Born on the coast of France, Marcel Agnez is one of 10 children. From an early age, he gravitated to his family’s kitchen, where his mother consistently gathered the local produce, the abundant fish, and the meats from local farms to create meals that inspire. At the heart of his cuisine is the Normandy influence and a dedication to the now popular notion of “farm-to-table.”
When the love of cooking transitioned to a career, Marcel enrolled in Lycée Hotelier Granville and graduated to take an apprenticeship with Bernard Leprince, a decorated chef recognized with both the Meilleur Ouvrier de France (Best Craftsman of France) and the French National Order of Merit.
As a journeyman chef, Agnez became a widely traveled pastry chef, sous chef, and, ultimately, an executive chef. Following the seasonal world of Club Med resorts, he made stops in Mexico, the Bahamas, Switzerland, Guadeloupe, Capri, and Spain.
Working in the high profile restaurant world of New York City, however, became a recurring theme in his thinking. Following his dreams, he settled in the city and found a permanent home in the Big Apple.
“I knew 20 words of English, so I took out the Pages Jaunes, looked up French restaurants, and made a list !” he acknowledges with a smile
“The first call was answered with an offer, but after spending a morning in the kitchen, I realized that I didn’t want another apprenticeship. I wanted more.”
Luxury private chef Florida
The next day, the aspiring executive chef appeared at the legendary Plaza Athenee hotel, which boasted of one of the most famous French restaurants in the world – Le Regence. Over the course of six years, Marcel Agnez worked his way through all of the “stations” in the kitchen – pastry, sauces, fish, meats, sous chef – until the departure of the Head Chef provided the opening he had dreamed of. Until 1997, he was celebrated as the Executive Chef at The Plaza Athenee, where he earned his Five Diamonds.
Changes come to all endeavors, and when a change in management occurred, Marcel decided it was time to step out on his own. For four years, he was the owner/chef at Joanies on 29th Street. Until September 11th 2001, the day that changed the hospitality industry forever, Marcel was a happy New Yorker. The event that happened on that day pushed Marcel to change his trajectory: “I needed to step back, to find a place that would let me re-focus.”
That place was back in Normandy, so for the next four years, Marcel became the Chef de Cuisine of the Hotel Des Iles in Barneville-Carteret, France. Back to Normandy and the familiar sights, sounds, sources, and recipes of his youth. Farm-to-table. Ocean-to- table. Fresh, imaginative, and highly satisfying food continued to be his trademark.
“But, I missed New York,” he admits. The energy and dynamic of NYC brought him back. He did not tie himself to one restaurant, however, but took advantage of his stellar reputation to become a private chef to some of the highest profile ventures and individuals centered in New York.
National Artists Management, Boxwood Gardens, Manolo Blahnik USA all engaged Agnez to create private dinners, lavish receptions, and culinary experiences worthy of high-profile guests and clients. Until, one day, he got a call from an old co-worker from the Plaza Athenee.
“A manager from my days at the Plaza Athenee reached out to see what I was doing. Was I interested in opening a new restaurant ?”. The conversation quickly focused on the start of this new adventure.
Chef Agnez was intrigued with the prospect of building an experience from the ground up – not inheriting traditions and habits from other chefs, but bringing his imagination and skill to bear on a new venture.
In 2020, in the midst of Covid-19, Marcel decided to move to Florida and start a new journey, both personally and professionally. Since establishing himself in the Tampa Bay region, he has been offering his services as Private Chef to individuals and companies that want to experience the finest french cuisine.
Contact chef Marcel Agnez for your social or professional events ! Your guests will be amazed by his French Touch and savoir-faire, inherited from his parents and developed through his numerous experiences in some of the best establishments around the world.
📲 (203) 517-8403
FRAMCO is thrilled to have such a prestigious Chef as a member, and we look forward to making it possible for our community to live an extraordinary culinary experience from the comfort of their home !