Café Presse and Le Pichet owners Jim Drohman and Joanne Herron have both long been fascinated by the food, wine and lifestyle of France. Jim left a career in Aeronautical Engineering to train in the cuisine at l’Ecole Superior de Cuisine Jean Ferrandi in Paris. He also 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 1981, 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. Le Pichet continues to serve the Pike Place Market neighborhood under their direction and the supervision of Le Pichet Chef de Cuisine Vince Cooper and Dining Room Manager Sophie Guerrero.
With Café Presse, Jim and Joanne have build another type of Parisian institution, a Bar/Café: the sort of place that Parisians use as an alternative living room, to enjoy coffee and croissants in the morning, lunch, dinner or drinks throughout the day or for a late night bite or a night cap until 1am.
In charge of Café Presse’s kitchen is Chef de Cuisine James O’Hern. James got his culinary start in Florida, before attending culinary school in Seattle. He worked under chef Matt Janke at Lecosho and chef Walter Pisano at Tulio before joining the kitchen at Le Pichet in 2014 and eventually earned the title of Chef de Cuisine of Café Presse.
The Dining Room at Café Presse is overseen by Co-Managers Julie Vehorn and Sean Becktel.
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.
Café Presse is located at 1117 12th Avenue, near Madison Street.