Meet the Chef/owners
In 1997, Chef Poteaux moved to the United States to focus on his culinary career and began training at the French Culinary Institute, while working evenings at Restaurant Daniel in New York under Chef Bradford Thompson (2005 James Beard Award winner)
In 2001, he relocated to Los Angeles and started cooking at the famed L’Orangerie under Chef Ludovic Lefebvre. He then moved to the upscale Jonathan Club as their Executive Banquet Chef, cooking for the Los Angeles business and political elite, before returning to the East Coast in 2003.
In 2003, Poteaux took the reins to revive Aquarelle at the Watergate Hotel. He was quickly being touted by Zagat as a “serious chef.” Seconded Corinna Lothar of the Washington Times, “Aquarelle is back, better than ever.
To blow off steam, Christophe (when he has free time) loves to ride his motorcycle.
Michelle grew up dining at her Great-grandmother's table and helping her Mom cook family dinners. Seeking her own voice, she moved in 1992 to Louisville, Kentucky and graduated from Sullivan University, with degrees in pastry and culinary arts. After completion, Michelle moved to California. As pastry chef at noted bakeries and restaurants, including Juliann's Bakery in San Jose, CA, The Palace in Sunnyvale and Icon Supperclub in Palo Alto, she headed east to become the director of operations for Amphora Bakery in Herndon Virginia in 2003.
In 2004 she joined Chef Christophe Poteaux, as Pastry Chef at Aquarelle at the Watergate Hotel, where they began collaborating on sweet and savory dishes alike. Unlike most pastry chefs, who care nothing for the concepts of the savory side of the operation, she is involved at every level of the menu creation.
Michelle strives for balanced flavors incorporating sweet, salty, acidity to highlight her desserts. Classics and newer techniques find harmony on her menus and is what has made Michelle a 3 time nominated Pastry Chef of the Year by the Restaurant Association of Metropolitan Washington (DC). In 2018, Michelle competed on Food Networks "Chopped" and while she didn't win, she had a wonderful time.
Michelle Poteaux is a mother of two children (more than 30 if you count all of her employees). She is a member of Women Chefs and Restaurateurs and an active member of the Restaurant Association of Metropolitan Washington (DC).
Since opening Bastille in 2006 on the outskirts of Old Town Alexandria VA., the restaurant has garnered eight RAMMY nominations, multiple Washingtonian Top 100 listings and is a Northern Virginia Magazine Top 50 restaurant. Michelle’s desserts are straightforwardly good, cloaked in nothing but vibrant French-Mediterranean flavors, sprinkled with influences from her time growing up in the Midwest, living in California and now the East Coast. In 2013, Chef Michelle Poteaux and her husband/Chef Christophe Poteaux, took Bastille’s creative cuisine to the James Beard House to celebrate Bastille Day.
In January 2015, Chef Michelle and her husband moved and reopened their flagship restaurant, Bastille at 606 N. Fayette Street, located in the Asher building. This contemporary space is only two blocks from the Braddock Metro rail and one block from Route 1 South, in Alexandria’s up and coming West end. An expansive patio, increased dining room capacity and an expansive bar and café area, Bastille has transformed itself once again into a contemporary Parisian hangout.
Bastille is located at 606 N. Fayette Street, Alexandria VA 22314. Reservations can be made via phone at (703) 519-3776 or online at