Le Bon Garcon Chef and caramel expert, Justin Chao

Chef Justin Chao

Justin’s passion for food started as a child, watching his Chinese-American mother in the kitchen preparing dinner. Justin grew up in Westlake Village, California, where there were no Chinese grocery stores. Out of necessity, Justin’s mother created dishes from ingredients that were available to her. His mother’s inventive style of cooking combined traditional Chinese food with American comfort food and gave Justin the creative instincts  that make him a successful patissier.

Justin studied architecture at the UC Berkeley College of Environmental Design which provided him with the design skills and the attention to detail needed to be a successful pastry chef and candy maker. Always feeling more at home in front of the oven than the drafting table, Justin found himself drawn to a career in the culinary arts. Justin took pastry classes for fun, and studied abroad in Paris. Inspired by the culinary work of Parisian greats such as Pierre Hermé and Gerard Mulot, Justin decided to take the leap as a pastry chef.

Justin enrolled at the prestigious Bellouet Conseil in Paris where he trained under some of the best pastry chefs and candy makers in the world. After culinary school, he trained at the legendary Le Meurice in Paris. At this 3-star Michelin restaurant, Justin learned the art of pastry to the highest standard.   Justin returned to Los Angeles where he worked at the historic Water Grill in downtown Los Angeles. Justin formed Le Bon Garcon in 2010 as a new culinary adventure. 

French-style caramels made in California.

From the sensual, tender texture to the subtle crunch of sea salt on the finish—our chef and resident caramel expert, Justin Chao’s French culinary training shows through in his attention to every detail. Le Bon Garçon caramels are stirred in copper pots in order to coax every artisan batch into reaching its optimal flavor. Chef Chao uses his French culinary expertise to create a confectionery experience that will make you feel like you have been transported to Paris.  Whether you are looking for a unique gift for a loved one or a treat for yourself, Le Bon Garcon caramels are perfect for any occasion.