Breaking: Chef Rob Feenie to Take Over Le Crocodile as Chef Michel Jacob Retires

Jacob will retire in the spring, and Le Crocodile by Rob Feenie will open in May 2024.

After 41 years, Michel Jacob is officially saying “in a while, Le Crocodile” (not a direct quote, but we couldn’t resist). The acclaimed chef is retiring in April, but leaving the restaurant in very good hands: chef Rob Feenie (of Cactus, Lumiere, Feenie’s, Iron Chef Canada, you know the guy) will reopen the West End spot as Le Crocodile by Rob Feenie in May.

Chef Michel Jacob (centre) with Chef Rob Feenie (immediate right) in the kitchen of Le Crocodile in 1993.

We’d hinted at Rob Feenie heading back into the restaurant business—in fact, back in 2022 we got an exclusive interview with Feenie during which he said (and this one’s a real quote) “When I look at people like Michel Jacob, one of my mentors—Michel is still behind the stove almost 40 years later. That’s something I love—I love food, I love making people happy, and that’s all I want to do.” Either that was a hint, or Feenie’s got some major manifestation chops.

From left: Rob Feenie, Émile Jung and Michel Jacob

Feenie and Jacob are longtime buddies, and Feenie worked at Le Crocodile as a sous chef from ’92 to ’95. Le Crocodile has regularly won Best French in the Vanmag Restaurant Awards, and Jacob himself has received numerous accolades, including our Lifetime Achievement Award. He’s been inducted into the BC Restaurant Hall of Fame, and most recently, being named an Officer in the Ordre du Mérite Agricole (Order of Agricultural Merit) by the French government for highlighting the finest Alsatian food using ingredients from France.

Chef Rob Feenie in Alsace at Au Crocodile, doing a stage with Chef Émile Jung in 1995.

“I am deeply honoured Michel is entrusting me with continuing the legacy he has started,” said Feenie via a press release. Le Crocodile by Rob Feenie is expected to open at the end of May 2024—watch this space for updates.

Chefs Michel Jacob and Émile Jung at Le Crocodile in 2008.