Chef Claude Melchiorri was born in the heart of the Pays d’Auge, famous for its apple brandy, Calvados, in the Normandy region of France. “My father was Italian and my mother was French and I was the youngest of 13 children, so instead of helping my dad in the construction business, I helped my mother in the kitchen.” explains Melchiorri. Cutting his teeth on his mother’s apron strings launched a stellar career cooking in world-renowned restaurants including Maxim’s in Paris, the Connaught in London and Ernie’s in San Francisco. He made his way to Orlando in 1980 where he opened his first restaurants, La Normandie and Caruso’s. He and Uli, a native of Austria and Claude’s partner and wife, then came to Hilton Head Island in 1994 where he established his reputation at Le Rendez-Vous Café, La Normandie, and now at Claude & Uli’s Bistro in Bluffton, at the foot of the Hilton Head Island bridge, since 2005.