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Friday, July 3, 2015

06/29/2015 - The Essence of France - Through the Eyes of Thomas Keller's Bouchon Bistro

France!  A country steeped in history, culturally and culinarily. Few countries cuisines have not been touched by the essence of French roots, some even relying on it as their backbone, to which they craft local magic.

Such is the case with Bouchon Bistro, where the skills and finesse of Thomas Keller and his team, shines through brilliantly, transporting you to a street in Paris.  Ross Melling, Chef de Cuisine, hailing from London originally, joins us along with Pastry Chef Janine Weisman nand General Manager Gabriele Originaria, from Rome, to bring us their personal journeys to their home in this quintessentially French restaurant and TK family.  We'll also learn of their new menus, Bastille Day celebrations and what France and Bouchon mean to them.

In October 1998, four years after his successful debut in Napa Valley with The French Laundry, Chef Thomas Keller introduced Bouchon, offering authentic French bistro fare with Keller’s unfailing attention to detail in both ingredients and presentation.

Bouchon’s seasonal menu and raw bar selections change throughout the year, while staples like roast chicken, leg of lamb, and trout amandine remain as consistent, year-round favorites. The Vin en Carafe program at Bouchon features selections made exclusively for the restaurant from top wineries in Napa Valley and France.
The restaurant is located on Washington Street in Yountville, CA just steps from The French Laundry. Keller enlisted renowned designer Adam D. Tihany to create Bouchon’s interior featuring a French zinc bar, a vibrant mosaic floor, antique light fixtures, and an expansive mural, handpainted by French artist Paulin Paris. Guests may also dine outdoors on Bouchon’s patio, while enjoying a picturesque view of Yountville.

Since its opening, Bouchon has consistently received the highest of accolades from both the food industry and international press. The restaurant has been awarded a one-star rating from the France-based Michelin Guide San Francisco, Bay Area & Wine Country, a three-and-a-half star rating from the Santa Rosa Press Democrat, as well as a three star rating from the San Francisco Chronicle.


Ross Melling
Chef de Cuisine

Chef de Cuisine, Ross Melling leads the kitchen at the Michelin-starred Bouchon Bistro in Yountville, Calif.  In this role, he maintains the quality and high standards of the restaurant using the execution and techniques he acquired during his tenure six-year tenure working in Chef Thomas Keller’s kitchens.

Ross originally joined the Thomas Keller Restaurant Group (TKRG) for the first time after meeting Chef Keller in England in 2004 at which time he expressed devout interest in working for him.  Shortly after, Melling started at The French Laundry in 2005 as chef de partie.  

After 18 months with The French Laundry, Melling returned to England to work with Michael Caines and the Abode Group as they opened several boutique hotels.  In 2009, he became the executive chef for the National Welsh Rugby team for one season.  He returned to TKRG in 2010 as a sous chef at Per Se before moving west to assume his current position as Chef de Cuisine at Bouchon Bistro.  

Prior to joining TKRG, Melling was a sous chef at the two-starred Michelin restaurant Gidleigh Park in the UK.  

His accolades include the Southwest Young Chef of England Award in 2000 and the De Vere Hotels Trainee of the Year.  In 2007, Ross was awarded the Core Award at The French Laundry.  
The Summer Menu features this delightful Tuna Nicoise
with Quail eggs and Cherry Tomatoes

Gabriele Originario

General Manager

Hailing from Rome, Garbriele Originario previously worked at Farina in San Francisco, with Hubert Keller and Fluer de Lys and Burger Bar, and as General Manager at the Peruvian Restaurant La Mar.


Janine Weismann
Pastry Chef

As Pastry Chef, Janine Weismann is thrilled to lead the team that supports both Bouchon Bistro and Bouchon Bakery in Yountville, CA.  Weismann discovered her sweet tooth as a child growing up in Sarasota, FL where dessert was always a big part of her life.  She began working in local Florida bakeries at a young age and went on to pursue her interest at Johnson & Wales Culinary School; first at their Miami, FL campus and then in Providence, RI.  

After graduating with her Bachelor of Science Degree in 2005, Weismann worked as a manager for the pastry departments at the Nemacolin Woodland Resort in Farmington, PA and Vidalia restaurant in Washington, DC.  She then joined the pastry team at Chef Thomas Keller’s restaurant The French Laundry in Yountville, CA starting as a commis and later becoming a chef de partie.  In 2009 she moved to Bouchon Bakery as Pastry Sous Chef and was promoted to her current position in July 2010.  

Weismann is driven by her love of connecting with guests through dessert experiences that evoke their favorite memories of childhood and is happy to work with all the wonderful purveyors and products available in northern California.
The Bouchon Bakery New Peanut Butter Chocolate cookie.
The center consists of 72% and 64% chocolate ganache surrounding a nucleus of peanut buttercream, sandwiched between two peanut butter chocolate chunk cookies made with 72% chocolate chunks and salted peanuts.




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