Chef Paul Lemieux has been famed for bringing a memorable ending to meals for over 20 years. He is acclaimed for the signature 11-layer Torte au Chocolat, his renowned creation at the Michelin-starred Auberge du Soleil. Each layer of this unparalleled dessert is individually hand-crafted, made up of delicate hazelnut dacquoise, rich dark chocolate ganache, chocolate crèmeux and fresh pureed organic hazelnuts.
As a Magna Cum Laude graduate from the Johnson & Wales University College of Culinary Arts in Providence, Rhode Island, Lemieux got a taste for the sweet stuff when he moved to the West Coast in 1996. He had the opportunity to receive the mentorship of the renowned Traci Des Jardins at Rubicon, San Francisco, who recognized his talent and passion for confection and chocolates and asked him to join as pastry chef at her own restaurant, Jardinière, only a year later. Chef Lemieux helped bring her restaurant to instant fame, swiftly recognized by Gourmet Magazine as “San Francisco’s up-and-coming pastry star” in 1997.
He was able to further hone his talent and personal style when living in Portland and working as pastry chef at Lucère Restaurant at Portland’s RiverPlace Hotel and founding his own small-production company, creating coveted artisan, organic and locally-sourced truffles and dragées. In 2003 he was lured back to California when offered the position of Executive Pastry Chef at Auberge du Soleil in Napa Valley.
At Auberge du Soleil, Lemieux brings his creativity and talent to a seasonal menu that focuses on fresh ingredients. He goes above and beyond when creating desserts to bring new flavour combinations and techniques, creating unique and original dishes such as his signature chocolate dumplings, served alongside tarragon ice cream and a drizzle of Arbequina olive oil. Beyond the exquisite plated desserts, you will find Lemieux’s creativity evident in everything from the house-made confitures served at breakfast, to the almond au chocolate and pistachio caramels available for retail sale.
In addition to his pastry chef duties, from time to time, Chef Lemieux provides menu consulting for restaurants in Napa Valley and is an educator at the Culinary Institute of America as Adjunct Baking and Pastry Instructor, teaching techniques to the new generation of pastry chefs.