Jean Banchet, chef who opened Le Francais in Wheeling, dies at 70

November 25, 2013 2:43:52 PM PST
A French-born chef who many credit with bringing fine dining to the Chicago area has died.

Jean Banchet died Sunday in his Florida home. Banchet was also an avid motorcycle rider. He opened Le Francais in Wheeling in 1973.

He first moved to the United States from France in 1968 when he was lured by Hugh Hefner to open the Playboy Club in Lake Geneva.

Reports say he had been diagnosed with inoperable pancreatic cancer. Banchet was 70.