The Loulay Brigade
Owner/Chef In The Hat
Thierry Rautureau, Chef In The Hat is the chef/owner of Rover's Restaurant (1987-2013), Luc, and Loulay Kitchen & Bar in Seattle, Washington. For 26 years, Rover's offered cuisine that Rautureau describes as Northwest Contemporary with a French accent. Rautureau was born in the town of Saint Hilaire de Loulay in the Muscadet region of France. At fourteen, he started a cooking apprenticeship in Anjou, France. At twenty, he moved to the United States and worked at various fine restaurants including La Fontaine in Chicago, the Regency Club for Joachim Splichal in Los Angeles, and the Seventh Street Bistro with Laurent Quenioux, also in Los Angeles. While visiting Seattle in 1987, Rautureau dined at Rover’s and discovered that the restaurant was up for sale. Tired of Los Angeles, he decided to buy the restaurant so that he could express his culinary creativity as the chef/owner. Rautureau received the name Chef In The Hat, due to his ever-present fedora. Chef Thierry Rautureau has won various awards including the James Beard Award for Best Chef in the Pacific Northwest in 1998, and has been awarded the Chevalier de l’Ordre Du Merite Agricole by the French government.
Scot Smith is a Pacific Northwest native and graduate from the University of Washington with a double major in Art History and Painting. His academic pursuits led him to the graduate school at Brandeis University. Scot supported himself through graduate school by working at some of the nation’s top restaurants including Ming Tsai’s Blue Ginger in Boston. While exploring the world of fine dining, Scot discovered his true passion in wine.
Scot was the Wine Director and Manager at International acclaimed Rover’s Restaurant, and he also worked as a Wine Buyer and Captain at El Gaucho, Seattle’s premier steak house.
At Rover’s Scot dedicated to sourcing unique wines to compliment The Chef in the Hat’s culinary creations by offering wine pairings perfectly suited to all of the set menus. Through extensive tasting and studying, Scot continues to expand his own palate.
Scot now runs the Beverage Program at Seattle’s best new Restaurant, Loulay Kitchen & Bar, and continues his passion of seeking out the highest quality in the world of wine, beer and spirits.
John joined the Loulay team in 2014 as our Assistant General Manager. A self proclaimed West Coast Gypsy, he’s lived in Washington, Oregon, California, Hawaii and British Columbia and finally settling down in Seattle to attend graduate school. While working in education and public administration, John always had a gig working in the food business.
After years of experience living and working around the world, John’s rule of thumb is to continue to eat without boundaries, provide humble and professional service and to make all guests who cross his path feel special. When he isn’t at Loulay, you can find him on the back trails camping or with a book in hand.