Jean-Louis Palladin was born in the small southwestern French town of Condòm to a family of restaurateurs. In 1974, at the age of 28, he won two Michelin stars for his restaurant Tables Des Cordeliers in Gascony, France. At the time, he was the youngest chef to have won two stars. Palladin then came to the U.S. in 1979 and opened Jean-Louis at the Watergate in Washington D.C., where he focused on local, fresh ingredients long before they become a trend. He was inducted into the Who's Who of Food and Beverage in America in 1987 and was the recipient of the James Beard Award for Best Chef: Mid-Atlantic in 1991 and the James Beard Award for Outstanding Chef in 1993.