Voila French Bistro celebrates owners’ 3-year anniversary in Scottsdale

Voila French Bistro, 10135 E. Via Linda, celebrates its 3-year anniversary, 5-7 p.m., Sept. 30 with a special prix fixe, wine-paired dinner. (Submitted photo)

As the Voila French Bistro owner celebrates the restaurant’s three-year anniversary, so marks the “trois ans” of his family’s U.S. arrival.

Three years ago, Chef Jean-Christophe Gros and his wife, Ségolène, moved to Scottsdale from the Vosges region of France to open their restaurant and share his talents. While the missus runs the “front of the house,” Chef Gros is called the “master in the kitchen.”

From 5 to 7 p.m., Sept. 30, the Scottsdale couple will host a special prix fixe, wine-paired anniversary dinner consisting of: sea scallops in a puff pastry tart with a light curry sauce; filet mignon served with a mushroom medley sauce; French Camembert crisp; chocolate tart with vanilla bean ice cream.

Reservations are required for the succulent tastes of the French cuisine infused with a modern approach, according to a press release, detailing the more than 30-year experience of Chef Gros.

A protégé of French master chefs, when he was 15, his mother noticed his passion for cooking and helped him get a “discovery stage,” an opportunity to shadow the pros, he noted.

“When I was a young child, I used to help my mother when she was cooking. When she saw my interest in cooking, she found me a week-long discovery stage in a Michelin-starred restaurant. The following year, I was 16 years old, I enrolled in a culinary school and have been cooking ever since,” he said.

Chef Gros described two “grueling years” of culinary school and interning at restaurants.

“Those first years were decisive for my career because I was able, alongside different chefs, to progress and learn different techniques that helped build my foundation,” Chef Gros said.

Bon appétit as the culinary expert details traditional French food ingredients and his goal to “show people French food is more than onion soup and escagots.”

What has business been like for the past three years?

One of the biggest “challenges” was finding the products and ingredients I was used to using and cooking with in France. When we first opened, it took me some time to find some ingredients; and I still, today, continue to look for some to give my guests the best experience possible.

I have over the three years, brought some spices from France like Herbs de Provence Herbs and Espelette peppers. I am always looking for the “perfect item” like the Foie Gras on the menu. The one that I used in France came from Europe (it took me almost two years to find it).

Regarding the business itself, it has grown step by step. We now have more regular guests, which hopefully means we are doing a good job.

Why was Scottsdale decided for the restaurant?

While living in France, we loved traveling to the U.S. for vacation. We came to Scottsdale many years ago in 2007 for one day before going to the Grand Canyon and fell in love!

After that visit we dreamt of having our own restaurant here in Scottsdale.

Finally, in 2015, we decided to make the move. In September of that year, we moved (our daughter included) and took over Voila from the previous owner.

What’s business like in Scottsdale compared to France?

It is funny to compare the habits of each country; like the way people here like to share or split a plate, things we don’t do in France.

I had to adapt my menu regarding my guest request… I used to cook a whole sole fish, but each time people ordered it, they asked me, “can you take off the head and the tail? Can you prepare it…?” That is why I now only serve the filet.

But, the thing that I like the most is the way Americans act when they are happy – giving you a hug to say thank you!

What’s the family consist of?

We have a daughter. When we arrived, she was 10 and didn’t speak English. The beginning for her was hard as she was not able to explain herself or understand what people said especially at school.

But today, she is fine and she also knows it is a chance for her to speak two languages French and English. Actually, she is also learning Spanish. She is also happy to come in the kitchen to help me – perhaps a future chef!

As the restaurant’s third anniversary approaches, will there be something annually?

Yes, we are doing this special event each year and definitely hope to do many others! Plus, this is the season starter as we hold regular wine-paired dinners one Sunday a month until May.

Voila, 10135 E. Via Linda, is open Tuesday – Saturday for lunch and dinner.

Call: 480-614-5600; or go to: voilafrenchbistro.com.

Independent Newsmedia News Services Specialist Delarita Ford can be reached by e-mail at dford@newszap.com.

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