Roland Passot

Propriétaire and Chief Culinary Officer

Chief Culinary Officer Chef and co-proprietor of Left Bank, Roland is responsible for overseeing the culinary operations of all three restaurants. Internationally acclaimed for his exceptional French cooking, Chef Passot has designed a simple, seasonally-changing French brasserie-style menu.

A native of Lyon, known as France’s gastronomic capital, Roland commenced his restaurant career by simultaneously going to school and working as apprentice to many fine chefs, including Jean-Paul LaComb at Leon de Lyon. At the age of nineteen he became the chef de cuisine at Pierre Orsi.

After two years at Orsi, Jean Banchet, chef-owner of Le Français in Wheeling, Illinois, persuaded Roland to come to the United States and become a member of his award-winning restaurant team. During this period, Le Français was regarded as the finest French restaurant in North America. Roland remained in Chicago for four years.

In 1980, Roland relocated to San Francisco as the opening chef of Le Castel. Then in 1981 Jean Banchet played another integral role in Roland’s career by appointing him as chef to The French Room at the Adolphus Hotel in Dallas, Texas. As Roland likes to say, he became a Texan for a few years and even perfected his Texan drawl.

In 1988, Roland returned to San Francisco and opened La Folie with his brother George and his wife Jamie. Since that time, La Folie has achieved tremendous critical acclaim. Zagat Restaurant Survey, Gault Millau and San Francisco Focus have rated La Folie as one of the three best restaurants in San Francisco. Gourmet Magazine awarded La Folie “Best Food in San Francisco” in 1996. In 1998, La Folie was inducted into the Nation’s Restaurant News Fine Dining Hall of Fame. In 1990 Roland himself was awarded the coveted James Beard Rising Star Chef award. As a result of Roland’s culinary prowess and his contributions to French cuisine, he was inducted as a Maître Cuisiner of France in 1991.

Roland is well respected in the industry for his passion and culinary expertise. He is one of the most popular instructors at nationally acclaimed state-of-the-art Draeger’s Culinary Center in both Menlo Park and San Mateo. Roland is a regular participant in the San Francisco Chronicle’s weekly food evaluations, appears occasionally on local television cooking shows, and starred in a national PBS promo spot. He frequently donates his efforts and energies to numerous charities and is a regular participant in Meals on Wheels and The James Beard Foundation.

In July 1994, in partnership with long-time food service executive Edward Levine, Left Bank in Larkspur opened to much anticipation. Four years later in 1998, the second Left Bank opened in Menlo Park. San Jose on Santana Row, opened in 2003. As the New York Times says, “Left Bank represents Roland’s longtime passion for a simple, friendly place where people can drop in and have just oysters and a glass of wine, or a full meal.”