Jean-Paul grew up in the small town of Thibodaux, Louisiana, and received his Bachelor’s degree at John Folse Culinary Institute at Nicholls State University. In culinary school, Jean-Paul participated in an eye-opening exchange program with the Paul Bocuse Institute in Lyon, France. After completing his formal studies, he worked at Étoile restaurant at the Domaine Chandon winery in Napa before moving to San Francisco to help open EPIC Roasthouse as a sous chef under Chef Jan Birnbaum. In 2007, he moved to St. Thomas, where he served as sous chef at two local restaurants on the island. In 2009, Jean-Paul moved to New York and joined the team at Maialino. Over four years, Jean-Paul was promoted several times and ultimately assumed the role of Chef de Cuisine of Gramercy Terrace at The Gramercy Park Hotel. In 2014, Jean-Paul became Executive Chef of Blue Smoke, overseeing both locations of Blue Smoke, Jazz Standard at Blue Smoke’s Flatiron location, and Blue Smoke On The Road.