Our Story

Douglas Mathieux

Founder and President

 

Douglas Mathieux’s vision for Rigolo Café is that each dish and every guest experience captures the essence of his experience growing up in France, and the culture of French food and dining.

Born to a French father and American mother, Mathieux’s upbringing in France was split in two – one part in the deep countryside outside of Lyon, and the other part in the chic Etoile neighborhood of Paris.

 

Growing up in the village of Bourg-Argental, France, Mathieux was raised on foods grown on his family’s vast property - fresh preserves and jams made from hand-picked fruits and berries; homemade yogurts; crème fraiche skimmed from the top of the milk by hand; as well as great fresh meals and soups made from the garden’s daily pickings. In French tradition, daily trips to the market always included fresh baguettes and assorted pastries, including Doug’s childhood favorites, les palmiers and pains au chocolat.

 

Not unlike many Europeans, Mathieux’s summers were spent on the Mediterranean in quaint Ste Maxime with his large French family where they would dine al fresco on fresh fish, marinated olives, herbes de provence, and even the specialty dessert of nearby St. Tropez - tarte tropézienne.

 

During these family vacations, much of the family time revolved around big family meals where several generations of cousins, aunts, uncles, and grandparents, would gather and spend hours eating, drinking, and engaging in friendly debate. As a result, Mathieux developed a deep appreciation for family and fresh, home-cooked meals.

 

His later years in Paris introduced him to a vibrant café culture. People of all backgrounds pack into the sidewalk cafes the city is well known for, and enjoy a café-style meal, a simple coffee or a glass of wine, while meeting up with friends or enjoying live music.

 

Not a trained chef or baker, Mathieux is a businessman with a hearty appetite for success. After earning an undergraduate degree from UC Berkeley and an MBA from Thunderbird, Mathieux headed to Brazil where he learned the ropes of business management at one of South America’s largest Coca-Cola factories. Doug also honed his management skills at Apple Inc. before jumping into the restaurant world. He is fluent in French, English, Spanish and Portuguese.

 

Mathieux is married with two young daughters Alexa and Melania, both of whom also speak French, in addition to English.