Stephane and Beatrice Facon at their Bouchons Bistro in Kelowna. Darren Hull photography

French cuisine at Kelowna’s Bouchons Bistro

Parisian owners add vegetarian dishes to the menu

  • Sep. 21, 2018 9:50 a.m.

– Story by Lauren Kramer Photography by Darren Hull

Story courtesy of Boulevard Magazine, a Black Press Media publication

Like Boulevard Magazine on Facebook and follow them on Instagram

When Stephane Facon first laid eyes on Kelowna in 2014, it was love at first sight for the Parisian pastry chef.

“It was exactly what we wanted: the fruit, the wine, the lake, the mountain,” he reflected.

In 2001, he and his wife, Beatrice, had moved their family from Paris to Shediac, New Brunswick, where they opened La Boulangerie Française. But after four years of subzero East Coast winters, they were ready for a warmer climate. A friend recommended they visit Vancouver and Kelowna and Stéphane flew west to investigate. Within hours of touchdown he called Beatrice.

“We’re moving!” he announced.

The timing was perfect. The owner of Bouchons Bistro, a 52-seat French restaurant in Kelowna, was selling and the Facons were ready to take his place. Quickly, the deal was sealed and Stéphane and Beatrice began creating an indelible culinary imprint in the city. Bouchons had long been known for superb, traditional French cuisine, the kind of restaurant chosen for special celebrations like birthdays, anniversaries and graduations. The pair had a stellar reputation with which to begin their career as restaurateurs, and slowly, they added select dishes to the menu to reflect the creations they’d known and loved when they dined out in Paris.

To cater to vegans and vegetarians, they introduced a tarte Mediterranean, a vegan bourguignon and vegan cheese. Foie gras was a must, and salmon gravlax and halibut were other popular new items.

“Our most sought-after dishes are the snails, onion soup, cassoulet and lamb rack,” Stéphane said. “My personal favourites are the foie gras au torchon, bouillabaisse and duck confit.”

The Bouillabaisse at Bouchons Bistro. Darren Hull photography photography

These traditional French dishes have met a popular audience and most diners come because they love the combination of French food and Parisian-style service. Servers are smartly attired in shirts, ties and aprons; silverware is changed between each course and the dining experience is subtly upscale without being in any way intimidating.

“Since we bought the restaurant, we’ve seen increasing numbers of young people coming in for dinner,” Stéphane said.

Recently, Executive Chef Xavier Souvignet, previously executive chef to the French ambassador in Kuala Lumpur, took the helm of the kitchen. With his strength in French cuisine, the Facons have added private event catering to their business, operating out of a commercial kitchen.

“We brought all our baking equipment from New Brunswick to our commercial kitchen in Kelowna, so we have everything we need to make pastries and desserts for the restaurant and for private clients organizing personal and corporate events,” Stéphane said. Today Bouchons’ catering division can serve anywhere from 15 up to 100 guests at private events.

Open daily for dinner, the bistro’s success is a true team effort. Beatrice oversees the administration and finances of Bouchons while Stéphane helps prepare duck legs, terrine, cakes and profiteroles in the kitchen.

“I’m lucky to have her as my partner and wife,” he said. “We work in a very complementary way and she always delivers great advice.”

Stephane and Beatrice Facon at their Bouchons Bistro in Kelowna. Darren Hull photography

The Facons’ Canadian adventure is going well and they are grateful to be operating an authentic French restaurant with great service in Kelowna, a city they adore.

“Bouchons perfectly represents the French culinary tradition,” Stéphane said.

Gratinée Lyonnaise (Onion Soup)

Serves 5

1000 grams onion

100 grams butter

1.5 litres chicken stock

10 crostini baguettes

100 grams emmental cheese

Peel the onions and slice finely. Melt the butter over low heat, add onion and stir constantly to brown. Gradually add chicken stock and cook for 15 minutes, stirring frequently. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Lightly toast crostini in the oven or toaster oven. Ladle soup into “tête de lion” bowls or soup bowls, place crostini on top, then layer emmental on top of the bread. Broil for 2 to 3 minutes in oven. Serve immediately.

For more of Darren Hull’s photography check his site here.

Bouchons BistroBoulevard MagazineChefChef Xavier SouvignetDarren Hull PhotographyDiningFoodFrench CuisineKelownaOkanaganOkanagan BoulevardReciperestaurantVeganVegetarian

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Good Food Boxes are packed in Gold River to go out to people of that community. Greenways is working on expanding the program to other communities including Campbell River. Photo supplied by Greenways Land Trust
Good Food Box program coming to Campbell River

Greenways’ program will provide food delivery to six communities in Strathcona area

Island Health chief medical officer Dr. Richard Stanwick receives a first dose of Pfizer vaccine, Dec. 22, 2020. (B.C. government)
COVID-19: Vancouver Island in a January spike while B.C. cases decrease

Island’s top doc Dr. Stanwick breaks down the Island’s rising numbers

Eden Robinson will be ‘on hand’ for a special online screening of Monkey Beach, based on her 2000 novel, presented by the Museum at Campbell River through the Tidemark Theatre Feb. 4. Photo by Bluetree Photography
Museum at Campbell River to screen Monkey Beach and Q&A with Eden Robinson

Last year’s Haig-Brown Writer-in-Residence’s work has skyrocketed to justifiable fame in the past year

Tahsis mayor Martin Davis stands with an old-growth tree in McKelvie Creek Valley. The village of Tahsis signed a Letter of Understanding with forestry company Western Forest Products to establish McKelvie watershed as a protected area. Photo courtesy, TJ Watt.
Landmark deal expected to protect Tahsis watershed from logging

Tahsis and WFP agree on letter of understanding to preserve McKelvie Creek Valley within TFL 19

Sawyer, a northern saw-whet owl that became synonymous with Mountainaire Avian Rescue Society, passed away peacefully over the weekend. Sawyer would make numerous public appearances with MARS staff in and around the Comox Valley and Campbell River. Photo supplied.
Popular MARS ambassador owl dies

Submitted MARS Wildlife Rescue has lost one of its mightiest ambassadors. Tiny… Continue reading

Dr. Penny Ballem, a former deputy health minister, discusses her role in leading B.C.’s COVID-19 vaccination program, at the B.C. legislature, Jan. 22, 2021. (B.C. government)
B.C. holds steady with 407 new COVID-19 cases Tuesday

14 deaths, no new outbreaks in the health care system

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Shown is Quality Foods at 319 Island Highway in Parksville. The Island-based grocery chain announced on Jan. 25 it made a $2-per-hour pay premium, implemented during the COVID-19 pandemic, permanent. (Mandy Moraes photo)
COVID-19: Quality Foods makes $2-per-hour employee pay premium permanent

Island-based grocery chain had extended increase twice in 2020

A Cessna 170 airplane similar to the one pictured above is reported to be missing off the waters between Victoria and Washington State. Twitter photo/USCG
Canadian, American rescue crews searching for missing aircraft in waters near Victoria

The search is centered around the waters northeast of Port Angeles

The North Cowichan/Duncan RCMP have arrested a prolific offender who is now facing more than 40 charges. (Black Press file photo)
‘Priority offender’ arrested in Cowichan Valley faces more than 40 charges

Tyler Elrix, 37, had a history of evading police; was ordered not to be in Vancouver Island

Jonathon Muzychka and Dean Reber are wanted on Canada-wide warrants. (Courtesy of Victoria Police Department)
Convicted killer, robber at large after failing to return to facility: Victoria police

Dean Reber, 60, and Jonathon Muzychka, 43, may be together

B.C. Premier John Horgan listens during a postelection news conference in Vancouver on Sunday, Oct. 25, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
30% of B.C. recovery benefit applications held up in manual review

The province says 150 staff have been reassigned to help with manually reviewing applications

Adam Dergazarian, bottom center, pays his respect for Kobe Bryant and his daughter, Gianna, in front of a mural painted by artist Louie Sloe Palsino, Tuesday, Jan. 26, 2021, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
Kobe Bryant’s presence remains strong a year after his death

Tuesday marks the grim anniversary of the crash that took their lives

Surrey RCMP are investigating after a pedestrian was struck and killed at 183 Street and Highway 10 Friday night. (File photo)

Most Read