Chef Erling Jensen was born in Frederikshavn, Denmark, and started cooking at the tender age of 14. After training at a four-year culinary school and serving his apprenticeship at the Hotel Jutlandia in Frederikshavn, Erling moved to the United States to be Chef at the Danish Embassy in Washington, DC.
After two years in Washington, DC, Erling was hired by Danish Chef / Restauranteur Jorgen Mueller to be Executive Chef at the Prince Hamlet Restaurant in Miami, Florida.
Erling then applied to be Chef at La Tourelle, a French restaurant in Memphis, Tennessee after reading a one time ad for the position in the New York Times. Erling called the owner, Glenn Hays, and was hired over the telephone! Jensen and his family moved to Memphis, in 1989. During his tenure at La Tourelle, the restaurant received the highest culinary ratings in it’s history and was voted Memphis’ “Best French Restaurant” for several years in a row. In addition to La Tourelle, Erling also became First Tennessee Bank’s Corporate Executive Chef, serving lunches Monday through Friday, which he still does to this day.
Chef Jensen has been featured in numerous newspaper and magazine articles in Memphis as well as in Food & Wine, Southern Living, and John Mariani’s Virtual Gourmet. Erling has been invited and has cooked twice at the James Beard House, in New York City. Erling Jensen has been voted “Best Chef in Memphis”, as well as “Best Restaurant in Memphis” for ten consecutive years (1997-2006) since opening in Memphis Magazine’s Reader’s Poll. In 2000, the Memphis Restaurant Association named Erling “Distinguished Restauranteur of the Year”.