Jean-Jacques Granet, an acclaimed pastry chef who has worked on three continents, has been named Executive Pastry Chef at Pechanga Resort & Casino. After spending nearly 15 years as pastry chef at two of the most prestigious luxury resorts in Las Vegas, Granet is happy to call Southern California home.
Granet started on his lifelong affair with pastries at 16 when he became enchanted with the aroma of a neighborhood pastry shop in Marseille where he grew up. He began working at the shop, and a couple years later, entered the Culinary Arts School of Nice. He graduated at 21 with a pastry chef certification. Baking was to be put on hold as he was called into France’s military forces for one year. He served as a peacekeeper for the French United Nations coalition in Lebanon. When his tour was over, he returned to the kitchen and landed a job working with Meilleurs Ouvriers de France (MOF), translated to “king of pastries,” Philippe Segond at Riederer Patisserie in Aix-en-Provence.
He worked his way into the kitchens of Michelin Star Chef Jean-Marc Banzo in Aix-en-Provence and Jacques Chibois at the Gray D’Albion in Cannes. With the experience he gained in France, he set off to explore the world.
In 1998, Granet accepted the position of executive pastry chef for the Intercontinental Hotel in Buenos Aires, Argentina. There he supervised staff for three restaurants and a banquet room that could accommodate up to 800 guests.
In 2000, he was transferred to a larger operation in Caracas, Venezuela at the Tamanaco Hotel as executive pastry chef. There he oversaw staff for three restaurants and banquet operations.
After a culinary friend had moved to the United States, Granet too became intrigued. He prepared a dessert tasting at The Mansion at MGM Grand in Las Vegas. His creations stood out over his competitors and secured him the position of Executive Pastry Chef for the luxurious hotel.Just a year later, his stellar desserts, baked goods and leadership qualities landed him the Executive Assistant Pastry Chef for the entire MGM Grand Resort. This experience introduced the traveled pastry chef to a new dimension in his career – overseeing a staff of more than 50 employees, as well as the dessert and bakery needs for the hectic room service department for the 5,044-room hotel, 8 restaurants and banquet facilities able to accommodate more than 7,000 people. In 2012, he was named Executive Pastry Chef for the entire Resort at MGM Grand including the Signature Towers, adding 1,500 hotel rooms to his charge.
He was hired at Pechanga in March 2015 and has immediately implemented positive changes to the 20-person in-house bakery and pastry shop. He has already gentrified the lineup of desserts offered at Journey’s End golf course restaurant. He plans to make improvements to the desserts and pastries offered at Blends Coffee & Wine Bar, and later work with each of the 11 dining outlets and banquets departments to fulfill and exceed customers’ expectations in the sweet department.
Jean-Jacques is married with one adult son. In true French style, he enjoys road biking and time at the beach.