Internationally acclaimed chef Jean Banchet refers to protégé Joseph Doppes “As a serious student of French Cuisine, blessed with a true palate”. A 1983 graduate of the Culinary Institute of America, Doppes says his studying accelerated with a rotation through some of America’s finest restaurants, including “Le Pavillon” in Poughkeepsie, New York, “Le Chardonnay” in Los Angeles and “Le Cygne” in New York City.
In 1987 he began his work in Chicago with Jean Banchet at the Mobil 5-star“Le Francais”. “From Jean I learned about passion, about detail, about striving for perfection. He is a master of technique. It’s amazing how much I have learned from him.” From there Doppes took a position as a chef de cuisine at both “Foleys” and “Toulouse” before opening his first restaurant “Taylor Street Bistro”,in 1990. The “Bistro” brought traditional bourgeois French fare to the little Italy neighborhood of Chicago and earned many accolades from the local media despite its unlikely location. In 1996, with partner Scott Harris, Doppes turned his French bistro into the Italian “Francesca’s on Taylor”, which continues to draw both praise and crowds.
“I learned a lot about classic cooking techniques studying French cuisine. Scott Harris taught me about simplicity and letting terrific ingredients speak for them selves and also about the need to delegate and to allow colleagues to grow. By allowing my sous-chef, Damaso Espino to assume the role of chef, it gave me the time to become a better businessman.”
Joe Doppes returned to time-honored regional French cuisine with the opening of “Bistrot Margot” in October 1999, a Parisian-style bistro located in the heart of Old TownChicago. They have received rave reviews including a 3 star rating from Phil Vetel from the Chicago Tribune. His goal for fifteen years now, has been to maintain a restaurant that takes diners back to the neighborhoods of turn-of-the-century Paris, where unpretentious service and a high style atmosphere go hand in hand.
In 1992 Joe founded the “Chicago Chef’s Alliance”, a not-for-profit social and Networking organization dedicated to helping chefs benefit from each other’s successes and challenges as well as providing a vehicle for charitable fund-raising. When not behind the stoves, chef Doppes is with his family; his wife and partner Ann Flanagan, his daughters Margot and Charlotte, and son Jo Jo.