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Longtime bistro imports new French chef with fresh ideas and farm-to-table plans

Longtime bistro imports new French chef with farm-to-table plans

Bistro Provence Cedric Vernin
Bistro Provence's new executive chef is 24-year old Frenchman Cedric Vernin. Courtesy photo

One surefire way for an established restaurant to shake things up is to bring in a new chef with fresh ideas. As it prepares to celebrate its 17th birthday in October, Memorial-area French restaurant Bistro Provence is doing just that. On Tuesday, owner Genevieve Guy announced that she has hired 24-year old Cedric Vernin as the restaurant's new executive chef.

Guy and her husband Jean Philippe first met Vernin when he came to Houston for a vacation, and she quickly discovered they had a lot in common in terms of their approaches to food and cooking. "Then when I found out he was interested in coming to the United States to work, it all kind of grew from there," she writes in an email. "After trying some of his dishes, I knew we needed to make this happen. It took months to get all the permits and necessary papers, but finally in September, he was ready."

Vernin's first priority is to update the restaurant's menu by improving the quality of its ingredients.

"One of the first things he asked about was the availability of wild fish so we can move away from using any farm-raised fish. His education in French kitchens was always farm-to-table, sustainable food sources and all those things which are trendy in this country. It is simply the way he was taught," Guy explains.

Look for Vernin to make his mark with daily specials followed by a new fall menu. After all, nothing says ringing in a new season like some new ideas.