Sheila Pell 8:30 a.m., Jan. 19
All Aboard for Cavaillon's Last Month!
As announced earlier, chef-owner Philippe Verpiand (previously of Tapenade) is departing from Cavaillon and from San Diego soon.
The restaurant transfer is currently in escrow, which will last for about a month. If you love the food there (and who wouldn't?), this escrow month is your chance for an "adieu" dinner. Chef Philippe will stay on part-time for another two or three weeks to teach his replacement -- a well-qualified Swiss chef, with the same rigorous French training -- how to make his signature dishes, such as the airborne panisse (chick-pea fritters). And then it's bye-bye, Philippe is bound for the territories.
Everyone involved hopes to leave Cavaillon as unchanged as possible, which doesn't seem all that likely in the long run. A serious chef can't keep copying another serious chef indefinitely; presumably he'll have to do his own thing at some point. At least the restaurant will remain open, and toujours French.