Patrice and Elodie Perron

portrait Elo PatFood means different things to different people – comfort, tradition, celebration, entertainment and health to name a few.

In France, the term “la cuisine” refers to the kitchen – a place in the home where most French parents spend a lot of time preparing food for their families.

The combination of fresh ingredients, time and love all mix together in this special place, and this is where the magic happens.

Patrice Perron, Executive Chef and Proprietor at La Cuisine, knows this recipe very well. Born and raised in Lyon, a city known around the world as the French capital of Gastronomy, the Perron family embraced its love of good food and good wine, making it a part of the family’s rich heritage and tradition.

“I always enjoyed helping my mother in the kitchen, watching closely as she prepared all sorts of foods from the ‘terroir’ – a French term meaning fresh ingredients native to the area,” recalls Perron. “She explored new recipes in the kitchen all the time, and if for some reason the recipe didn’t work?
She would say ‘just add more butter or cream,’” he laughs.

Perron’s father loved taking the family to the finest restaurants in town: La Tour Rose, Paul Bocuse, Orsi. “As a child, I had no idea I was experiencing some of the finest food in the world. Of course now, I have a much different appreciation and perspective,” says Perron.

Perron soon found himself drawn to ‘la cuisine,’ fascinated by its delectable delights and intrigued by the thrill of weaving his own touch on this rich, French heritage.

patrice-elodie-perronThings got serious once he started working at Daniel & Denise, a world reknown, traditional French restaurant in Lyon. Under the direct tutelage of Chef Josef Viola — a master chef who in 2004 was awarded the Meilleur Ouvrier de France (MOF) by a board of examiners, including world famous chefs Joel Robuchon, Alain Ducasse and Paul Bocuse — Perron began to thrive.

And Viola became his mentor.

“Viola was fascinated that my wife and I wanted to come to America to start a French restaurant, and he helped me a lot just by encouraging me to do so,” recalls Perron, fondly. Viola, who was recently featured on Anthony Bourdain’s “Parts Unknown” on CNN, has promised someday to come to Perron’s La Cuisine, to see for himself what Perron and his wife, Elodie, have created (including four Golden Spoon Awards from Florida Trend Magazine, three years in a row).”

“Food and wine are like ambassadors for France. And by coming here, to Ocala, a place that has become home to Elodie, myself and our two children, it is a dream come true. And although we have been here since 2009, it feels like we are just getting started.”