Upon his semi-retirement, Thierry Rautureau, better known to many as the award-winning Chef in the Hat, was ready to embark on a new culinary endeavor. He sought to expand his brand beyond traditional fine dining into a more approachable but still sophisticated experience that would appeal to a wider audience.
Rautureau collaborated with MG2 and SSP America to design and develop LouLou Market & Bar: a French-meets-Pacific Northwest restaurant in the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport. The restaurant weaves together the chef’s passion for cooking, a lifetime of culinary accomplishments, and rich personal history.
The familiar wood tones and neutral colors of its nearby terminal neighbors are delicately interrupted by a dark blue and white color palette. It’s a strategic motif that distinguishes itself while also creating a welcoming respite in the chaotic gate environment.
Custom wall coverings surround visitors—hand-illustrated to pay homage to Rautureau’s childhood dog—gracing the walls alongside a refined logo, signage, and greenery-adorned shelving. Elegant yet hearty Parisian fixtures, furnishings, and operational elements such as rattan seating and bespoke brass beer taps combine to create a warm market atmosphere. Menus, plating, and presentations artfully blend French and Pacific Northwest culinary traditions.
“We wanted to make sure it lived up to the Chef’s reputation,” explains Peter Stocker, Principal and LouLou’s design and branding lead. “It was a powerful collaboration in which we pooled ideas and talents to achieve a genuine design vision. I believe we were successful in honoring his legacy, brand, and personal history — the end result is authentically and aesthetically him.”