The history of a family passion


In 1945,

Marie Lorain, a seamstress but also a very good cook, opened a small boarding house in Joigny, in a beautiful bourgeois home. The establishment was named after the hill which overlooks it, the Côte Saint-Jacques.

Born the youngest of four children in 1934, Michel Lorain chose a career in the kitchen after an apprenticeship as a pastry chef.

In 1958,

he took up the reins of the family business with his wife Jacqueline and proposed a simple, regional cuisine.

With the creation of the nearby A6 motorway, the small inn was transformed into a high quality restaurant, which was recognized throughout the region.

In 1971,

he was awarded its first Michelin star, and then a second in 1976.

Jacqueline Lorain became a confirmed sommelier, one of the first women to succeed in the traditionally male-dominated world of winemaking.

In 1977,

the Côte Saint-Jacques became a member of the Relais et Châteaux association, and of Tradition et Qualité. That year, it also received three red toques from Gault and Millau.

In 1983,

After a secondary school degree in science and apprenticeships with Troisgros in Roanne, Claude Deligne (Taillevent in Paris) and Fredy Girardet (in Crissier, Switzerland), Jean-Michel Lorain permanently joined his father and climbed the ranks of the Côte Saint-Jacques kitchen brigade.

In 1986,

Michel Lorain obtained three Michelin stars and at the age of 27, Jean-Michel, who had actively participated in this adventure, became the youngest chef in France to obtain this supreme distinction.

In 1993,

Jean-Michel was named Chef of the Year by Christian Millau, who granted him the almost perfect mark of 19.5/20.

In 2000,

major work was undertaken to transfer the dining rooms to the banks of the River Yonne. It was at this time that the direction of the kitchen was formally handed from father to son.

With all these changes, the restaurant lost a Michelin star in 2001. It won the star back three years later and the Côte Saint-Jacques was reinstated into the very closed circle of the twenty-six best restaurants in France.

In 2007,

an exceptional spa was created with more than 800m² dedicated solely to well-being and relaxation.

In 2009,

the Côte Saint-Jacques was elected "best hotel restaurant in Europe" at the Prix Villégiature Awards. Jean-Michel Lorain thus followed Yannick Alléno – Le Meurice (2006), Didier Elena – Château les Crayères (2007) and Éric Fréchon – the Bristol (2008).

The universe of Jean-Michel Lorain


Jean-Michel Lorain is heir to a legacy handed down from his grandmother to his parents:
a love of gastronomy and the art of living, but especially a passion for his home and for the kitchen,
a real family tradition


In the course of his career, Jean-Michel Lorain has received many awards for his know-how in the kitchen.

In 1993, Gault and Millau named him Chef of the Year, granting his cuisine with the finest mark, 19.5/20. However, Jean-Michel Lorain knows he also owes his success to his team and to the collective hard work carried out daily to manage a real business. Thus, Jean-Michel Lorain does not like to be put in the limelight, and even confesses a certain distrust for honours and media coverage. Because respect and hard work have always been the foundations of the Lorain "touch".


A labour of love combining family passion and unique know-how

In addition the family heritage, it took Jean-Michel long years of intensive work to achieve, and then to perpetuate, the prestigious image of the Côte Saint-Jacques.

The smallest details reveal the Lorain family's taste for effort and desire for perfection, from the kitchens to the guestrooms, from the service to the quality of the reception and the services offered to the customer.

Literally raised in a kitchen, Jean-Michel Lorain knows the story of his grand-mother Marie, the seamstress who opened a boarding house. Who at that time could have imagined the family destiny that would be at the heart of one of the most admirable Relais et Châteaux hotels in France?

In 1971, a first Michelin star rewarded the work of Michel Lorain, the father of Jean-Michel, in the kitchens and at the controls of the Côte Saint-Jacques, while Jean-Michel's mother, Jacqueline, became a particularly reputed sommelier. The second star arrived in 1976, followed by the three red toques from Gault and Millau in 1977.



In 1993, Gault and Millau named him Chef of the Year, granting his cuisine with the finest mark, 19.5/20!


From apprenticeship to three stars

Jean-Michel Lorain then pursued his apprenticeship under the auspices of the greatest chefs, with Troisgros, Girardet and at the Taillevent restaurant. He joined his father at the Côte Saint-Jacques in 1983, ready to participate actively not only in the development of the family business, but also in the international influence of the Lorain cuisine and know-how, beyond the borders of Burgundy.

The Michel - Jean-Michel tandem worked wonderfully: in 1986, they were awarded with a third star in the Michelin guide, and Gault and Millau awarded Michel Lorain with the coveted title of Chef of the Year!

In 1993, Gault and Millau named Jean-Michel Chef of the Year, awarding his cuisine with the finest mark: 19.5.

The family business thus joined the closed circle of the elite of French tables.

The Côte Saint-Jacques and a vibrant future

In 2001, Jean-Michel Lorain took up the reins of the house alone, 

and installed the dining rooms on the banks of the river to offer ever greater comfort to his guests. It was an ambitious project that was to be crowned with success.

Jean-Michel Lorain now hopes that his daughter, Marine, who has inherited her father's passion for cuisine, will soon to join him in the adventure of one of the most beautiful Relais et Châteaux of France. Because, if you still had any doubts, for us "Maison" rhymes with Passion and Generation!

In the meantime, Marine runs the dining room of J’AIME by Jean-Michel Lorain, a whole new adventure for the Lorain clan which has just started in Bangkok.


J'AIME by Jean-Michel Lorain :

              a bridge between 

              Burgundy and Thailand


In Bangkok, Jean-Michel Lorain has created a gastronomical hotspot that offers a new approach towards French meals in Thailand.

This innovative and classic restaurant, combining the best of French cuisine and the refinement of Chinese service, is headed by Amerigo Sesti.

Talented and passionate, this chef cut his teeth under Jean-Michel Lorain and some of the most renowned chefs of the planet.

You will be warmly welcomed there by Marine Lorain, daughter of Jean-Michel, for a unique culinary experience: the dishes are served consecutively, and every guest, whether among family or between friends, can experience and share the chef's creations in a convivial atmosphere.

J’AIME is the first restaurant of its kind in the world, offering a culinary adventure with no equivalent.



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