympe, a true Burgundian and an Italian woman, embraced the family profession, just like his older brothers.
At the end of the seventies, after finishing his studies at the Lycée Hôtelier, he set off on a ‘grand culinary world tour’ with his sweetheart Marie-Pierre, which led them to Paris and well abroad. After years of nomadic life all over the world, the couple returned to Roanne in 1983, when all of the sudden Jean’s unexpected death disrupted their plans. What was supposed to be a pause to breathe and reenergize, turned out the be the start of growing new roots. They set their hearts on transforming their ordeal into personal fulfillment for themselves and their families.

“Here we take care of the past to enrich the present”

Fundamental freedom

From there on, Michel and Marie-Pierre started broadening their horizons. In 1995, a year before the actual take-over from Pierre and Olympe, they created Le Central, a café-delicatessen next door to the main house and a place they made very much their own. The menu was completely revised, with the famous salmon à l’oseille and other popular dishes being replaced by new creations by Michel.
As their children – Marion, César and Léo – grew up, the 2000s saw the birth of new projects, both nearby and far away. In 2003, when Gault-Millau named him “Chef of the Year”, Michel wrote his first of many books, devoted to his culinary identity, la Cuisine acidulée (slightly sour cuisine). In 2006, they confirmed the family’s attachment to Japan when they opened the restaurant CMT – Cuisine[s] Michel Troisgros – in Tokyo.

Two years later, Michel and Marie-Pierre opened their first restaurant, La Colline du Colombier, in the countryside on the banks of the Loire, twenty minutes downstream from Roanne. They didn’t know it yet, but this step planted the seed for their future developments.
In February 2017, like a dream come true, they found their base in Ouches. After Roanne’s narrow streets, they now found themselves at the heart of a unique site, freely imagined with architect Patrick Bouchain. A vast estate that reflects their true nature; a space that invites to create without limitations.


From now on, César is officially the Chef in the kitchen, although the paternal figure is never far away, offering his invaluable advice.
In 2024, Léo, the younger brother, and his partner Lisa, became independent by taking over La Colline du Colombier, a new page for this beautiful establishment which they wish to preserve and adapt according their desires.