Raymond was born December 26, 1920 in a small town that was a suburb of Paris. Growing up he loved sport, soccer was one of his favorites; he played in a soccer match on his wedding day. He also embraced bicycle racing and was a keen participant in local events.
During WWII, Raymond was pressed into forced labor and transported to Germany. Granted leave to visit his family, he never returned and ultimately joined the French Army. Following the war, Ray met the lovely Marie, the companion of his life, at a summer resort.
Raymond was trained to be a welder but that work was scarce so he became a waiter. Following other family members, Ray and Marie immigrated to America and settled in Chicago. In 1956, they moved their family, now including daughters Raphaele and Michele, to Los Angeles.
Ray continued to pursue his career and worked in some of the area’s top restaurants including Chasen’s and Matteo’s. Raymond and Marie were part of the growing French community in Southern California. They watched as the interest in finer dining, beyond steak and potatoes, grew. In 1968, Ray took the plunge and opened the La Grange Restaurant on Westwood Boulevard.