THE TEAM

Edith & Edwin Bosso

Owner / Investor

“The Inspiration”

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David Denis

Executive Chef / Operating Partner

“The most beautiful thing in the world is life itself. If you are really living life, then it is never boring.”

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Lionel Debon

Executive Chef / Operating Partner

“From the French Alpes to Cocody”

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Sylvain Denis

GM / Operating Partner

“The Wine, Welcome & Experience”

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Patrizzio del Pero

Executive Sous-Chef

“Delicate Hands for Exquisite Cuisine”

Marcos Sacalxot

Executive Pastry Chef

“Pastry: where art meets Elegance.”

Lotfi Driouech

Assistant General Manager

“The Chef d'orchestre of an atmosphere of refined dining”

Eric Boyd

Bar & Restaurant Manager

“The Mixology magicien”

Edith & Edwin Bosso

The glittering fine dining enclave in River Oaks Shopping Center is named for the tony suburb of Abidjan on Africa’s Ivory Coast where the Bossos spent their childhood. Armed with a graduate degree from Rice University, Edwin Bosso — the founder of Myrtle Consulting Group — has traversed the globe, residing in countries from Mexico to the Netherlands, Brazil and Burkina Faso before settling down in Houston. While the design-minded Edith Bosso obtained her haute couture bachelor’s degree from ESMOD in Paris.

David Denis

For more than a decade, Houstonians have known Denis because of the Energy Corridor restaurant he and his brother, Sylvain Denis, opened in 2001. The brothers successfully grew the business for 18 years.

Chef David Denis was born and raised in the Provence region of France, in the French Riviera town of Le Revest les Eaux. His grandmother, Meme, owned a restaurant and inspired his interest in food.

His work with family took a professional turn when he was 17. He attended culinary arts classes at the Culinary Institute of le Beausset in France, earning a Preparation CAP Cuisine from August 1986 to June 1988. He then attended Lycée Hôtelier de Blois – Académie d’Orléans, earning a Preparation BEP from August 1989 to June 1990.
After this, he finished at the Culinary School of Les Arcs en Provence – France from January 1990 to December 1992, all while working nights and weekends at a one Michelin star restaurant named Hostellerie La Caillère under Chef Jackie Guindon. That led him to extended training at the renowned Hôtel le Carlton International in Cannes Sur Mer under Chef Sylvain Du Parc. Later, he was Chef de Partie at Hotel Gasthof Baren in Switzerland for four years under his mentor, Executive Chef Beat Koller.

Spending some time in the South of France, in the city of St. Tropez, he met an American family who asked him to become a private chef for the family. This is how he expanded his dreams of coming to the United States, specifically Houston, a move he made in 1995. For the next five years, he worked as a private chef for the family, traveling the world. The experience of traveling challenged him to do something more, challenges he is putting to full use now for this new project.

By 2000, the dream of opening his own restaurant had taken hold. Le Mistral Restaurant was located on Eldridge Parkway in the Energy Corridor. It grew in popularity to the point the brothers purchased the adjacent land and built a larger, custom-designed, 11,000 square foot building to house the restaurant with a chef’s table and banquet room. This also included Rouge Wine Bar and a French bakery.
Later, the Denis brothers recruited a new member to the culinary team, a long-time acquaintance in France. His name, Chef Lionel Debon.

Lionel Debon

The invitation to join a star team as a chef de cuisine – his first job in the United States – was readily accepted, although being associated with stars was not unfamiliar territory for Debon at the time. Most of his career was associated with them – the Michelin kind.

As far back as 1990, Debon was in a Michelin star kitchen at the Hotel du Rhone in Geneva, Switzerland. A year later, he was a cook at the Hotel Europole in Grenoble, Rhone-Alpes, France. As his career advanced his experiences included the kitchens of the Hotel Martinez in Cannes with its two stars; Le Bateau Ivre in Le Bourger-du-Lac, France with two stars; Hotel Restaurant La Villa Florentine with one star; the Restaurant La Pyramide in Vienne, France with two stars; and the Restaurant l’Alexandrin in Lyon with one star.

Debon was born in the French Alps in a small town in the Matheysine valley between two snow-topped mountains and with lakes, farms and forests all around. His growing up had all the makings of an epic screenplay.

Exploring the mountains surrounding his home, he picked mushrooms in the forest and berries from bushes and pulled fish from the lakes and rivers and crawfish from the wet banks. He learned to make pastries and resourceful ways to use the many things that came from farm animals and the family garden. It began in him a deep appreciation for fresh ingredients and playful ways of arranging them into delectable dishes.

At around age 15, he was working at Hotel du Parc while enrolled in a cooking school in Grenoble, France, and at that point, his future was set.

As his career advanced – interrupted by a one-year stint in the army during which he drove a tank – Debon worked throughout France and then Switzerland and even shortly in Venezuela. The path led him to the restaurant Le Moulin de la Camandoule in Fayence, which by coincidence was owned by a man from Houston, Texas, David Huber. Toward the end of his fifth year at the restaurant, Huber asked if he would be interested in coming to the United States for work.

Joining the brothers, Denis at Le Mistral Restaurant in its new and enlarged location, Debon quickly established himself among Houston’s chefs. He remained there as executive sous chef until its closing, a time when he was quickly hired as the manager and chef de cuisine for Alba Restaurant at the Hotel Granduca where he remained through the trials of the COVID-19 pandemic and afterwards.

Sylvain Denis

Self-described as a black sheep in the family, the charming Denis did not originally follow a multi-generational path into the restaurant business. Like his brother, with whom he has always been extremely close, he was born and raised in the French Riviera town of Le Revest les Eaux in the Provence region of France into a family with deep roots as restaurateurs. Their grandmother owned two restaurants, one of which his mother ran in Le Revest.

Sylvain, however, grew an interest in architecture and design.
For three years, Sylvain studied construction and architecture in Marseille, France, and worked as a superintendent for a large construction company. But the business that was in his blood began luring him back, just not as a chef. He began intense studies in restaurant management and accounting and then took classes to become a sommelier and beverage manager. Not long afterwards he began work as assistant manager at La Chevre d’Or Restaurant, a two Michelin star restaurant on the Mediterranean in Eze, France. Later, he was hired as manager at La Scala, another Michelin star restaurant in Cannes.

The separate lives he and David had been living merged in 2001 when David had the opportunity to open his own restaurant in Houston and wanted Sylvain to join him in the venture. The restaurant was the very successful Le Mistral, and a family partnership found new fire.

In the years since then, the bond between the brothers has grown only stronger. The two have partnered to start Artisans Restaurant in 2010; Foody’s Bakery in 2013; Rouge Wine Bar in 2015; Denis Brothers Catering in 2010; Denis Brothers Consulting in 2010; and even Denis Brothers Real Estate in 2010.

Sylvain has been described as having the impeccable taste and classiness of the French aesthetic as well as the combined swagger and charisma of a Jude Law-type character. It is a personality that created an enormous fan base at Le Mistral that is now expanding at Cocody.

Between his enthusiasm for making guests feel especially welcome, his yearn for learning and his remarkable eye for making sure everything is in its place are only matched by his ability to find and perfectly pair wines. He also oversees the beverage program with mixologist Eric Boyd.

Patrizzio del Pero

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Marcos Sacalxot

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Lotfi Driouech

Eric Boyd

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Date

sun, APR 30

Guest

4

Time

7:00 PM

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RESTAURANT HOURS

TUES, WED
11AM – 3PM, 5:30-10PM

THURS-SAT
11AM-3PM, 5:30-11PM

SUN
11AM-3PM

BAR HOURS

TUES, WED
11AM-10PM

THURS-SAT
11AM-11PM

SUN
11AM-3PM

ADDRESS

1971 W Gray St, Houston, TX 77019 map

In & Out in 35 minutes
3 Courses – $35

Soup – Butternut Squash Veloute

Chicken Scallopini – Green Peppercorn Sauce – Mushroom Ravioli – Green Beans

Apple Almondine – Chocolate Sauce

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