With more than 20 years of experience in the restaurant business, Jared Sippel has learned he is most forward-thinking when he is true to his roots. Trained in classic French and Italian cuisine, Sippel spent many years honing his craft in Europe before returning to the States. He closed his Manhattan restaurant after the pandemic hit, and he and his wife, Lindsey, moved back to Darien, CT, to be near her family after the birth of their child Lennon. Sippel debuted L’Ostal, a Provençal restaurant in the southern French tradition, in 2021. 

What inspired you to become a chef?

From a young age I was always fascinated with restaurants. We really only went out for special occasions, so it was always something I looked forward to. My parents almost bought a restaurant when I was very young with a house attached to it. When they told me about the possibility, I always wondered what life would be like to grow up in a restaurant environment.

When was the first time you felt innovative in your career?

Probably when I stepped into my first sous chef role. I don’t know if innovative is the correct word, but it was the first time that I felt I had an impact with the younger cooks, passing on knowledge and techniques that I had learned. With so much variety in cuisine today, how does a chef continue to remain innovative? I think it’s really important to stay true to your style and your cuisine. If you are trying to be innovative, I feel like you will constantly be chasing trends, fads and trying to keep up with what’s new and hip. In my opinion, the true innovators are just being true to their craft.

When you want to indulge, what is your favorite dish/cocktail—at home or out?

I think that there is nothing better for a special occasion than vintage Krug Champagne and 250g of caviar. When you are stuck for ideas, how do you find inspiration? I spend a lot of time reading—I have a large library of cookbooks and I am always searching for old school French and Ital – ian books covering the different cuisines and wines of the regions. The life of a chef is challenging and a tremendous amount of work.

How do you find time to enjoy the fruits of your labor?

We close the restaurant for two weeks in August every year. It’s a time for everyone to recharge for the fall. We always try to go to Europe and are taking our daughter for the first time this year to stay and eat where I worked in Italy and France.

Does your restaurant change its menu seasonally?

If so, what is your favorite fall dish? Yes, we change the menu frequently and do a full menu revamp for every season. For fall, I always gravitate to dishes with porcinis, black trumpets mushrooms, and of course, black winter truffles from France and white truffles from Italy.

With the challenging times the restaurant industry has endured in recent years, how has it inspired you to think outside the box?

There have been a lot of thoughts on how to roll with these punches the last couple years. When it comes to the restaurant, I’ve stayed true to my roots, for I feel I have built my career around the foundation and tradition of French and Italian cuisine, and it would be silly for me to do anything but. I have always found the most success sticking to what I know. On the other hand, we do have some things in the works for our wine cellar space next door this fall. If all goes well, we plan to open a European wine bar built around charcuterie, cheese and small tapas style bites.

Jared Sippel will be cooking at our 10th Anniversary Celebrity Chef Gala Honoring Jacques Pépin Presented by Coterie, Purchase Tickets Here.