Nestled within the Mercado Del Rancho Shopping Center in east Scottsdale sits Voilà French Bistro, a quaint little restaurant with lovely French décor reminiscent of a Parisian cafe. Upon entering, guests are warmly greeted by co-owner and hostess, Ségolène Gros, before being seated to dine on truly authentic French cuisine prepared by Ségolène’s husband, renowned master chef Jean-Christophe Gros.
Bringing with him over 30 years experience working in several famous French restaurants, chef Jean-Christophe is well known throughout eastern France for his fine cuisine. Over the course of his extensive culinary career, he has trained under the best chefs in France, owned three Michelin star restaurants, worked alongside world-renowned chefs like Thierry Marx (“He does some molecular gastronomy and it was amazing”), had the opportunity to meet with 3-star French chef Paul Bocuse (named Chef of the Century by The Culinary Institute of America), and cooked for several Miss France.
But it was a transatlantic trip in 2007 to see the Grand Canyon that presented Jean-Christophe and Ségolène with an idea that would bring their culinary journey full circle. “We love the USA and decided to visit the West,” recalls Jean-Christophe. “We came back every year, but the first visit we stayed one night in Scottsdale. Then, during all those years, my wife and I thought that it would be so great to have our own restaurant in Scottsdale.”
In September of 2015, the couple made one final trip to the United States with their daughter, spending time in Los Angeles before settling down permanently in Scottsdale. A few short weeks later, on October 1st, Jean-Christophe and Ségolène finally realized their American dream when they took over Voilà French Bistro from its previous owner – and with a firm goal in mind: “To make my own cuisine and help my American guests discover what real French cuisine is.”
The menu at Voilà may be printed in French with English translations, but that is as American as it gets. A variety of hors d’oeuvres, entrees and desserts with traditional French ingredients grace its pages – all hand-crafted with spices and herbs imported from France – and are a reflection of the cuisine Jean-Christophe has spent over 30 years perfecting. He is quick to point out it isn’t just ingredients that makes each dish truly authentic; it is the way the food is prepared. “In my opinion, sauces make a big difference.”
- Soupe a l’oignon Gratinee (French onion soup) or Escargots de Bourgogne au beurre d’escargots (Burgundy snails with parsley butter and garlic)
- Assiette Campagnarde (country duck pâté and pork rillettes)
- and a mini quiche, like Quiche Lorraine (bacon and onion) or Quiche au saumon (Scottish salmon and spinach) served with salad
Perhaps because Chef Jean-Christophe’s favorite food to cook with is fish, La Bouillabaisse, a traditional fish stew, has become one of his most requested dishes and one that he prepares as a dinner special. Other notable entrées include:
- Filet d’agneau au pesto (boneless rack of lamb with pesto and baby potatoes)
- Cuisse de canard confite sauce à l’orange (duck leg confit and orange sauce)
- Feuilleté de Noix de Saint-Jacques (Scallops in puff pastry and fish broth sauce)
- Filet de boeuf (8oz. Filet mignon and Béarnaise sauce)
To compliment each course throughout the meal is a carefully selected list of French wines, including Bordeaux Grave, a favorite of chef Jean-Christophe. And no fine dining experience is complete without a rich and decadent dessert:
- Caramelized crème brulée with Madagascar vanilla beans
- Poire pepper mint et sauce chocolat (Peppermint pears and chocolate sauce)
- Soufflé vanille-framboise ou vanille-chocolat (Vanilla-raspberry or vanilla-chocolate soufflé)
- Crumble pommes-pruneaux et cannelleI (Apple-prune cinnamon and crumble)
Jean-Christophe credits his mother for cultivating his love of fine food. “When I was a young child, I used to help my mother when she was cooking,” he recalls. “When she saw my interest, she found me a week-long discovery stage in a Michelin-starred restaurant. The following year, when I was 16 years old, I enrolled in a culinary school.” And a legendary chef was born.
Join Voilà French Bistro on December 17 for a Christmas Paired Wine Dinner. (Reservations required).
Written by: Jodi Hale
Jodi Hale is an editorial/advertising assistant for North Phoenix Family Magazine as well as a freelance writer. The mother of three amazing boys ages 7, 13 and 15, she has served on the PTA board of their school for more than 8 years, collaborating with teachers, staff and community members to enrich the learning environment for all students through positive and engaging educational experiences. Jodi also volunteers as a public relations specialist for Musical Theatre of Anthem, promoting the theater’s year-round training opportunities and award-winning productions. She loves reading, free-hand drawing, creating props, and raising her boys to embrace life with purpose.