Born in December 1965 to a family of Italian immigrants, five years after their arrival in the Vosges, France, and the youngest of seven, young ‘Pepo’, as Joseph Viala was known, practised his scales under the guidance of René Remy at the Hôtel des Vallées in La Bresse. It was a revelation!
Next came four years with Michel Guérard in Eugénie-les-Bains, where he was appointed sous-chef, then a decade in Lyon, at ‘Léon de Lyon’, where he worked alongside Jean-Paul Lacombe as chef.
In 2004, Joseph Viola was awarded the prestigious title of ‘Meilleur Ouvrier de France’ (‘one of France’s best craftsmen’), and in the same year, aided and abetted by his wife, Françoise, he took over from owner-chef Daniel Léron (MOF 1976) at the helm of his typical Lyon bouchon, Daniel & Denise. In 2012, Joseph and Françoise opened a second bouchon, Daniel & Denise Saint Jean, located in the heart of Vieux Lyon old town. Both restaurants have been awarded the Michelin Guide’s Bib Gourmand. And the adventure didn’t stop there – now there’s a third Daniel & Denise bouchon – Daniel & Denise Croix Rousse…
Boasting the coveted ‘bouchons lyonnais’ label, Daniel & Denise has become a veritable institution, testament to Lyon’s vibrant culinary history.