Jean-Michel’s mother knew he was destined for the kitchen ever since the day that she couldn’t find her pots, pans and utensils. After an exhaustive search of their home, she found her pans, full of mud in the barn, with her 8 year old son…. “cooking!” Jean-Michel began his apprenticeship at the age of fifteen at a small restaurant called Les Trois Biches in the Chartreuse region of the French Alps.

In 1996, after working at The Noga Hilton in Cannes and spending three years as the Chef of Chez Le Per Gras in Grenoble, he moved to Carmel Valley, California to be the Executive Chef of Stonepine Estate Resort, a Relais and Chateaux Purple Shield award winner. In 1996, he came to Vail and began to work at The Left Bank Restaurant. In 2006, Jean Michel purchased it from the founders, Liz and Luc Meyer who founded the restaurant in 1970.

Throughout the years The Left Bank has quietly become the place to wine and dine for discerning locals and visitors. Since taking over the restaurant, Jean-Michel Chelain has continued The Left Bank traditions, such as cultivating relationships with the finest vintners in France and California, in order to bring to you selections of the rarest wines available at reasonable prices, impeccably stored and aged for your drinking pleasure. 

Jean-Michel is committed to creating the highest quality food available by using only the freshest and best ingredients available, making everything from scratch. Yes, even the bread is made here! Left Bank is a 45 year old restaurant with signature dishes that stay on the menu for the huge following both locally and with seasonal visitors to Vail. Here is a look at a few of these plates: 



Blinis au Saumon Fumé et Caviar Mini Pancake topped with sour cream, peachwood smoked salmon and Browne Trading Osetra Prime Caviar.



lobster salad



Bouillabaisse de Crustaces au Fenouil fresh lobster, shrimp, scallops and mussels served in a lobster broth with fresh fennel, garlic croutons and rouille on the side.





dover sole


Dover Sole Meuniere  Pan seared whole Dover sole, served in a lemon, butter parsley sauce. Served with fresh seasonal vegatables and deboned tableside.  






“Working with N.E. Seafood, they understand the quality we demand and how important it is to me.” Chef Jean-Michel  

Chef Jean-Michel is excited to pick fresh porcini and chanterelle mushrooms in the Vail Valley for his fall menu.  He enjoys changing menu specials to the best seasonal seafood available including: Fresh soft shell crab, Halibut, Fresh Calamari, Live Sea Urchin and Wild King Salmon.  

Visit Chef Jean-Michel and his exemplary staff at Left Bank in the beautiful Vail Valley!  Visit his website at