Jean Paul Naquin was born in Lyon, France on January
1, 1963. He began cooking country style food at an early
age with his mother using the rich
produce grown in the gastronomic cradle of France.
Together, they created simple but delicious meals for
the numerous guests who came to socialize at their family
While in his teens, after his first apprenticeship,
he joined La Pyramide (3 Michelin Star) in Vienne as
is Tournant only 25 minutes from his family home. He
ingrained himself with the great Classical French Cuisine.
In the service of his country he joined the Army in
1983 and served under the General of the French Force
in Baden Baden, Germany, his first of many foreign assignments.
After the military tour he moved to Paris and joined
Restaurant Jacqueline Fenix (1 Michelin Star) for a
year and learned about the “Nouvelle Cuisine”. This
was a springboard that launched him to the great Michel
Guerard (3 Michelin Star). As Chef de Partie he was
responsible for the pastry and cold kitchen. The food
was “Cuisine Minceur & Gourmande”. Under the orchestration
of Michel Guerard, Naquin became well versed in a healthy
cooking style from one of the originators of “Spa Cuisine”.
Continuing on he took the opportunity to join the culinary
team at the Hotel Le Gray D’Albion (2 Michelin Star)
in Cannes under the wings of Chef Jacques Chibois, who
was awarded Best Chef of the Year in 1986. Chibois unique
style is influenced by the availability of an abundance
of Mediterranean products combined with simplicity and
In 1986 Jean Paul moved to the Caribbean as Executive
Chef at the Restaurant L’Aventure on Saint Martin. Overcoming
challenges such as learning English, understanding the
American clientele’s expectations, adapting to a 3-seating
concept per meal period and being in charge of the kitchen
in a lackadaisical island environment solidified his
skills as a promising talent and determined chef.
Jacques Chibois called Jean Paul in 1987 for the position
of Executive Sous Chef for the opening of the Hotel
Maxim’s de Paris in New York (now the Peninsula New
York). The opening experience was a tremendous opportunity
and being on the same team again with Jacques Chibois
was enlightening. Jean Paul benefited greatly from New
York and became absorbed with the Asian restaurant scene
while developing a passion for the Far East.
In 1988, at the expiration of his contract, Jean Paul
packed his bags and relocated to the Sheraton Hotel
and Towers in Hong Kong to accept the position of Sous
Chef. Here he learned about volume operations and got
to experience the East and West culinary combinations.
He stayed there for 2 years and then took the position
of Executive Sous Chef at the Palace Hotel Beijing managed
by the Peninsula Group. The Palace Hotel is one of the
finest properties in all of China. This experience sharpened
his skills tremendously as he was instrumental in the
creation of some incredible theme events at historic
locations such as, The Great Wall of China, The Forbidden
City and The Summer Palace to name but a few.
In 1993, he took first Executive Chef position at the
Oberoi Hotel, Member of the Leading Hotels of the World,
in Bali. He learned the Indonesian language, appreciated
the food and continued to focus on the refined guest
experience while absorbing this exotic culture.
In 1995 he was lured away by Shangri-La Hotels to become
the Executive Chef at the Jakarta Property. This 5 star
operation was sound, well organized, creative and very
competitive. After 2 years a once in a lifetime opportunity
placed Jean Paul at the other end of the Ocean again
as he took the position of Executive Chef/Director of
Culinary Operations at the Atlantis Resort, managed
by Sun International in the Bahamas. This resort is
the largest island casino operation in the world with
a culinary team of over 700 people who served 13,000
covers daily for a total of $120 million in F&B sales.
The experience was incredible from the grand opening
to the re-structuring and expansion of the hotel.
After two and a half years he decided to return to
Asia and work in a smaller size operation where he could
be involved in the true cooking side of his profession.
Having been part of big picture projects, organizing,
planning and running 37 outlets, he is now enjoying
the opportunity to lead the Ritz-Carlton, as Executive
Chef. A position he accepted in August, 2000.