Now that we've had our fill of Fourth of July barbecue and burgers, two French chefs are sharpening their knives for a Bastille Day feast that raises the French national holiday to a culinary peak.
Two chefs, four courses and one accordion player will highlight the July 14 dinner at chef/owner Philippe Verpiand's popular Etoile restaurant in Uptown Park. Joining him will be chef Philippe Schmit. The tradition of a Bastille Day feast on American shores with a guest chef was begun by chef Jean-Michel Diot, under whom both Verpiand and Schmit worked, though at different times and in different cities.
Schmit served as chef de cuisine at Diot's Park Bistro in New York and Verpiand served as chef de cuisine at Tapenade Bistro in La Jolla, Calif., which Diot opened in 1998. At Tapenade, Diot began the tradition of hosting a guest chef every year on Bastille Day --- including Schmit in 2001, which was the first time the two Philippes met.
So the tradition expands to Houston when the two Philippes share the burners at Etoile for a $78 Bastille Day dinner, with wine pairings for $32 and $48. Interestingly, Etoile executive sous chef Jose Hernandez, who worked with Schmit in New York before moving to Houston, will prepare dessert. He will soon depart Etoile for a new project.
Reservations are available at EtoileCuisine.com.