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

“We have to make a call out to address this now so our people don’t have to feel fearful,” said Tribal Chief Mina Holmes. (Carrier Sekani Tribal Council Facebook photo)
Carrier Sekani Tribal Council seeks Indigenous-led task force in northern B.C. hospitals

Request made in an open letter to federal minister Carolyn Bennett

NDP headquarters on election night, Oct. 24, 2020. (Katya Slepian/Black Press Media)
ELECTION 2020: Live blog from B.C. party headquarters

BC NDP projected to win majority government – but celebrations will look different this election

Jennifer Rice BC NDP North Coast Incumbent was re-elected for a third according to the preliminary results on election night, Oct. 24, 2020. (Photo: K-J Millar/The Northern View)
Jennifer Rice is North Coast MLA for third term

Preliminary election results show NDP Majority government

B.C. Green Party leader Sonia Furstenau outlines her party's climate action platform at Nanaimo's Vancouver Island Conference Centre earlier this month. (News Bulletin file photo)
Green leader Furstenau declared victor in her home riding on Vancouver Island

Cowichan Valley voters elect freshly minted party leader for her second term

John Horgan has been re-elected the MLA for Langford-Juan de Fuca. (File-Black Press)
Horgan trounces challengers to be re-elected in his Vancouver Island riding

MLA has represented constituency of Langford-Juan de Fuca and its predecessors since 2005

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry arrives for briefing on the COVID-19 situation, B.C. legislature, Oct. 26, 2020 (B.C. government)
B.C. records 217 more COVID-19 cases, mask use urged

Infection spike continues, 21 senior facilities affected

A raccoon paid a visit to a Toronto Tim Hortons on Oct. 22, 2020. (shecallsmedrew/Twitter)
Who are you calling a trash panda? Raccoon takes a shift at Toronto Tim Hortons

Tim Hortons said animal control was called as soon they saw the surprise visitor

The duffel bags were found to contain 84 pounds of cocaine, valued at approximately $1.2 million and 198 pounds of methamphetamine, valued at approximately $960,000. Photo courtesy U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
2 men accused of fleeing border agents near U.S.-B.C. border with $2M in drugs

Cocaine and methamphetamine seized by U.S. law enforcement in remote Idaho area near Canadian border

Pixabay photo
‘Horrific’ abuse of volunteers, staff by parents must stop: Chilliwack soccer club

Parents have become abusive after being told COVID-19 rules, email says

FILE – The Queen of Alberni ferry leaves the Tsawwassen Ferry Terminal in Delta bound for Vancouver Island, Sunday, July 29, 2007. (CP PHOTO/Richard Lam) CANADA
Mechanical failure leaves nearly 200 passengers stranded on BC Ferries ship for hours

A tug arrived after dark to safely nudge the vessel into a berth so travellers could finally disembark

Ridge Meadows RCMP (Black Press)
Maple Ridge X-ray tech convicted of sexual assault dating back 30 years

Allen James Brooks is expected to be sentenced in January 2021

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

BC Liberal Leader Andrew Wilkinson leaves the stage after announcing he is stepping down as party leader, during a news conference in Burnaby, B.C., on Monday, October 26, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Too rural, not enough diversity, soul searching needed, say BC Liberals

Elections BC says there are about 600,000 mail-in and absentee ballots across the province still to count

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau makes his way to provide an update on the COVID pandemic in Ottawa on Tuesday, Oct. 27, 2020. Canada has reached a grim milestone in the COVID-19 pandemic, surpassing 10,000 novel coronavirus deaths. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Alberta COVID deaths pushes Canada past milestone of 10,000 deaths

Canada crossed the threshold of 5,000 deaths on May 12, a little over two months after the first was reported

Most Read