This past Sunday, friends, family and regulars gathered at Bistro Provence for one last Georges Guy meal. Guy, the French chef behind the well-respected Chez Georges, Bistro Don Camillo, and La Brocante, prepared the entire “last meal” himself.
It wasn’t a last meal in the literal sense, but his last in Houston. Guy and his wife are returning to their homeland of France, where they have purchased a house in Maussanes-Les-Alpilles of Provence, and plan to run a two-bedroom bed and breakfast. It’s a dream come true for Guy, who has worked all his life so he could retire in Provence.
For the meal, Guy took over the open kitchen, where just he and one helper prepared three-courses of classic French for a sold-out house. A simple fresh lobster salad with mango vinaigrette was beautifully arranged and perfectly executed. Large chunks of lobster gave the salad some heartiness, the fruity dressing bringing out the sweetness of the plump lobster.
A main course of chicken with crawfish cream sauce exemplified the beauty of French technique applied to local ingredients. In the spirit of friends and family, Guy came around each table, skillet in hand, offering seconds to those who wanted more.
Dessert made of rum-soaked soaked sponge cake topped with fresh fruit rounded out the three courses.
It was a fitting end to Guy’s 30 year tenure as the patriarch of French dining in Houston, and though people had come for a meal, it was more about the farewell then the food. There were plenty of handshakes, smiles, back-clapping, and hugs as Guy and his wife personally thanked all the patrons, friends, and guests who had come by for one final farewell.
Though Guy and his wife are returning to France, the chef and restauranteur leaves behind a legacy carried on by his children. At Bistro Provence, his eldest son Jean-Philippe Guy and his wife Genevieve run the show. His daughter Chris and son-in-law Laurence Paul own Cafe Rabelais in the Rice Village and Brasserie Max and Julie in Montrose.
For more info: Bistro Provence, 13616 Memorial Dr, Houston, TX 77084. Tel: 713.827.8008 www.bistroprovence.us
Mai Pham is a freelance writer who covers Restaurants and Fine Dining in Houston for nextooze.com. Click on the subscribe link above to stay up to date with news and events about food in Houston. You can read previous stories here. Pham is also featured on Fox 26 news every other Friday evening at 9pm, where she dishes about food and restaurants in the Houston scene.