Becoming a trained French Chef is not an event but rather an ongoing learning process with a dedication to Master the Art. Here in Madison, Georgia we are fortunate to have our own French Chef, Franciso De La Torre, dedicated to creating simple but delectable entrees with unique inspiration that people from all walks of life will enjoy.
Chef De La Torre has provided us a glimpse into the man and motivations which have ignited his path into becoming a French Chef. It was not an early dream of becoming a great chef but rather a strong determination to come to Southern California for a better life. In his search for employment, he applied for and was accepted at the Beverly Hills Hotel Restaurant as a dishwasher (the hotel was well known as the hotel for the stars). The Hollywood stars were satisfied with only the very best, which is why De La Torre was hired into any position at all at the hotel, he always had star quality, even as a dishwasher. In a brush of determined fate for De La Torre the Hotel had contracted Bernard Dervieux, recommended and mentored by Paul Bocus, a renowned Michelin chef in Lyon, France. Bernard Dervieux is the inspiration for Chef De La Torre becoming the extraordinary chef he is today. Chef Francisco De La Torre would finish his hard work of washing dishes and then remain in the restaurant and watch the all of the other chefs to learn the art of turning food into a masterpiece. Bernard saw that Chef De La Torre was always interested in the amazing dishes created by him and his team. Seeing the passion that De La Torre had for the art of cooking, Dervieux asked De La Torre to work in his kitchen and thus a thirty-year adventure and learning process began for Chef De La Torre.
Chef De La Torre was mentored by Chef Dervieux for 18 years. This training entailed everything Bernard Dervieux had learned about being an Executive Chef in France and Chef Bernard was very thorough and made sure De La Torre mastered each skill of the craft before moving to the next.
The real break for Francisco came in 1992 when Chef Dervieux sent him to France to work, live, and train at one of the finest Michelin 2 restaurants in the Country. It was an overwhelming and demanding yet incredible real life learning experience. The gift that was given to Chef De La Torre by Dervieux, to learn the Art de la cuisine in the heart of France was by far the best gift he has ever received.
When Franscisco was returning from France Chef Dervieux was concluding his contract with Beverly Hills Hotel. Chef Dervieux was to continue on and pursue his vision to move to Palm Springs, California and establish his own restaurant, Cuistot, and upon request Fransico De La Torre would go with him and take over as Sous Chef at Cuistot. Many of Dervieux's special techniques were shared with De La Torre while at Cuistot. After working together very closely for years Dervieux eventually made Fransico De La Torre the Master Chef of Cuistot.
While still in Palm Springs Francisco continued to flourish in the art of fine dining and was hired away from Cuistot by Michael Despras Chef/Owner of Le St. Germaine Restaurant and 3 other restaurants. Chef De La Torre, continued to fine tune his craft working under Chef Michael Despras over the next fourteen years until which time he felt that it was his new found passion to have his own restaurant; Town 220, featuring a variety of elegant, delicious, and incredibly fresh dishes that give you all the perks of five-star dining in a friendly small town restaurant.