Saint-Germain was created by Drew Delaughter and Chefs Blake Aguillard and Trey Smith. Drew and Trey met in 2008 at culinary school in Hyde Park, NY. They both moved to New Orleans after school. Drew worked at Susan Spicer’s Bayona restaurant working his way up to captain, gaining valuable service experience, as well as, wine and spirit knowledge. Smith went to work for Chef Michael Gulotta at Restaurant August where he met and worked alongside Aguillard. They each moved to Europe and spent over a year working, living and traveling. They were based on the French-German border where Alsace meets the Black Forest. They worked for Karl Joseph Fuchs, a famed chef known for wild game and unpasteurized cheese making. It was during this period, while spending a great deal of time in Paris and traveling extensively through Germany and France, that the chefs developed a love for the casual, non-pretentious food and wine experience. The natural wine bars and bistros created an authentic experience of great food and wine in a dive bar setting.
After moving back from Europe, Smith and Aguillard reunited with Gulotta as his opening sous chefs at Mopho Restaurant. They were also reunited with Delaughter who also was on the team. The three worked their way up as the restaurant group grew. Delaughter and Aguillard became GM and Chef de Cuisine of Mopho, and Smith became the opening Chef de Cuisine of Maypop.
Aguillard moved to San Francisco to do a stint at Saison, a Michelin 3 Star restaurant, ranked as a Top 50 restaurant in the world. Upon Aguillard’s return to New Orleans, the trio decided to open a place and Saint-Germain was born. The inspiration was to bring the casual, everyday feeling of France to New Orleans, a city where French wine and food is frequently reserved for more formal settings. Inspired food and unique, special wines don’t have to always be enjoyed on a white tablecloth.