When Greg and I created Aux Délices in 1995, we never imagined that our little start-up would lead us to where we are today.
Greg and I first met in culinary school in 1984. After graduating, our paths went in different directions – I went on to work for acclaimed Chef Dennis Foy at his restaurant, The Tarragon Tree, and later became the chef of his restaurant Toto in Summit, NJ. My career then took me to Manhattan to work for Drew Nieporent, at the acclaimed Montrachet. Serving as the Executive Chef for 8+ years was an incredible experience. I was honored to receive wonderful reviews and awards during my time there. Following that, I decided to move out of the city to write my first cookbook and started to conceptualize the gourmet food store of my dreams – a mix of homemade favorites, made with high-quality, healthy ingredients, all served (of course) with friendly customer service.
After Greg graduated, he worked for famed chef Larry Fogione at The Pear Tree in Rumson, New Jersey and Lavanos Restaurant in White Plains, New York. He then decided to head west to California, where he became the chef and owner of a restaurant called The Miramar Beach Inn. He stayed in California for seven years before returning to Connecticut.
As fate would have it, I was on a late-night TV show doing a cooking demonstration and a mutual friend told Greg about it – and the rest is history! Greg and I reconnected again and were then married in April 1995.
When Greg and I merged our lives together, we realized that the practical next step would be for us to join forces professionally. We knew we had each learned different components of the food industry from the valuable experiences we had following graduation. That, coupled with our easily-formed friendship in culinary school, we thought we’d make a great team! We put our respective interests and strengths together while undertaking the extensive process of conducting research. There was a lot to decide: the type of shop we wanted to open up, the ideal look and set-up, and the overall vibe of the space. Funnily enough, during one of our research trips to St Remy in Provence, we even decided on our first daughter’s name – Remy!
In December 1995, we opened our first shop in Riverside Connecticut. In the early years, I was the chef and ran the kitchen while Greg managed the day-to-day operations of the store. After settling down with three kids in CT, it became apparent to us that many busy families (much like our own) often found it hard to consistently provide home-cooked meals while our kids were participating in all sorts of activities after school. Our goal became providing delicious homemade food, made with healthy ingredients, that was easy to bring home to your family. Since day one, we have placed value in ensuring everything is made from scratch – from our mayonnaise to our stocks, it is all prepared in our kitchen by our hard-working staff, who have now become a second family to us.
We opened Aux Délices to a welcome audience and have continued to expand our offerings to always please our customers. We have since opened four more shops in Fairfield County and continue to try new recipes and innovative ideas. We can honestly say we are thrilled to go to work every day!