James Beard Award-winning chef and restaurateur Thierry Rautureau has died at the age of 64. The Puget Sound Business Journal reported that the chef succumbed to an autoimmune disease that affected his lungs.
Known as the “Chef in the Hat,” Rautureau purchased his first restaurant in Seattle, Rover’s Restaurant, in 1987. He then expanded his portfolio with Luc in Madison Valley and Loulay Kitchen & Bar downtown, which both closed in 2021. His remaining restaurant LouLou Market and Bar is open at the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport.
With his flair for French cuisine, Rautureau quickly became one of the most recognizable chefs in the Pacific Northwest, earning accolades that included a 1998 James Beard Awards for Best Chef in the Pacific Northwest and the Chevalier de l’Ordre Du Mérite Agricole by the French government. He also cooked for the likes of Julia Child, Hillary Clinton, and Jackson Browne.
Close friend and colleague Tom Douglas posted a tribute to Rautureau’s talents on Instagram in which he praised the culinary legend as “a fabulous chef, a true friend, a generous soul, a loving father, a curious mind, and a thoughtful husband.”