This week, Chef Scott Crawford announced Madison Tessener has joined Crawford Hospitality as the Chef de Cuisine for his French bistro Jolie, opening later this Summer. For Tessener, this marks a return to Raleigh—her hometown—after a career working in the South’s most respected kitchens—at Fig, Husk, Charleston Grill, McCrady’s and Chez Nous—in Charleston since 2011.
“We are so excited to welcome Madison into our Crawford Hospitality family. Madison’s refined palate, classical training and inherent talent make her an excellent addition to our team, and the ideal chef de cuisine for Jolie,” says Crawford, who also noted their shared value prioritizing family. “It’s been a goal to return to Raleigh and share my talent in the city that I’ve called home,” said Tessener, who is delighted that joining Chef Crawford’s team enables her to relocate near parents and siblings.
Madison Tessener has a longtime passion for cooking, beginning in childhood in her mother’s kitchen. While attending College of Charleston, earning a hospitality and tourism degree, she began her culinary career in earnest. Inspired after dining at FIG—recognized among the “Best Restaurants in America” by EATER—she secured a coveted stage, and ultimately jump-started her career, joining James Beard award winning chef Mike Lata’s team for one year. In the years that followed, Tessener continued to work for the best—from butchering at world renowned Chef Sean Brock’s Husk restaurant, to acting as line cook at Charleston Grill and The Glass Onion, to becoming sous chef at Brock’s McCrady’s Tavern in 2014.
In 2017 she joined the intimate kitchen team at the beloved Chez Nous, whose menu features food and wine exclusively from France, Italy and Spain. In her young career, Tessener has also cooked at a Michelin-starred restaurant in Gothenburg, Sweden and most recently, at Wildair in New York City. Additionally, she has completed her Level One Sommelier exam from the Court of Master Sommeliers, and supported charitable groups—Feed the Need in Charleston—and Bad Bitches, a charity for women in food and beverage. Such a decade of experience uniquely positioned Tessener to be Crawford’s Chef de Cuisine for his next restaurant endeavor, Jolie.
Crawford’s French bistro Jolie—named for his daughter—is inspired by the small neighborhood bistros throughout Paris where the attention to detail in simple cookery is remarkable and setting serves as THE destination for locals and destination diners alike. This cozy 35-seat corner restaurant opening next door to Crawford & Son will feature an open kitchen, 25-seat pergola-covered rooftop, and a menu celebrating the French classics alongside Crawford’s modern interpretations.