Born on the island of Mauritius in the Indian Ocean, Macquet grew up with Creole,Asian, African and Indian home-cooked dishes. Since then, his career has taken him around the world tasting, exploring and experiencing the flavors of both hemispheres. Macquet has honedhis skills in locations as diverse as South Africa, London, Southeast Asia and Beverly Hills. He has cooked aboard the legendary ocean liner Queen Elizabeth II, at the James Beard Foundation, at the White House and at the U.S. Embassy in Paris.
After his extensive travels, Macquet chose New Orleans as the perfect stage for his ongoing culinary celebration. Following an award-winning stint as executive chef at the Bistro at the Maison de Ville, the chef opened Dominique’s in the French Quarter and began the process of returning to his roots. The restaurant was a popular and critical success, garnering the Times-Picayune’s coveted Four Bean review and the DIRONA award. New Orleans Magazine named Macquet its Chef of the Year in 1997; Esquire Magazine named Dominique’s among the Top 20 Best New Restaurants. A year later, Bon Appetit included it as one of the nation’s seven best.
After Hurricane Katrina in 2005, Macquet relocated to Houston and opened Dominique’s at the Marriott. Even during this temporary stint, Dominique’s was named one of the year’s Best New Restaurants by My Table Magazine. Other honors and applause came from Texas Monthly, Houston Modern Luxury, Arts Houston, 002, H Texas, and the Houston Chronicle.
In late 2010, the first Dominique’s on Magazine was born. It was here that Macquet’s innovative combination of island flavors with the precision of French technique truly came to fruition. Within the first six months, this Dominique’s received four stars from City Business and Best New Restaurant from New Orleans Magazine, Esquire, Gambit and the Times-Picayune. Dominique’s also received a glowing Four Bean review from Brett Anderson of the Times-Picayune. With all this success, the search began for a larger location – leading the chef to open the new 200 seat Dominique’s on Magazine in early 2013 in a former Fire Station originally built in 1909.
With co-author John DeMers, Macquet has published two successful cookbooks, “Dominique’s Fresh Flavors: Cooking with Latitude in New Orleans” (Ten Speed Press) and “Tropical Latitudes” (Bright Sky Press). He explains that while he sometimes thinks of his cooking as “Tropical French,” others call it simply “latitude,” perfectly summing up the around-the-globe approach Macquet brings to every dish on the menu.
Looking back at his career, perhaps Macquet’s favorite memory was cooking Nelson Mandela’s first meal outside South African prison walls. “Mandela has been an inspiration to so many in his fight for freedom,” the chef says. “In the kitchen in all these years, I’ve learned there are so many kinds of freedom. And I want to celebrate them all.”