Executive Chefs

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Personal Chef Services versus SoBe Restaurant

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Francois Giovanni Merle


Lanydrek "Christ" Pandzou

Personal Chef ServicesSoBe Restaurant

Monday, Jul 17, 2017 - 6:00pm - 9:45pm (doors open at 5:30pm)

Points South Latin Kitchen
1640 Thames Street
Baltimore, Maryland, 21231

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Francois Giovanni Merle
Executive Chef/Owner
Personal Chef Services

Chef Francois Giovanni Merle

About the Chef

Born on the island of Mauritius, Chef Giovanni has worked in kitchens all over the world from France to Puerto Rico from Jamaica to the United Arab Emirates. He started cooking as a young boy in his mother’s café and noticed he really had a natural ability to use whatever was available to craft a delicious dish. Chef Giovanni began formal training at the age of 16 in Mauritius and later in the South of France. He was classically trained in French technique and holds a Brevet Professional Cuisine Certification.

Chef Giovanni has worked with some of the best French chefs, including James Beard nominee Yannik Cam.

He lives by the mantra; laughter is brightest where food is best. He believes that good food and physical fitness are essential to overall well-being. His Strictly Ital Movement aims to promote a connection to the outdoors, mindfulness and clean eating. When he’s not in the kitchen he enjoys yoga practice, honing his drumming skills, and learning about agriculture.

His cooking style is much like his Mauritian upbringing; it is comprised of a melting pot of cultures including Creole, Asian and French. He loves working with fresh produce and exotic fruits and vegetables

When asked about a favorite dish he prepares, Chef Giovanni told us, "I did a salmon paillason, that I'm proud of because nobody thought about it. It is consists of fine hash brown julienne, and coating a piece of fresh salmon; I consider it a fusion of a French American classic".


Personal Chef Services


Lanydrek "Christ" Pandzou
Executive Chef
SoBe Restaurant

Chef Lanydrek

About the Chef

Originally from Republic of Congo in Central Africa, Christ Lanydrek is a native French Chef who was already showing his culinary inclination at the age of five, when he surprised his grandfather by ordering “escargots” at a restaurant. By the age of 12, he had developed a full-fledge passion for tasty food living in a farm with his grandparents and knew at that point he wanted to study culinary arts. With the help of his grandfather “a two star Michelin chef” and the encouragement of is mother Christ Lanydrek was determined to become a great chef.

Upon graduating in Classic French, Restaurant Managements and International Cooking from the Academi Culinair de France, Christ completed his apprenticeship at le Grand Chef Bistro. He first started his career there before he joins the kitchen brigade at Le Grand Bistro a place he will forever call home. He later decided to move to the US to reunite with his mother and brother following a tragic death of his mentor grandfather. During that time, he also took on the opportunity to share his experience and taught apprentice cooking at North Carolina A&T University and Bennett College as sous chef for Sodexo.

In 2014, Christ was delighted to move to Washington, DC as Chef the Cuisine at Le Grenier Bistro and years later became the Executive Chef for Colony South Hotel and Conference Center and now Sobe Restaurant and Lounge, it’s with love that he spends time to discovering new local flavors and products and goes on a culinary experience once year around the world to create new dish and bring quality food for his guest. He continued to be actively involved in the community, giving back to less fortunate and never stop sharing his knowledge with everyone via school appearances, cooking demo or TV shows.

At home, he enjoys cooking for his lovely Son, Mother and Brother. He loves when they all help to prepare the ingredients together and sit around the kitchen island waiting to sample first-hand his famous Risotto with truffles. At work, Christ strives to excel through simplicity, by presenting his guests with dishes of exceptional quality. His style is described as innovative and classical. Using French culinary principles as a foundation and adding the endless supply of regional ingredients, he creates dishes that are simple yet elegant letting the essence of the star ingredients shine through. He works to deconstruct recipes, reinventing them with the products presenting the freshness and most intense flavors.


Chef Christ has received several honors such as the Silver Medal at the NC Chef League, Silver Medal at Mason Dixon Master Chef competition and a Gold Medal at the Arlington cooking competition. He is a true epicurean and loves to treat his friends to his new creations to get their feedback before introducing them on the restaurant menus. His culinary philosophy and passion reflect the current trend towards a healthier and naturally nutritional diet. Working with neighboring farmers to seek out the finest in regional and local organic produce, is the essence of his cuisine.


<b>SoBe Restaurant</b>

SoBe Restaurant

About the Restaurant

SoBe Restaurant and Lounge surpasses the ordinary in Prince George's County through superior customer service and a distinguished and inspired menu. We only use the freshest ingredients and employ cutting edge cooking techniques to give you a one of a kind dining experience.

Located in the heart of Prince George's County, we offer refined lunch and dinner menus featuring fresh seafood and a fusion of Latin, Asian, American, and Italian fare. We serve fresh fish daily and our chef complements our entrées with locally grown, seasonal vegetables.