A native of Provence, France, Chef Florian V. Hugo’s curiosity and desire for “well cooked” food using the freshest ingredients began at an early age when he refused to eat school cafeteria lunches. “Hard training started at home at an early age of 12 when my mother would have me create my own dishes”. This training would prepare Chef Hugo for what would be a great privilege: studying under the legendary Chef Paul Bocuse at Institut Paul Bocuse in Ecully, France. Following this, Chef Hugo worked at the Alain Ducasse restaurants in Paris, Monaco and London, before becoming the Sous Chef at Alain Ducasse at the Essex House Hotel in New York in 2000. “Chef Ducasse was my mentor, he taught me the focus and techniques a chef needs to withstand the demands of the kitchen.”
After leaving Ducasse, Chef Hugo became the Executive Chef at La Panetiere in Rye, New York. In November 2005, The New York Times rated his culinary talent, quite simply, “Excellent”. He’s been known to “pack precision and flavor to each dish he creates”. In 2006, he joined the Four Seasons Hotel New York as their restaurant’s head chef.
In April 2008, Chef Hugo partnered with the Serafina Group to open Brasserie Cognac in the heart of midtown in New York City. His traditional French dishes, prepared with a modern twist, soon became a favorite to “local foodies” and to many celebrities and corporate clientele. Brasserie Cognac was such a success that Chef Hugo opened a sister restaurant, Cognac East, on the Upper East Side in May 2013.
Chef Hugo has appeared on numerous TV shows (NBC’s today show, ABC News GMA, …) and international publications.
Hailing from a long line of artists and poets in the family, Chef Hugo wrote Les Contemplations Gourmandes in 2011, his first cookbook, an homage to his great great great grandfather, the famous novelist Victor Hugo. The book was published in France and around the world. He has appeared on France2, TF1, Canal Plus and many other TV shows, including Belgian TV. The book has received numerous accolades in Europe and Canada including the “Best New Chef Cookbook” award from Gourmand Cookbook Awards in Paris, France.
In March 2014, Chef Hugo created Hugo Restaurant Consulting and is currently working to open his own restaurant in New York City. In his free time, he enjoys his collection of vintage wines and resides in the Upper East Side with his wife and business advisor Michelle and their daughter Ella-Rose.