What an honour for Provence Marinaside Owner and Chef Jean-Francis Quaglia to be knighted by the Government of France in an award ceremony this week (Aug 18/21) at the restaurant. We all knew his dishes were excellent and we now have the culinary country of the world, France, also acknowledging Executive Chef Quaglia’s skills. Here is the press release about the occasion.
Amongst the Order’s members are many distinguished restaurateurs (both in France and abroad) along with vintners, food scientists and food historians. The honour carries the same status in France as a Knighthood does in Great Britain and entitles Chef Quaglia to wear the medal or a distinctive lapel ribbon on all formal occasions.
About Chef Jean-Francis Quaglia
Chef Jean-Francis’ Canadian career began as Sous Chef under Chef Bruno Born at Le Coq D’Or in Vancouver’s Kitsilano neighbourhood. In 1994, When Chef Born closed Le Coq D’Or to head up food and beverage for the Sheraton Wall Centre Hotel, he took Jean-Francis with him to be Chef de Cuisine at one of the hotel’s two restaurants – Azure Seafood Restaurant. Later, when food services were consolidated into one restaurant, Chef Quaglia became Executive Chef of the hotel’s remaining restaurant – Indigo Bistro Moderne.
Pursuing a life-long dream, Chef Jean-Francis left the Sheraton Wall Centre to open a place of his own. Provence Mediterranean Grill opened its doors in the Point Grey neighbourhood of Vancouver on December 17, 1997. In 2002 he and Alessandra took the plunge, opening a second location – Provence Marinaside, on the sea wall in Yaletown. In 2007, to mark Provence Mediterranean Grill’s 10th anniversary, Chefs Jean-Francis and Alessandra co-authored the book New World Provence – Modern French Cooking for Friends and Family and held a special celebration dinner featuring Chef Dominique Le Stanc who flew in from France for the occasion.
Early in 2012, there was another celebration as Provence Marinaside celebrated its 10th Anniversary on February 23rd. Later in the same year (mid-December 2012) the Provence ‘family’ expanded once more when Chef Jean-Francis developed and opened TWB-The Wine Bar adjacent to Provence Marinaside. The casually elegant Wine Bar soon gained a reputation as having one of the largest selections of wines-by-the-glass in North America and became popular for its ‘Tappy Hours.’
In November 2016, Chef Jean-Francis accepted an offer from a former employee to buy the Point Grey location, Provence Mediterranean Grill. The sale was completed three weeks short of the restaurant’s 19th anniversary.
2020 saw the arrival of the Covid-19 pandemic and with it, restrictions on restaurants and dining. Provence Marinaside was amongst the very first to adapt to the new reality by rapidly opening a new curb-side patio space, re-arranging the dining room to accommodate spacing restrictions (when dine-in is allowed), implementing rigorous cleaning, sanitizing and mask-wearing as mandated by BC’s PHO and pivoting to offer a reduced menu on for take-out. The TWB space was closed (except for the patio) and a new ‘TWB at Provence’ section was added to Provence Marinaside’s regular menu.
Chef Jean-Francis led the creation of a number of French Food Made Easy ‘cook-at-home’ or ‘heat and eat’ kits complete with video and written instructions. Under his leadership, Provence Marinaside continues to thrive and swiftly adapt to the changing conditions.