December 15, 1930 - October 3, 2019
A celebration of Michel's life will be held Sunday, October 27th from 2 to 5 p.m. in the Mozart Room at Trapp Family Lodge in Stowe.
Michel Etienne Martinet passed away on the morning of Thursday, October 3rd, in the presence of his loving family.
Michel was born in Chateauneuf-sur-Loire, France on December 15th, 1930. He spent his early years in the throes of World War II and the German occupation of France. He and his family kept safe during that time, and all survived to see the liberation of their country. Michel then embarked on his own journey, training as a chef, joining the Merchant Marines of France, and coming to the United States. He married his first wife, Janice Nelson from Waterbury, and had 4 beautiful daughters. He married his second wife, Jane, from Hingham, Massachusetts, in August of 1992.
Michel made his mark on the legendary culinary landscape in Stowe as Executive Chef of the Lodge at Smuggler’s Notch and the Trapp Family Lodge. He began his career in France attending the culinary school St. Evert. He then traveled to Paris to work at the historic Le Bristol Paris, working under chefs that were trained in the kitchens of the iconic French Chef, Auguste Escoffier. In 1954, he came to the United States, landing in Stowe where he became the Executive Chef of the Lodge for 24 years. The Lodge was renowned for its cuisine, and celebrities and politicians frequented the hotel. Michel enjoyed telling the stories of having to kick a young JFK, Jr. out of his kitchen, and the hotel was the only one in the world that Alfred Hitchcock did not bring his own food or wine cellar, due to its reputation. Michel had a fellow countryman and best friend that was an icon of the Stowe restaurant scene, Jean Lavina, the owner and chef of Isle de France. After the Lodge closed in 1979, Michel taught his skills to students at the New England Culinary Institute in Montpelier. In 1983 he reunited with his Sous Chef from the Lodge, Yvon Robert, to lead the kitchen at the new Trapp Family Lodge when it reopened after the fire of 1980. His retirement years were first spent prepping at the lovely bistro Mes Amis in Stowe owned by Carol and Peter Fisher. He continued to enjoy his house in Stowe, traveling with Jane, playing golf, watching his beloved Red Sox, and enjoying many dinners with family and friends.
Jane appreciates her life with Michel, the kind, loving gentlemen that is the love of her life, and she will love him for the rest of her days. She also wants her love and thoughts for the wonderful family that Michel has, both in the States and in France. They have made the memory of Michel a long lasting, loving part of her life.
Michel is survived by his wife, Jane Martinet; his four daughters with his former wife, Janice Martinet of Waterbury, Danielle Magowan and her husband, Jamey Magowan of Winooski, Monica Martinet of Morrisville, Francine Duckworth and her husband, Craig Duckworth of Middlesex, and Nicole Ledbetter of Morrisville. He is also survived by his two grandchildren, Garrett Frawley of California, and Brianna Coache and her husband, Bryan Coache, along with Riley, the great grand pup that put a twinkle in Michel’s eyes, of Saint Albans. He is also survived by his brother, Bernard Martinet of Orleans, France, and sister Anne-Marie Martinet, also from Orleans, as well as many nieces and nephews throughout the United States and the Loire Valley in France. We would like to thank with all our hearts the wonderful, caring people at Home, Health, and Hospice, Carol Piper, and Doctor David M. Bisbee. In appreciation for their help In his final days, we would like to thank the caring staff at the University of Vermont Medical Center, especially the staff of Baird 3 and Miller 4.
A private burial will be held with immediate family. A gathering for a celebration of his life will be announced in the Stowe Reporter in the next few weeks.
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