Executive Chef John Cordeaux
From humble beginnings working in a village bakery, Chef John Cordeaux has grown to become one of Fairmont Hotels & Resorts most widely recognized chefs. With over 25 years experience, he is known as the company’s premier chef, the colleagues’ chef, and a valued ambassador for the Fairmont brand. From an early age Cordeaux knew that he wanted to work with food. Growing up in a home that was always full of visitors, with a father as the village doctor and a mother leading numerous guilds, Cordeaux’s family kitchen naturally became the hub of activity. Starting his culinary career in the village bakery at the young age of 11, he went on to spend his entire life in the kitchen.
His first experience in the world of hospitality came when he apprenticed with BTH (British Transport Hotels) at 15. It was there that Cordeaux decided he wanted to work in hotels, and was introduced to the industry at the Royal Victoria Hotel in Yorkshire. Cordeaux quickly progressed through positions across the UK, and Colorado, United States. He joined Fairmont Hotels and Resorts as the Fairmont Queen Elizabeth in Montreal, Canada, where he worked alongside famed Chef Edward Merard. Over the span of 11 years, Cordeaux further developed his talent, eventually leaving this Quebec flagship property as the executive chef. He went on to lead Canada’s largest hotel kitchen at The Fairmont Royal York in Toronto. Seeking to understand a different side of the food & beverage operation, he also served as the hotel’s food and beverage director for three years before returning back to his true passion, the kitchen.
In 2009, an opportunity arose within the company that Chef Cordeaux could not turn down – the opening of a new Fairmont property in the Middle East. Moving halfway around the world, Cordeaux relocated to Abu Dhabi to lead the opening of the culinary operations at Fairmont Bab Al Bahr. In this position, Cordeaux successfully launched several new outlets in the capital, which went on to receive numerous awards including, Restaurant of the Year and Best Steakhouse (Marco Pierre White Steakhouse & Grill), TimeOut Abu Dhabi Awards 2011, Favourite Brunch (CuiScene), What’s On Awards 2011, Favourite Steakhouse (Marco Pierre White Steakhouse & Grill), What's On Awards, 2010, and Best Italian Restaurant (Frankie's Restaurant & Bar), TimeOut Abu Dhabi Awards, 2010. Spearheading the implementation of the EWS-WWF Choose Wisely Campaign for sustainable seafood throughout the hotel, he managed to phase out overfished species in all the menus. Now leading operations as Executive Chef of Fairmont The Palm, Cordeaux is charged with the responsibility of overseeing the launch of seven dining and entertainment venues.
Cordeaux also recognizes the wider responsibility he has as a leader to be a mentor and to share his experiences. Throughout his career he has worked alongside thousands of colleagues, and his vision still remains to train, guide and mentor those around him. Despite cooking for several notable guests over the years, includingQueen Elizabeth II, Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Bill Clinton, as well as the participants at the 1995 G7 summit in Halifax, Cordeaux is most proud of the people he has been privileged to work with throughout his time in the industry. Watching his culinary protégés grow into successful and passionate professionals is the most meaningful reward for one of Fairmont’s most revered chefs.