Patrick Quillec, the soft-spoken and talented chef who has been at the French Garden Restaurant & Bistro since last year, is no longer at the Sebastopol eatery. His departure comes on the heels of ongoing praise for Quillec’s successful efforts to help owners Dan Smith and Joan Marler realize their vision of a cuisine based on their extensive organic farm and orchard. In mid-July, Jeff Cox reviewed the restaurant, awarding three stars for food and overall, and concludes the column by saying “Chef Patrick Quillec is what French Garden has been waiting for.” You can read Jeff’s review here.
The restaurant’s web site still has Jeff’s review posted on its home page and there’s no news about a change in the kitchen.
So what happened? Chef Quillec isn’t saying and Joan has not yet responded to my query. The restaurant is closed on Mondays and Tuesdays and so when it opens for lunch tomorrow, we’ll see who’s cooking.
There’s a French Garden Farm tour scheduled for this Saturday from 10 a.m. to noon. If you’re interested in Dan’s organic gardening techniques, you can attend the tour–just show up at 11031 Cherry Ridge Rd., between Grandview and Occidental Roads in west Sebastopol–and ask him what happened.
As more information becomes available, I’ll update this post.