Chef Gerard was raised in the small village of Valence, France and received his formal chef training at the three-star Chez Pik in Valence, France. He is a member of the American Culinary Federation and Les Toques Blanches Internationale. His past experiences as chef de cuisine include Chasen’s in Beverly Hills, Maldonado’s in Pasadena, the Los Angeles Athletic Club, Windows on the Water in Morro Bay and his very own restaurant Gerard’s in Valencia. In 2005, he was Executive Chef/partner at the Balcony Bistro, in the historic district of Folsom. After 2 short years, Mr. Opportunity came knocking. He could not resist the call of going solo again, so Gerard took over the helm and ownership of the Village Bistro in Fair Oaks.
His very first interests in the kitchen came from watching his father cure hams and prepare the family raised ducks, rabbits and chickens for the dinner table. He recalls tending to their vegetable and herb gardens and traveling across the French countryside by train. It was not the scenery that fascinated him but it was the starched white jackets with the golden epaulets worn by the waiters in the dining car. After his three year apprenticeship and four years of working at various restaurants, and finally winding up at Doucet in Paris, Gerard headed for the United States to work for Marriott Hotel at Los Angeles International Airport. The boyhood dream, born on the trains of France, has become a reality.
The foundation of Gerard’s culinary expertise is the classical training he received during his apprenticeship in his native France. He calls upon this training and his own creativity to do what he describes as French-California fusion cooking. His sauces, he believes, are his forte. For many people, it is precisely the sauces that turn them off, but Gerard adapts his so that they are lighter and accentuate the fresh tone of California cooking. It is that fusion of concepts that he believes is his signature approach to cooking.
Gerard welcomes you all to The Village Bistro, situated on California Avenue at the Fair Oaks Village, where tradition meets invention most rewardingly, and where the atmosphere is friendly and the service warm and gracious.
Gerard and his wife, Tina, have 3 children. On a busy day, you may see one or more family members there to bus tables or simply assist in the kitchen.