est Restaurant Manager
Four Seasons Tenure
- Since 2017
- First Four Seasons Assignment: Four Seasons Hotel George V, Paris
- Signature, Mandarin Oriental, Tokyo; L’Orangerie, Four Seasons Hotel George V, Paris; Hôtel du Palais, Biarritz; Restaurant Argile, Tokyo; Restaurant Esquisse, Tokyo
- Biarritz, France
- BTEC Higher National Diploma in Landscape Architecture, Ecole du Breuil, Paris
- French, English, Japanese, Spanish
As Restaurant Manager of est, the innovative French restaurant at Four Seasons Hotel Tokyo at Otemachi, Jonathan Montolieu sets the keynote for the dining experience. Brimming with energy, his young and dynamic team is poised to shake up Tokyo’s French gastronomy scene. “We’re breaking the old rules of fine dining. No stuffy service or hushed silences here…it’s not a library!” says Jonathan. “We’re keeping it lively, approachable and fun.”
With an impressive track record at reputed culinary establishments in Paris and Tokyo, Jonathan’s innovative approach rests on a strong foundation. Most recently, he managed a well-known French restaurant at a luxury hotel in Tokyo, prior to which he honed his supervisory abilities at the famed L’Orangerie at Four Seasons Hotel George V, Paris. He also served as Maître d’Hôtel at the Hôtel du Palais in Biarritz and Restaurant Argile in Tokyo, excelling at a variety of skills – from training employees to deliver exceptional service, to creating positivity within a fast-paced work environment.
Born in France’s beautiful Basque region, Jonathan spent his childhood surrounded by good food and wine – yet his calling for hospitality came much later. As he notes, “My career was shaped by both my grandfathers, one after the other. My father’s father, with whom I grew up, was a farmer. From him I got my love of plants and gardens, which inspired me to study landscape architecture.” His studies eventually led him to Paris, where he started working at a restaurant and bar to earn some extra money, just like his other grandfather had in the past. “It was a revelation,” Jonathan says with a smile. Right away, he loved interacting with diners and showed a natural talent for transforming an ordinary meal into a special occasion. After completing his degree, he seized the opportunity to help with the opening of a new restaurant in his hometown, setting himself on a path that would eventually take him halfway around the world in pursuit of new challenges.
Now, at est, Jonathan combines his inherent passion with his Michelin-sharpened credentials to infuse the guest experience with warmth and excitement. The moment diners arrive, the team initiates a signature welcome experience: swing by the kitchen to meet Chef Guillaume and his team, followed by cocktails and a casual chat out on the panoramic terrace. Guests are then escorted to their table, relaxed and ready to enjoy the incredible meal in store. Thoughtful interactions elevate the entire culinary journey, with the service team creating a dynamic ambience and revealing the story behind each plate. As Jonathan explains, “We play music through service. My team members are the musicians, I’m the conductor. And together we create a symphony for our guests.”