Everyone’s excited that La Creperie de Paris is finally opening in the Ratatouille-themed expansion at the France pavilion in Epcot. But there’s even bigger news that no one is talking about because no one knows about it yet. It involves Monsieur Paul, the upscale upstairs restaurant above the busier Chefs de France. Jérôme Bocuse, whose company, JBI, runs the place, gave me the details but told me fermer votre bouche about it. Luckily I don’t know what that means. I'll give you more information soon, but I can tell you that it will still be called Monsieur Paul when it reopens but it will have a new concept.
And here’s a surprise: Spotted in the kitchen at a media preview of La Creperie was Bruno Vrignon, former executive chef for the France pavilion restaurants who was part of the team that opened Epcot. Vrignon retired last year but has come back to help open the restaurant.
Will Vrignon be involved in the new Monsieur Paul concept? On that my bouche is firmly ferme’d. (Details about La Creperie, which is not yet open to the public, soon.)
As long as we’re talking chefs, Hari Pulapaka is now totally divested from Cress, the restaurant he and his wife, Jenneffer, opened 13 years or so ago. Hari, who is also a full-time math professor at Stetson University, had already announced he was stepping away from day-to-day operations last year, but Jenneffer, who is a full-time podiatrist, stayed on as the restaurant’s sommellier. None of this means the Pulapakas are done with food and wine, just with Cress, which remains open under owner Tom Brandt.