Monday, August 13, 2012

Houston food writer Amber Ambrose recently visited the school/restaurant

The advantage of fine French food is that it tastes delicious. The downside is that it usually costs an arm and a leg; but at one high end French restaurant in Houston, the food is 4-star while the prices are 1-star.

Kris Bistro is an upscale French restaurant found inside the Culinary Institute LeNotre, in an unassuming building just east of I-45 and north of the 610.

Houston food writer Amber Ambrose recently visited the school/restaurant to check it out.

When you first walk in, what you see are plate glass windows revealing a huge kitchen and students and teachers busily preparing meals.

The restaurant itself is tucked away behind the classroom kitchens. It looks like a fine dining establishment, except for more plate glass windows where you can watch the students working.

Ambrose talked to Executive Chef Kris Jakob about the restaurant and the concept.

"Many of the chefs in town told me the graduates of culinary schools didn't have any experience actually working in a restaurant," Jakob said. "So we created this to give our students more skills."

The students who work for the restaurant are the cream of the crop. They are the top students who have completed the Institute's main program and want to work in a high profile restaurant.

"Those students complete an extra 10-week course," Jakob said. "They do five weeks in the front of the house and five weeks in the back of the house."

The students are supervised by the professional staff, and the experience for diners is top notch.

"The advantage for our diners is that they get to see something interesting," Jakob told Ambrose. "And, we price our meals to just break even. We aren't trying to make money with the restaurant." That fact is what provides patrons with an incredible meal that won't break the bank.

Kris Bistro is located inside the Culinary Institute LeNotre at 7070 Allensby.

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