French Chef Bruno Fortin, "La Brute", could possibly be the saviour of gourmands residing within the restaurant lover's no-man's land between central Georgetown and Glover Park. Long a strip visited for grocery shopping convenience and Safeway or a little antiquing, since the opening of Bistrot Lepic in 1995, it is now a place Washingtonians and visitors alike go for great food and atmospheric dining.
Some people are born knowing exactly what they are meant to do and endowed with the skills and talent to do just that. Whether or not Bruno was born to be a chef is anyone's guess, but it is no wonder that he has managed to build a solid reputation for excellent food since he has been cooking for more than half his life.
Born in 1964 in Brittany, Bruno grew up in a restaurant —literally!— owned by his mother and father.
His father was a butcher and his mother a chef. They eventually combined their skills and their love of food to open a restauant which they operated for 35 years. Of course, Bruno was put to work in the family business and, at the age of 14, spent nine months cooking for his parents. After this foray into the kitchen, he attended two years of cooking school, then left Brittany, never to return to the Fortin family business. He chose instead to break out on his own.
His culinary expertise developed while working in London, Geneva, Paris, Bermuda and finally, here in Washington, DC. His first stop? Bistro Français. In 1995, he realized his dream of opening his own restaurant. Bistrot Lepic opened to rave reviews and quickly rose into the ranks of Washington's top restaurants. After years of zigzagging the globe, Bruno has remained true to the traditions of French cooking initially passed on to him by his parents while adapting to the present.
His approach is creative yet simple with an emphasis on fresh, quality products and dishes which are not only delicious but also good for you.
So, is Bruno's culinary finesse a product of nature or nurture? As long as the food is good, do we really care? Probably not.
Cyrille born in Mazamet, Languedoc Roussillon, France, and grew up with one idea in mind – to travel the world and meet people. The hospitality business was just a natural choice for him.
During his childhood, his parents entertained frequently at their home. Cyrille was either in the kitchen helping to prepare homemade foie gras and opening bottles of Bordeaux, or in the dining room meeting the guests, serving and pouring wine.
After graduating from the “Ecole Hoteliere de Lausanne,” he has worked for first-class hotel groups such as Trust House Forte, Hyatt and the Mayfair House. In 1991, he moved exclusively to restaurants in order to have more direct contact with guests on a daily basis and where his creativity and organizational skills could bloom.
He has created new restaurant concepts and re-organized hotels in Miami, Los Angeles and New York City.
In Washington, DC, after having successfully managed and expanded Café Milano and Les Halles on Pennsylvania Avenue, he is now the managing partner of Bistrot Lepic & Wine Bar.
“Restaurant business is the real thing”. You have direct contact with your clientele, every day and every meal. At Bistrot Lepic & Wine Bar, we can transport the guests to Rue Lepic in Paris, without the cost of the airfare! Our goal is to succeed always in meeting our guest’s culinary expectations.
George Vetsch did his Apprenticeship in Switzerland trained in classic French Cuisine, worked in Israel and for Hilton International in Geneva, Hong Kong and Washington DC with Vista International.
Then restaurants in Washington DC at the Oval Room (contemporary American), Etrusco Restaurant (classic southern Italian) and CF Folks (classic American).
Georges has been awarded with the 2013 James Beard Award for classic American Restaurant, the 2013 RAMMY Award for Casual Restaurant of the Year 2012, 2011, 2010 and the Washington Post "Favorite Place".
Bistrot Lepic is extremely proud to have George heading its kitchen. George's dedication to the fine art of cooking and his deep commitment to continuously upgrade and refine his art puts him above many other chefs and we feel very fortunate that he is part of our team.
George can be reached at:George@bistrotlepic.com