Le Coq d’Or
By Megan Bryant
Photos Kimberlee Miller
“I think I’m over talking, I’m a little nervous!” he says sheepishly, for the third time during our interview.
“Don’t be nervous, you’re talking about something you love!” I reassured him.
I’m talking about Richard Jimenez, Executive Chef of Le Coq d’Or, a stunning French fusion restaurant inside the Chateau des Fleurs, located on the magnificent property owned by the Camille Beckman company.
He’s been at Le Coq d’Or for a little over a year, and the timing for him coming onboard couldn’t have been more serendipitous. He was literally heading to the airport to move to Seattle when he got the call that the position of Head Chef was available, and they wanted him to fill the smock.
Jimenez started as a cook at age 14 here in Boise. He helped with desserts and pantry items, eagerly watching the cooks on the hot line, vying for that role as soon as possible. By age 17-18 he knew this was something he was really good at.
He’s had no formal culinary training, but he’s worked his way up through the ranks with hard work, attention to detail, precise execution in preparation, and fierce passion for creating a true experience with food.
“When you make someone happy through food, it becomes a great memory for them.” One of his most profound experiences was being able to work under Chef Scott Leibfried, who was a Sous Chef for the infamous Gordon Ramsey.
Jimenez speaks about food with the intensity and detail you’d expect to hear if he were writing a romance novel.
Mind-blowing. Texture. Buttery. Heirloom. Just a few descriptors the Chef uses as he revels over the 240+ items planted on the property. The freshness is right outside their doors, and the flavors cannot be beet. (See what I did there?) As a Chef, he feels blessed to use such incredible products. He’s particularly thrilled to have access to their private truffle farm nearby.
It’s an adventure in flavor manipulation. A modern cooking approach with a unique fusion of flavors. Plus, the staff is stacked with cooks who are also passionate about the art of food creation, including some who are aiming for roles as Chef’s themselves one day. “I’m an absolute working Executive Chef.” Every step of the way, Jimenez is hands on and constantly engaged with his team.
There is nothing like this in Idaho, and you’d be hard-pressed to find such an amazing location anywhere and it’s just a few minutes outside Eagle. The event center is gorgeous, and the on-property gardens are unparalleled.
Le Coq d’Or has regular restaurant hours while maintaining all the in-house banquet needs for the Chateau. Check them out on Instagram, Facebook, or just wander in and taste the flavors of the season.
“It’s beautiful. It really is. It took a lot to pull me back from the direction I was heading, and I look around at this place…and additionally I look at the owners…when you work for people who have compassion, it makes you want to work hard for them,” Jimenez concludes. And we agree. You simply MUST make time to savor the food and atmosphere again and again.