Le Pichet and Café Presse owners Jim Drohman and Joanne Herron have both long been charmed by the food, wine and lifestyle of France. Jim left a career as an Aeronautical Engineer to train in the cuisine at l’Ecole Superior de Cuisine Francais Jean Ferrandi in Paris. During his stay in France, he worked at several restaurants, including Le Boudin Sauvage and the Michelin rated Le Coq de la Maison Blanche. In 1991, he returned to Seattle and was chef at both Campagne and Café Campagne.
Joanne has worked in the service industry since 1988, including over 12 years at Market Place Caterers/The RUINS. Her interest in France began with her first visit to the French countryside at age 19 and has grown through many professional and personal visits. She has spent extensive time touring the wine producing regions of France, learning firsthand from winemakers and importers and has participated in the “vendage” or harvest of grapes in the Loire Valley.
Jim and Joanne opened Le Pichet in 2000 with the hope of recreating the personal, neighborhood style of restaurant they had come to love in France. Located in Seattle’s Pike Place Market Historical District, Le Pichet is a 32 seat restaurant specializing in the regional cuisine and wine of France. The name “Le Pichet” means “The Pitcher”, which is the ceramic vessel in which simple, traditional neighborhood restaurants in France serve wine.
After more than 16 years, Le Pichet continues to serve the Pike Place Market neighborhood under their direction and the supervision of Le Pichet Chef de Cuisine David Cooper and Dining Room Manager Sophie Guerrero. A Seattle native, David spent a number of years traveling before eventually returning to the Northwest. During his travels, he spent time Chicago, where he held the position of chef de cuisine at HB Home Bistro and Executive Chef at Michelin recommended Bite Café. Sophie, who is from Angers, France, graduated from the Centre de Formation Professionel in Angers. She worked at the Auberge du Soleil in Napa Valley before joining Le Pichet on opening day in August 2000.
In 2007, Jim and Joanne opened their second restaurant, Café Presse, located on south Capitol Hill. For more information about Café Presse, please visit our website at cafepresseseattle.com.
In July 2011, Jim announced the launching of his own blog – jimdrohman.com. The blog features news and upcoming events at Café Presse and Le Pichet, recipes, photo galleries and random thoughts about food. It also gives him a forum to discuss one of his passions, the home in the Southwest of France that he and his wife Sheila purchased in February 2011.