Changing of the guard at L’étoile

For over seventeen years L’étoile has lived up to its French translation– “The Star.” With their distinctive “French-Virginia style,” the downtown bistro has served up countless delicious dishes under head-chef and owner Mark Gresge and chef Brian Wilkinson. After four faithful years, however, Wilkinson is moving to Charleston, South Carolina, and L’Etoile will welcome a new star to their staff: Jonathan Gariepy.

Gariepy moves to Charlottesville from Florida, where he discovered a love of cooking seafood while working at The River’s Inn and Gasparilla Inn. But fear not Virginia-philes, the Florida chef has no plans to change L’étoile’s commitment to the local community. Gresge assures us that Gariepy, once an Earlysville resident, is “excited about relationships that we have built in this community, with the farmers, purveyors and the citizens of Charlottesville, the county and beyond.”

Wilkinson leaves L’étoile after four years of serving up unwavering quality cuisine. His signature shrimp and grits are a mainstay of the bistro’s menu and have quickly become a local favorite. Be sure to stop by and welcome Gariepy when he starts next week (and try out the Dr. Pepper Braised Beef Short Ribs in the process!). – Carlos Gomez