Born in 1977 in Clermont-Ferrand, one of five children of a Portuguese family, Serge Vieira has a passion for industrial design. Given his familiarity with the language of graphics, he might have been expected to head straight for a career in a design office, but eventually he turned his attention to his other passion: cuisine.
Following an apprenticeship in Dominique Robert’s restaurant in Chamalières, he won his first competition, earning the title of “best young cook, Auvergne-Québec.” He was only 20 years old at the time.
That was the beginning of a long rise that brought the young man first to work at Bernard Andrieux’ prestigious restaurant in Clermont-Ferrand, then to enthusiastically join the team at Château Marçay in Chinon, a Relais & Châteaux restaurant. There, he became Chef de Partie and met and fell in love with his future wife, Marie-Aude. Together, they moved on to Marc Meneau’s restaurant L’Espérance in Saint-Père-sous-Vézelay, with three Michelin stars, and that experience was an eye-opener… For three and a half years, Serge Vieira explored the terrain, observed, and learned. The couple next went to Régis Marcon’s Auberge des Cimes in Saint-Bonnet-le-Froid, where the Michelin-starred chef noticed Serge’s talent and encouraged him to enter the Bocuse d’or, the world’s most prestigious gastronomic competition. Having qualified, he prepared intensively for the competition over a period of several months, under the guidance of Régis Marcon and surrounded by a star-studded team of French master chefs: Jacques Décoret, Éric Pras, and Davy Tissot. He won the Bocuse d’Or in 2005, at just 27 years of age.